Printer Savant: Lumiere Press and the Art of the Photo Book

Printer Savant: Lumiere Press and the Art of the Photo Book

MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2024

An exhibition exploring the relationship between master book maker, Michael Torosian of Lumiere Press and gallerist Howard Greenberg will be on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Printer Savant: Lumiere Press and the Art of the Photo Book celebrates the decades long collaboration of Howard Greenberg Gallery and Lumiere Press. The exhibition will present a selection of fine art books by the Press alongside works by Bruce Davidson, Dave Heath, Consuelo Kanaga, William Klein, Dorothea Lange, Saul Leiter, Leon Levinstein, Ruth Orkin, Gordon Parks, Flip Schulke, W. Eugene Smith, and Edward Steichen, who were featured in books by Lumiere Press.

For more than 35 years, Howard Greenberg and Michael Torosian have shared a common aesthetic in publishing photography books beholding the medium’s potency and eloquence. Together they worked on several notable and award-winning books, including Howard Greenberg Gallery: Twenty Five Years (2007). One book on Edward Steichen was proclaimed “the most beautiful book ever presented on Steichen” by the photographer’s family.

Printer Savant: Lumiere Press and the Art of the Photo Book focuses on photography from Greenberg and Torosian’s simultaneous and cooperative careers. On view in the exhibition are a wide selection of limited edition books by the Press alongside images from Bruce Davidson’s 1959 Brooklyn Gang series; Dave Heath’s brooding portraits of Greenwich Village youths in the late 1950s and early ‘60s; William Klein’s amusing New York City urchins in the 1950s; examples of photojournalist Dorothea Lange’s documentary photographs from her travels around the U.S. from the 1930s to the ‘50s; Saul Leiter’s color work from the streets of New York; sidewalk views shot from Ruth Orkin’s window; poignant portraits by Consuelo Kanaga and Gordon Parks; World War II photographs by W. Eugene Smith; and Edward Steichen’s studies of flowers.

Today, Lumiere Press is the only fine press in the world devoted to producing limited edition photography books. Owner Michael Torosian began working in book publishing in 1981 and was able to acquire machinery that is no longer available today. His most recent book is the memoir Lumiere Press: Printer Savant & Other Stories (2022). The term printer savant was bestowed on Torosian by a guest at his first book launch who was fascinated that he had learned without guidance or training the art of “casting type from molten lead, printing the sheets of paper on a hand-cranked, hand-fed press, and folding, sewing, gluing, and binding the books by hand,” writes Torosian in his memoir. In 2024, Torosian was named the recipient of the Robert R. Reid Medal for Lifetime Achievement in the Book Arts in Canada by The Alcuin Society, a non-profit association promoting the finest in Canadian book design since 1965.

Printer Savant
Lumiere Press and the Art of the Photo Book
20 June – 16 August, 2024

Howard Greenberg Gallery
41 EAST 57th STREET, SUITE 801
NEW YORK, NY 10022
www.howardgreenberg.com

Ruth OrkinAmerican Girl in Italy, 1951

Ruth Orkin American Girl in Italy, 1951

Bruce DavidsonBrooklyn Gang (couple kissing in corner), 1959

Bruce Davidson Brooklyn Gang (couple kissing in corner), 1959

Leon LevinsteinHandball Players, Houston Street, New York, 1955

Leon Levinstein Handball Players, Houston Street, New York, 1955

Ruth OrkinThe View from My Window at 53 W. 88th St., N.Y.C., c.1952

Ruth Orkin The View from My Window at 53 W. 88th St., N.Y.C., c.1952

William KleinBoy on Swing + Smirking Girl, New York, 1955

William Klein Boy on Swing + Smirking Girl, New York, 1955

Dorothea LangeUntitled, c.1953

Dorothea Lange Untitled, c.1953

Dorothea LangeCable Car, San Francisco, 1956

Dorothea Lange Cable Car, San Francisco, 1956

Charles MooreBirmingham, 1963

Charles Moore Birmingham, 1963

Steve SchapiroRFK Campaign, California, 1966

Steve Schapiro RFK Campaign, California, 1966


MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2024