Day Sleeper

Dorothea Lange – Sam Contis



In this book Sam Contis presents a new window onto the work of the iconic American photographer Dorothea Lange. Drawing from Lange’s extensive archive, Contis constructs a fragmented, unfamiliar world centred around the figure of the day sleeper – at once a symbol of respite and oblivion. The book shows us one artist through the eyes of another, with Contis responding to resonances between her and Lange’s ways of seeing. It reveals a largely unknown side of Lange, and includes previously unseen photographs of her family, portraiture from her studio, and pictures made in the streets of San Francisco and the East Bay. Day Sleeper will be featured alongside other works of Contis’ in the exhibition Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures at the Museum of Modern Art, February–May 2020.

OTA-bound paperback with jacket
17 x 24 cm

First edition, second printing
ISBN 978-1-912339-64-8

Publication date: October 2020
€40 £35 $45

'A collection of pictures so contemporary in feel, it's difficult to reconcile them with the Lange we know‘ Wall Street Journal Magazine

‘There is a peculiar grace to many of the photographs in Day Sleeper, prompting us to revise any preconceived opinions of Lange, who emerges as a surprisingly contemporary image-maker attuned to small, telling gestures as well as bigger defining moments.‘ The Observer

‘An ingenious new monograph, plumbing the unconscious of Lange’s oeuvre to dream her work anew.‘ Bookforum

‘Sam Contis has made a book, a collaboration with Lange really, from pictures she unearthed … What was once plainly political has become familial, casual, intimate, or all of those together, and then back round to political again.‘ London Review of Books

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