The New York Times Book Review: Flowers for Lisa


Flowers are very pretty, and that has made them less than compelling as a subject matter for photographers drawn to complexity and contradiction (although a number of modernists, from Karl Blossfeldt to Imogen Cunningham to Robert Mapplethorpe, were interested in them as architectural objects). So it may be hard to believe that the most exhilarating photo book of the year is entirely devoted to flowers — until, that is, you have actually turned the pages of Abelardo Morell’s FLOWERS FOR LISA: A Delirium of Photographic Invention (Abrams, $60). What began as a gift from the photographer to his wife on her birthday — an explosive photo bouquet involving multiple superimposed layers of flowers, rather than a run-of-the-mill three-dimensional one — turned into an expansive project, which tests the outer limits of how a bouquet might be represented photographically.

30 November 2018