cover image Suspended on a Line

Suspended on a Line

Rizzoli, Walter Battistessa. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1481-7

An Italian photographer best known for his socially conscious work here turns to the subject of fabric, primarily clothing, as it asserts the human presence in otherwise impersonal spaces and provides a splash of brightness against mundane backdrops. Battistessa's use of color and gift for composition are both impressive, making the book agreeable to page through. But it lacks variety: too many of the 100 color pictures show garments hung out to dry, and they look awfully similar whether in Morocco or Australia. The locales, however, are often exotic and intriguing. The delicious humor displayed in a hilarious photo of a red rooster strutting by a lone pair of white underpants in Perigord, France, is all too rare. A pretentious foreword by Columbia University journalism professor Colombo claims a good deal more significance for these vivid but generally shallow images than they deserve. ( Apr. )