Designed by legendary art director Marvin Israel, Nothing Personal is a triumph of minimalism. An oversized book in its own white slipcase, the striking placement of both photographs and text revolutionized the design and packaging of photography books. This is a faithful reprint of the original book, which has been out of print for decades, and was produced with the collaboration of The Richard Avedon Foundation.
Hilton Als, Avedon’s former colleague at The New Yorker, and a scholar of Baldwin’s work, traces the making of Nothing Personal and documents the friendship and creative relationship between Avedon and Baldwin. Als also movingly reflects on how Nothing Personal impacted his own life, as well as his friendship with Avedon.
When first published in 1964, Avedon and Baldwin’s vision of America was controversial, and both men endured harsh criticism for being liberal elites and “Hollywood moralists” who were not representing the true feelings of “real” Americans. Sound familiar?
To coincide with the book’s release, New York’s Pace Gallery will present a comprehensive exploration of Avedon’s photographs and documents from Nothing Personal.