35 x 2 cm., 112 pp., color ills., text language: English.
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"The ground is nowhere in sight in WOLF’s dramatically geometric, nearly abstract photographs of Chicago’s Loop towers.
Shot from strategically selected rooftops and perfectly printed in an aptly large, vertical book, WOLF’s subtly modulated color photographs are monumental studies in grays, whites, blacks, golds, and occasional splashes of green and blue.
Given their elegant grids, nuanced variations, and stillness, these images echo the minimalist paintings of Agnes Martin, yet this is the real world, and real people inhabit these immense cellular buildings, these boxy hives, these human filing cabinets, and WOLF’s stealthy, intrusive lens finds them, most often alone contemplating a television or computer.
The lighting is exquisitely moody, each lit interior is a screen or stage, each human figure as poignant as those in the paintings of Edward Hopper, an artist WOLF, acclaimed for his earlier books on China, cites as an influence. With intimations of surveillance and vulnerability, these intensely beautiful cityscapes seem austere and inhuman until one lands on a magnified picture of a man giving the distant photographer the finger." (© Donna Seaman)
"...by turns they [the images] dazzle and unsettle. The color images are mostly of contemporary buildings downtown. However, they are more about geometric abstraction and voyeurism than architectural photography. As the text says, Edward Hopper meets 'Blade Runner.' Riveting." (© Alan Artner , Chicago Tribune)
"The book 'The Transparent City' combines impersonal cityscapes shot primarily at dusk or at night with details of the buildings' inhabitants that become impressionistic because of the pixilation from extreme enlargement. Mrichael WOLF added some close-up photographs with a 300-millimeter lens. Together they reveal what is hidden in the broader architectural overviews." (© James Estrin, New York Times, Lens Blog)
"On the one hand, Michael WOLF's photo book 'The Transparent City' pictures ignite our smoldering anxieties about surveillance and the end of privacy. On the other, the complexities they describe so lucidly assert the ultimate incomprehensibility of the world." (© Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle)
"We are often told that the excitement of living in a city comes from the street. Michael WOLF removes himself from that noisy world and makes his case for the cooler pleasures of observing from a safe distance the almost glacial stillness of urban life." (© Charles Dee Mitchell, Photo-Eye Magazine)
"The business guy holding a green stress ball (seen in close-up and framed by his window and drapes) is a blob of protoplasm. In a day or a year or 30 years, he'll be gone, and another blob will replace him. His building, these photos seem to say, will remain." (© Patrick T. Reardon, Chicago Tribune Magazine)
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