10 April 2008
The Somnambulist. New York: Lustrum Press, 1970.
Quarto (312 x 222 mm). 48 black and white photographs. Original photo-illustrated card covers (extremities and front cover lightly rubbed); cloth slipcase. Provenance: Ralph Gibson (presentation inscription to:) -- Lee Witkin, influential photography dealer (book-label).
FIRST EDITION OF GIBSON'S FIRST BOOK, SIGNED, AND FURTHER INSCRIBED TO LEE WITKIN: "This book is to Lee -- who is doing so much. Ralph 1970". Witkin's infuential photography gallery had opened in the previous year. With this book Gibson "took the stream-of-consciousness mode into a new and potentially exciting territory -- the unconscious... many of the pictures are amongst the most recognizable from the time"; Gibson's work "much imitated but never equaled, demonstrated a fruitful area of enquiry for photography" (The Photobook). The Somnambulist is also the first publication of Gibson's own Lustrum Press, a press which was "immensely popular and influential" (The Photobook). With: an illustrated pamphlet, also with Witkin's book-label, announcing the publication of the Days at Sea portfolio. The Photobook, vol. I, p.259; Regards à travers le livre 144. (2)
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