The appeal of clouds

On display from June 10th to September 30th, 2021


A cloud is a hydrometeor – a condensation or sublimation of vapour – consisting of minute particles of condensed water vapour and/or ice crystals, suspended in the atmosphere by rising currents or in a floating state.
The colour of clouds is essentially due to optical phenomena of radiation-matter interaction, i.e. light-water vapour interaction (mainly reflection, refraction and diffusion), which in turn depends on the density and thickness of the cloud.


In conjunction with the exhibition Let’s meet on a Cloud of Freedom in the FOCUS space of the De Pietri Artphilein Foundation, the Artphilein Photobook Library presents a selection of photography books on the theme of clouds.


Clouds and related atmospheric phenomena are the subject here of study, documentation and classification, as in the books by Ralph Steiner (In Pursuit of Clouds), Helmut Völter (Wolkenstudien/Cloud Studies/Etudes de nuages and The Movement of Clouds around Mount Fuji) and Paul B. Moore (Imagination of Clouds – a Photographic Study).

Clouds are pictorial and sculptural devices used in photographic shots, as in the books by Mitch Epstein (Rocks and Clouds), Paul Graham (A Shimmer of Possibility) and William Egglestone (At Zenith).

Clouds are narratives of feelings and philosophical introspection, as in the books by Luigi Ghirri (Il profilo delle nuvole), Boomoon Kwon (Bpp Moon), Michael Lange (Cold Mountain), Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli (Tempus Fugit), Nicholas Hughes (Nowhere Far), Luca Scarabelli (Gli ultimi viandanti si ritirarono nelle catacombe) and Peter Schlör (Black & Wide).

Clouds are the starting point for environmental denouncements, as in the books by Marina Caneve (Are They Rocks or Clouds?), Nanna Debois Buhl (Cloud Behavior) and Trent Parke (Crimson Line).

Clouds are an alphabet to be rewritten, as in the books by Batia Suter (Cloud Service), Daisuke Yokota (Site/Cloud) and Susanne Bürner (Fog Book).

Clouds are also ‘other things’, not just those merely made of water vapour, but those of dust from toppled monuments or atomic radiation as well, as portrayed in the books by Juan Hein (Clouds and Bombs) and Massimiliano Gatti (Le Nuvole).

And finally, clouds are the aggregations of millions of migratory birds in a moving body, a pattern in the sky, as shown in Søren Solkær’s book (Black Sun).

Clouds – in all their forms – remain a photographic subject of strong and never-ending appeal.


List of books on display:

Susanne Bürner
Fog Book, Revolver, 2003

Marina Caneve
Are they rocks or clouds?, Fw: Books, 2019

Nanna Debois Buhl
Cloud Behavior, Humboldt Books 2020

Mitch Epstein
Rocks and clouds, Steidl, 2016

William Eggleston
At Zenith, Steidl 2013

Massimiliano Gatti
Le Nuvole, Le Grandi Illusioni, 2019

Luigi Ghirri
Il profilo delle nuvole – Immagini di un paesaggio italiano, Feltrinelli 1996

Paul Graham
A shimmer of possibility, MACK Books, 2018

Juan Hein
Clouds and Bombs, Disko Bay, 2020

Nicholas Hughes
Nowhere Far, Gost Books, 2017

Boomoon Kwon
Boo Moon, Nazraeli Press, 1999

Michael Lange
Cold Mountain, Hartmann Books, 2021

Paul B. Moore
Imagination of Clouds – A photographic study, self-published, 2012

Amandine Nabarra-Piomelli
Tempus Fugit, self-published, 2017

Trent Parke
Crimson Line, Stanley Barker 2020

Luca Scarabelli
Gli ultimi viandanti si ritirarono nelle catacombe (1965), Boîte Editions, 2015

Peter Schlör
Black and Wide, Kehrer Verlag 2012

Søren Solkær
Black Sun, Edition Circle 2021

Batia Suter
Cloud Service, ROMA Publications, 2019

Ralph Steiner
In pursuit of clouds, University of New Mexico Press, 1985

Helmut Völter
The Movement of Clouds around Mount Fuji, Spector Books, 2016

Helmut Völter, Marcel Beyer
Wolkenstudien / Cloud Studies / Études des nuages, Spector Books, 2011

Daysuke Yokota
Site/Cloud, Artbeat publisher, 2013