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Welcome to Gallery Carte Blanche's blog by Gwen Lafage
Featuring photographs from the artists of Gallery Carte Blanche, and from others that inspire me, along with quotes, books and news.

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Join us at Gallery Carte Blanche in SF tomorrow night (Friday March 29th, 6-9pm) for an amazing Artist talk and book signing with Daniel Cronin for his first book ‘The Gathering of the Juggalos’.

This will be our last book signing event at our Valencia street location.
We’re moving out, so make sure to come and have a last drink with us while you still can: Bye bye Valencia street -

New to the gallery bookstore is the third installment of Carte Blanche’s permanent collection artist, Shinya Arimoto's popular “Ariphoto" magazine series. This volume documents a trip Arimoto made to Tibet.

Don’t forget, Carte Blanche also carrys a wide aray of photography magazines from all over the world! Just in, is the new edition of European Photography issue 92.

Read the responses of twelve photo, art and media experts to our international survey “Photography’s Reinvention”: Geoffrey Batchen, Daniel Eggert, Joan Fontcuberta, Alasdair Foster, Oscar Ho, Frits Gierstberg, Andy Grundberg, Klaus Honnef, Jeff Moorfoot, Marc Prüst, Bisi Silva, and Christoph Tannert. Artists featured: Jun Ahn, Gerco de Ruijter, Sungseok Ahn, Patrick Gries, Michael Rohde, Nygårds Karin Bengtsson, Osamu Yokonami, Michael Somoroff, Ernst Logar, Robert Harding Pittman, Nigel Dickinson, and POPCAP Award winner Namsa Leuba. Also in this issue: “Photography and Suicide” by Boris von Brauchitsch, “Crowdfunding” by Manfred Zollner, and a Guide to International Portfolio Reviews.

A wonderful addition to the Gallery Carte Blanche bookstore, is Gerry Johnsson's signed copy of Deutschland.

Following the phenomenal success of Gerry Johansson’s 2011 publication Pontiac, MACK publishing is are pleased to launch the long-awaited Deutschland which completes an eighteen-year series of books for which Johansson traveled through America, Sweden, Germany and Mongolia.

Deutschland is a visual encyclopedia, a catalogue of the rural and urban landscapes of Germany arranged in alphabetical order. In carefully structured greyscale images, Johansson sensitively explores German history through its landscape, picking out the industrial scenes, industrial buildings, residential roads and shop fronts. His quiet photographs are carefully constructed, grid patterns recur constantly and each frame is packed with information.


New to the Gallery Carte Blanche bookstore, is  Mårten Lange's elegant and beautiful book, Another Language.

The aesthetics of science, nature and the materiality of things are recurring themes in Mårten Lange’s work and in Another Language, his first major publication, Lange delves even deeper with this fascination for the natural world.

Combining images of flora, fauna and natural phenomena in an intimate and beautifully crafted book, Lange teases out a subtle narrative - a meteor crashes, a landmass is visible and a distant planet occupies the final page - but the book is more akin to the workings of a scientist collecting specimens. Together the photographs create a cryptic and heterogeneous index of nature, with recurring shapes, patterns and texture, where the clarity and simplicity of the individual photographs contrasts with the enigmatic whole.

Shot in his signature black and white style, his subjects are isolated from their environments, taking on sculptural qualities. Ranging from the sublime (lightning, mountains, a star) to the commonplace (ducks, rocks, a fish), these phenomena all attain equal importance through the democracy of Lange’s photographic treatment.

We are so happy to have one of Carte Blanche's very own photographers Deborah Parkin's new book! You may recognize some of the images from the gallery, but this retrospective shows many many more!

Deborah Parkin’s work is about capturing a moment or a memory. 

Although very personal, her images are open enough to allow others to bring their stories and to relate to her work.  Deborah’s passion for photography started after the birth of her children as a way of exploring her own childhood memories as well as using it to document their lives. 

