|Gerard Fieret (1924-2009), Photographs by Gerard Fieret. |
Published by Focus Publishing, 2011.
Reviewed by Tom Leininger
Gerard Fieret Gerard Fieret (1924-2009)
Photographs by Gerard Fieret
Focus Publishing, 2011. Hardbound. 200 pp., illustrated throughout, 9-1/2x12-1/2".
The biographical blurb about Gerard Fieret on the back of the new monograph bearing his name tells the story of his pictures: "...one of the most wayward oeuvres put forth by 20th-century Dutch photography..." As someone who is not overly familiar with Dutch photography in general, I was unsure of what to expect from the book. After going through the book I initially found the phrase "wayward oeuvre" to be generous.
The informative biographical essay creates an understanding of Fieret's difficult life. He endured a variety of traumas from childhood on. He lived the squalid life of a Bohemian. He died alone. This chaos is reflected in the pictures. The prints are messy, the essay intones that it was intentional, but I am suspect. It is clear that Fieret was a troubled man.
Seen as a whole, the book elevates the work. The printing shows that some of the prints are marginal at best, but it represents the work and the time and manner it was made in. The essay is thorough and annotated, but the bold typeface is a bit too bold and difficult to read.
Tom Leininger is a photographer and educator based in Denton, Texas. He received his MFA in photography from the University of North Texas. Prior to that he was a newspaper photographer in Indiana. His work can be found at http://tomleininger.net.