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Mitch Epstein, Clouds #81, New York City, 2015

Mitch Epstein

Né en 1952 à Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA
Il vit et travaille à New York

Mitch Epstein est un photographe américain pionnier de la photographie en couleurs dans les années 1970. Son travail a fait l’objet de nombreuses expositions et ouvrages aux Etats-Unis et en Europe et ses photographies sont entrées dans les collections des plus grands musées du monde tels que le MoMa, le Metropolitan Museum et le Whitney Museum de New York, le J. Paul Getty Museum de Los Angeles ou encore la Tate Modern de Londres. American Power – qui a remporté le Prix Pictet en 2011 – et Family Business – qui lui a valu une bourse Guggenheim ainsi que le Krazna-Krausz Photography Book Award en 2004 – sont deux des albums les plus connus parmi les dix publiés sur son œuvre.

Depuis plus de quarante ans, les clichés de Mitch Epstein capturent la culture et les paysages américains. Alors qu’une grande partie de son œuvre explore le concept d’américanité et le rapport entre nature et culture, ses travaux récents (‘New York Arbor’, ‘Rocks and Clouds’) s’intéressent à l’impact du temps sur la nature, les hommes et les objets qu’ils créent – ainsi que sur le processus artistique. Le travail de Mitch Epstein se distingue par son traitement des grands espaces et une démarche à la fois conceptuelle et documentaire.

New York Arbor

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 978-3-86930-581-3

Mitch Epstein’s new work is a series of photographs of the idiosyncratic trees that inhabit New York City. These pictures underscore the importance of trees to urban life and their complex relationship to their human counterparts. Rooted in New York’s sidewalks, parks, and cemeteries, some trees grow wild, some are contortionists adapting to constrictive surroundings, while others are pruned into prize specimens. As urban development closes in on them, surprisingly, New York’s trees continue to thrive.

From 2011 to 2012, Epstein explored New York’s five boroughs in search of remarkable trees, often returning to photograph the same trees through the changing seasons and light. Many of these trees, Epstein learnt, were planted in one context—a farm or nursery, for instance—and had survived to be part of another, a city street or public garden; and most will likely outlive us to find their habitat continue to change. The cumulative effect of these photographs is to invert people’s usual view of their city: trees no longer function as background, but instead dominate the human life and architecture around them.

Edition Steidl


Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 9783869302249

« Berliners have chosen to leave traces of the worst of themselves in their architecture and landscape. They have understood what a largely amnesiac America has not: reform relies on memory. »–Mitch Epstein

In 2008 Mitch Epstein won the Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters and was awarded a six-month residency at the American Academy in Berlin. Epstein proudly accepted the offer and initially planned to read and reflect in the academy’s comfortable surroundings. But he could not ignore the call of contemporary Berlin for long. As a Jewish-American whose relatives had died in the Holocaust, Epstein set out to confront this past by photographing the remnants of Berlin’s war and postwar histories. The resulting images–including the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, fashion billboards at Checkpoint Charlie, the Jewish Memorial at Potsdammer Platz and the Dalai Lama speaking at the Brandenburg Gate–reveal Berlin’s present to be a fraught accumulation of the layers of its past.

Edition Steidl

Mitch Epstein. State of the Union

Mitch Epstein

Christoph Schreier, Stephan Berg et Gisela Parak


ISBN : 978-3-7757-2784-6

Mitch Epstein (*1952 in Holyoke, Massachusetts) numbers among America’s outstanding contemporary photographers. This publication examines the development of his oeuvre on the basis of two very different series of photographs. Recreation—American Photographs (1973–88) represents traditional American Street Photography and depicts everyday situations, quintessential testimony to life in the United States in the seventies and eighties. The open nature of a pluralistic society, one that decades later seems to have lost its fortuity, is documented in the randomness of the encounters. This is implied in the title of the second photoseries American Power, which Epstein began in 2003. It draws attention to one of the major power conglomerates in America, the energy industry, one that intervenes not only in society, but in nature as well, transforming them both in the process. Cooling towers and refineries dominate the images, breaking all rules of proportion and degrading everything else around them to the status of insignificant marginalia.

Edition Kunstmuseum Bonn & Hatje Cantz Verlag

American Power

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 978-3-86521-924-4

In American Power, Mitch Epstein investigates notions of power, both electrical and political. His focus is on energy – how it gets made, how it gets used, and the ramifications of both. From 2003 to 2008, he photographed at and around sites where fossil fuel, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar power are produced in the United States. The resulting photographs contain Epstein’s signature complex wit, surprising detail, and formal rigor. These pictures illuminate the intersection between American society and American landscape. Here is a portrait of early 21st century America, as it clings to past comforts and gropes for a more sensible future. In an accompanying essay, Epstein discusses his method, and how making these photographs led him to think harder about the artist’s role in a country teetering between collapse and transformation.

Edition Steidl

Mitch Epstein: Work

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 3865212816

Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most distinguished art photographers, here, for the first time, Epstein has gathered his photographs together into a book that presents the span of his career. Mitch Epstein: Work allows readers to trace the evolution of his formal and thematic concerns. We see how his aesthetic views, photographic tools, and politics have transformed and influenced one another over time. This book offers a look at each of Epstein’s major projects — “Common Practice” (1973-89); “Vietnam” (1992-95); “The City” (1995-98); “Family Business” (2000-03), and his current, ongoing “American Power.” His early work on the theme of recreation is given its most natural yet unexpected configuration: images from the United States are mixed with those from other parts of the world. A short essay by the artist or an excerpt from his previously published writings orients each chapter. The book includes a DVD of his film, “Dad.” Many of the pictures here have never been seen before, let alone published. For Epstein fans and for those who would like an introduction to the artist’s work, this book is a necessary addition to their library.

