First Impressions of Greece, by Mary Manning
Sam Cate-Gumpert, of the artist’s book publisher Peradam, had, like many of us, been following the photographic essay that is Mary Manning’s life through her blog Unchanging Window for several years before he approached her with the idea of publishing a collection of her images in a real-life book. Initially, Manning explains, she had a whole other idea of what the book would be, but then a succession of events — a spontaneously booked vacation to Greece with her girlfriend Monique and a gift from a friend of a very beautiful copy of Henry Miller’s First Impressions of Greece (accompanied by an elaborate list of tips and recommendations for the trip), led to a very different publication. Manning says that upon receiving the copy of Miller’s book she knew instantly that instead of what she had been planning, her book would be “Greece and Monique. Impressions.”
The images, which were all captured on film, were curated into the gentle rhythm seen on these pages by Manning herself and show all the characteristic genius of her previous work. She has a talent for punctuating highly contemporary studies of accidental color, pattern, and form with quiet moments of human observation, and this aspect of her voice is held beautifully within the cloth-bound publication (designed, it must be said, by this author’s husband: Joe Gilmore of Qubik). Advance copies of the book were available to purchase at the NY Art Book Fair this weekend, but for those of us who were unable to make it, pre-order is available here.