JTF (just the facts): Published by Gottlund in 2013. Spiral bound, 42 pages with 42 color photographs. There are no texts or essays. (Spread shots below.)
Comments/Context: Of all the new books I picked up at the crowded New York Art Book Fair (here), Zoe Ghertner’s Simple Pleasures was the most unexpectedly satisfying. While we’ve all seen photographic still lifes of cubes, blocks and other geometric shapes before (Shahbazi, Eaton, and Zupcu come to mind), Ghertner’s exercises in shape and color have a lively directness that jumps off the page.
The series begins with cubes, balls, cones, and other mathematical volumes that are piled in a seemingly endless set of shifting formal combinations. The bright primary colors of the forms bring complementary color theory into the mix, as well as an unpretentious childlike sense of fun. The still lifes are shot up close with a commercial glossiness that dissipates into areas of foreground blur and ends in flat formless backgrounds, making the highlighted edges and shadowed facets of the objects more pronounced. The book’s lay flat spiral binding ensures the images sit square and flush, reinforcing their rigid geometries.
Simple Pleasures is an apt title for this small, unassuming volume. The works are careful studies in abstraction, deceptively straightforward but full of elemental variation and complexity. It’s proof that genres that we might think are tapped out can still be surprising and new.
Collector’s POV: While Zoe Ghertner appears to have a busy commerical career, I wasn’t able to find any gallery representation for her work. I imagine that leaves interested collectors with the option of contacting the artist directly via her website (linked in the sidebar), but if other distribution avenues exist, please add them to the comments.