31 May 2007
Suburbia. San Francisco: Straight Arrow, 1973. Quarto (255 x 250mm). 128 black and white photographs. Original green cloth, spine lettered in white, front cover titled in blind (lacking the slipcase). Uncut mechanical print on card reproducing the same image four times, evidently a sheet of postcards, signed ('Bill Owens') and numbered ('88/400') in black ink in the bottom margin (shallow crease in the right-hand margin).
FIRST EDITION, THE RARE HARDCOVER ISSUE, AND WITH A PRINT SIGNED BY OWENS. 'One of the most popular and successful American photobooks of the 1970s... Owens turned the clock back to a documentary photography that spoke directly about society and, furthermore, allowed society to comment on itself' (The Photobook). The print reproduces 'Untitled' -- an interior at Christmas, with a Ronald Reagan film playing on the television. The Book of 101 Books, pp.224-5; The Open Book, pp.296-7; The Photobook, vol. II, p. 24; (all noting only the paperback issue). (2)
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