The themes in her photography has always been about childhood, whether it has been recreating her own personal memories, making images of her children and recording their childhood or working with children using ancient photographic processes.

Deborah  works with a variety of photographic mediums, from medium and large format cameras using film, to working with the Victorian Wet Plate Collodion Process.  Working in a slow and considered way allows the artist to collaborate with each child that sits before her.

Reintroduced to the world, and fresh to the Carte Blanche book store after 34 years is the wonderful book Kodachrome  by trend setting Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri.

In 1978 Luigi Ghirri self-published his first book, an avant-garde manifesto for the medium of photography and a landmark in his own remarkable oeuvre. Kodachrome has long been out of print and on the 20th anniversary of Ghirri’s death, MACK is proud to publish the second edition.

Part amateur photo-album, Ghirri presents his surroundings in tightly cropped images, making photographs of photographs and recording the Italian landscape through it’s adverts, postcards, potted plants, walls, windows, and people. His work is deadpan, reflecting a dry wit, and is a continuous engagement with the subject of reality and of landscape as a snapshot of our interaction with the world.

This new edition of Kodachrome is published as a facsimile of the original, adopting the original design, text layout and image sequence, but using new image files scanned from Ghirri’s original film to take advantage of modern technology and printing methods. A small booklet is included with an essay by Francesco Zanot, which offers a contemporary perspective on the historical impact of Kodachrome, alongside French and German translations of the original texts from the book (which were published in English and Italian).


A lovely addition to the Carte Blanche bookstore is British landscape photographer, Jem Southam's new book, The River Winter.

“Winters, like ice ages, are Janus faced, for after the freeze comes thaw and flood, as water is returned to life and movement. Freeze, thaw, flood: the great climatic cycles that created the topography of the northern hemisphere, and which continue to shape the idea of winter that lies deep in our cultural imagination.” Richard Hamblyn

In November 2010, after a photographic lull of half a year, Jem Southam took a photograph which became the first in this series, The River Winter and which spurred him to make one of the most concentrated bodies of work in his career. From late autumn through to the earliest signs of spring, along the banks of the river Exe in Devon, Southam chose locations and took photographs, returning at regular intervals. This pattern continued for the next five months with Southam documenting the subtle agencies of change transforming the landscape. By the end of January 2011 he realized this had become a new work, one that caught the effects of the Earth’s turn on film, one which followed the passage of a single winter.

The shift in seasons is presented through a sequence of ten by eight color contact prints, with which an essay by Richard Hamblyn explores how, since the last ice-age, winter has embedded itself into our cultural psyche.

One of our favorite new books in the Carte Blanche bookstore, is Here Far Away, a major retrospective book of Pentti Sammallahti.

Here Far Away is a retrospective work that comprises nearly fifty years of photographic activity and unfolds in almost as many countries. Despite this, Pentti Sammallahti’s discreet title points to the paradox that the photograph always represents a here-and-now: an encounter on the page of the book between artist and viewer, which constantly reflects the capacity of the two to enter into a dialog, to extend the picture’s mirror of the past into the viewer’s present and future.

Pentti Sammallahti began photographing at 11 and by 1971 began to exhibit extensively in Finland and throughout the world. He has traveled widely, from his native Scandinavia, across the Soviet Re- publics through Siberia, across Europe and Great Britain and to Asia and Africa. His travels and interest in fine printing and lithography has led him to publish numerous portfolios and books.

Another wonderful addition to the Carte Blanche bookstore, is Viviane Sassen's new book, that acts as a visual  journal intime with her muse, Roxane.

Roxane’s body and expressions follow the artist’s direction in a sequence of poses and moods collected over a number of years. The artist use of light and shadows highlight the beauty, and obscurities of the human form. The viewer is offered a glimpse of Sassen’s creative process through the relationship between the photographer and her muse. The book is accompanied with a poem, Her Head Occurred to Me, by Maria Barnas. Roxane is printed in a limited edition by Oodee Publishing.