Roy DeCarava
the sound i saw

First Print Press / David Zwirner Books
Hardcover, 208 pages, 201 tritone, 9 color, English
Price: $75/£55
Roy DeCarava: the sound i saw
© David Zwirner Books, Photograph by Kyle Knodell

American artist Roy DeCarava (1919–2009) produced a singular collection of black-and-white photographs of modern life that combines formal acuity with an intimate and deeply human treatment of his subject matter.

The book the sound i saw is the pictorial equivalent of jazz. Here, the visionary photographer turns his gaze on legendary jazz icons Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday, among many others. The artist's intention in proposing a complex relationship between vision and music moves his comprehensive, decade-long reflection to the status of a magnum opus. At its core is a visual and philosophical journey to plumb the meaning of a creative life.

Conceived, designed, written, and made as an artist maquette in the early 1960s, this book went unpublished until 2001. This new edition, co-published by First Print Press and David Zwirner Books, includes new scholarship by Radiclani Clytus, and reflections by Sherry Turner DeCarava.