Edition Steidl

Recreation: American Photographs 1973-1988

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 3865210848

Ordinary things here startle, while the extraordinary appears at perfect ease in the world. These pictures, made in the 1970s and 80s, offer a window into the beginning and breadth of Mitch Epstein’s career. Most of these photographs are previously unpublished–culled from 15 years of work that addresses the theme of American recreation. Epstein’s interpretation of leisure in the United States is characteristically subtle, ranging and sharp-witted. In Recreation, teenage girls abandon a baby to fondle a snake; children sleep naked on a car in an open campground–people stake their private ground in public, if only for a moment, during which Epstein’s camera finds them. Gesture gives many of these photographs their pulse: tender hand, strained shoulder, swiveled hip. It isn’t the fact of thirteen year olds smoking that will astound viewers, but the grace and knowledge in the young fingers that hold the cigarettes. Epstein’s wit is laced with compassion, as he turns these rituals of boredom and beauty, excess and denial, alienation and possibility into a distillation of modern America.

Edition Steidl

Family Business

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 3882439130

In the summer of 1999, two boys barely in their teens were so bored they started a fire in a boarded up apartment building in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The fire spread and engulfed an entire city block. Mitch Epstein’s father owned the building and was sued for 15 million dollars he didn’t have; Epstein’s father also owned a once successful furniture store that now faced liquidation. Family Business is an epic work about the demise of a Jewish immigrant dynasty and it traces the fall of a New England town from industrial giant to drug-dealing capital. Epstein has combined formally rigorous pictures with fluid video clips to recreate his father’s universe. The book’s four chapters – Store, Property, Town, Home – include photographs, storyboards, video stills and dialogues. In Family Business he has invented a unique format: a mixed-media novel. The book’s conceptual ambitions are matched by its fearless humanity. Surprising, hard-hitting and haunting, it resembles nothing seen before.

Edition Steidl

The City

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 1576871010

New York isn’t what it used to be, so why haven’t New York’s photographers and photographic books caught up with reality? Why do picture-makers continue to mimic the gritty glamour and aggression of William Klein’s New York images, or stalk up and down Fifth and Madison Avenues paying peculiar homage to Garry Winogrand, or struggle to rediscover the romance of Nan Goldin’s Lower East Side, on streets now clogged with Starbucks and designers’ tenement-scaled emporia?

What makes Mitch Epstein’s most recent book, The City, particularly interesting is witnessing Epstein’s attempt to breathe life back into a classic, albeit tired, genre. Instead of the usual raucous juxtapositions of visual clichés—pictures crammed with street corner sturm und drang and urban gargoyles—The City‘s elliptical narrative unfolds quietly. There’s a meditative, almost medicated calmness to the book’s color still lifes and cityscapes: the droll display of overwrought deli cakes; a street festival shooting gallery’s targets, featuring the faces of Timothy McVeigh, Amy Fisher and Hitler, offering discounted prices for kids; the sports jacket, carefully folded and placed on the grass in Central Park, whose banal but eerie presence suggests anything from a lunchtime nap to murder.

Edition powerHouse Books

Vietnam: A Book of Changes

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 0393040275

Mitch Epstein’s evocative pictures reveal a complex Vietnam that few Americans have ever seen.This is not a document about the war; nor is it the pastoral idyll other photographers have portrayed. Vietnam, through Epstein’s eyes, is a sometimes disturbing and sometimes sublime palimpsest.

Vietnam: A Book of Changes interprets a culture and landscape largely cut off from the West for the last thirty years, and now open to a market economy and a new relationship to America. The photographs are suffused with the rawness of Vietnamese life lived on the economic and political edge. Under the layer of friendship lies the tension of politics; under beauty lies violence; under the stark faces of remote villagers is the entrepreneurial momentum drawing them to the city; and under the remnants of war is an artistic bohemia grappling with new freedoms and continued censorship.

Edition W. W. Norton & Company

Fire, Water, Wind

Mitch Epstein

Tenrikyo Doyusha


ISBN : 4807303708

Photographs from Tenri (Japanese).

In Pursuit of India (A New Images Book)

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 978-0893812140

Beginning in 1978, Mitch Epstein began photographing in India and has traveled there several times since. His vision of India’s culture strips away the mystical and picturesque façades usually associated with it. Instead, his work shows the mosaic of the daily life of its people. His color photographs are fascinating on their own, but when taken as a whole, his vision shows that India is very much a society in transition. « An emphatic insight into the true Indian experience. »–the publisher.

Edtion Aperture

Rocks and Clouds

Mitch Epstein


ISBN : 978-3-95829-160-7

Dans sa nouvelle série, Mitch Epstein étudie la signification du temps en photographiant à la fois des roches qui durent des millions d’années et des nuages qui s’évaporent sous nos yeux. Ces images en noir et blanc de grand format examinent la relation complexe de la société avec la nature, un thème qu’Epstein a exploré dans des travaux antérieurs, comprenant ses images d’arbres acclamées (New York Arbour, 2013).


  • Les expos du week-end spécial mois de la photo

    Polka Magazine, avril 2017

  • Les expos du mois de mai en images et en bref

    Slash, mai 2017

  • Mitch Epstein : New York Trees, Rocks & Clouds

    Télérama sortir, mars 2017

  • Snapshot : "New York Trees, Rocks & Clouds" by Mitch Epstein

    Financial Times, mars 2017


    Le Monde, mars 2018


    Libération, avril 2017

  • Eden, fantôme hawaïen et viol sur papier... cinq expositions parisiennes à ne pas manquer en mars

    Numéro, mars 2017

  • Mois de la photo. New York Trees, Rocks & Clouds

    ParisArt, mars 2017

  • A Portrait of New York in Rocks and Clouds

    Aperture, octobre 2016


    The New Yorker, août 2016