Literary Nonfiction. Photography. CONVERSATIONS WITH RUDY BURCKHARDT comprises an extensive interview with poet Simon Pettet, including 22 photographs printed in duotone by the noted photographer, filmmaker and painter Rudy Burckhardt. The photographs, taken between 1938 and 1986, include his classic, much-admired image of the Flatiron Building, New York (1948) and photographs of rhapsodic beauty in Maine, gentle serenity in Naples and many humorous scenes (New York, Little Rock, Florence, Italy and others). His images are all completely accessible and reflect his resolutely unpretentious style. The sprightly dialogue complements the photographs, with many discussed individually.
The publication of CONVERSATIONS WITH RUDY BURCKHARDT honored the occasion of three significant events that took place in 1987. After decades of relative obscurity, Rudy Burckhardt's devoted underground following was joined by many newfound admirers as a result of a major retrospective of 67 of his films at the Museum of Modern Art and, concurrently, an exhibition of photographs at Brooke Alexander Gallery and a show of paintings at Blue Mountain Gallery. As Phillip Lopate remarked, "In the book, one is privileged to hear the artist's thoughts and doubts about living, making art, beauty, time, youth, aging, public acclaim, compositional techniques, Switzerland, parents, and the non-relationship between rapture and sorrow...The combination of beautiful, rarely seen photographs and lively text make this an irresistible book."