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Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View
by Janna Ireland

This is not a book of architectural photography, yet it is a book filled with photographs of architecture. Fine-art photographer Ireland turns her lens to Williams’ work, creating a portfolio of intimate, moody, and seductive black-and-white images. This approach leads to an emotional reaction to architecture, taking building out of the analytical realm that is so often its mode of interpretation. The images flow into each other with no indication of project, site, or date. This tried my patience at first. Then even more when I consulted the “Image Locations” list at the end, which were mostly vague, particularly for the houses. I want to know where that stairway is, beyond it being somewhere in Encino! Eventually, I came to see that without the structure of chronology, geography, or notations, I was forced to acknowledge that Ireland is not documenting facts, and to regard the images—and by extension Williams’ projects—for their beauty and meaning. Angel City Press, 2020, 224 pages, hardcover, $50.

 

 

 

 
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