Tomas van Houtryve: Lines and Lineage

  • Hardcover / 10 x 12 inches
    80 images / 160 pages

  • Photography by Tomas van Houtryve

    Text by Carrie Gibson

  • ISBN: 9781942185628
  • Trade Edition: $55.00
  • Signed Edition: $60.00


With Lines and Lineage, Tomas van Houtryve takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, van Houtryve chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. His portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired in diptychs with photographs of landscapes along the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. This book lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West

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Belgian-American Tomas van Houtryve is a conceptual artist, photographer, and author whose major works interweave investigative journalism, philosophy, and metaphor. Van Houtryve makes images using a wide range of processes, ranging from 19th-century wet plate collodion to thermal imaging and Augmented Reality. His projects challenge notions of identity, memory and power, often by highlighting the slippage of wartime structures into everyday life. His photographs and video installations are held in private and permanent institutional collections, including the International Center for Photography Museum, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. His artwork is widely exhibited internationally, including at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Museum für Fotografie in Berlin, Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen, East Wing Gallery in Dubai, and Arts Santa Monica in Barcelona. Van Houtryve is based in Paris and is a member of the VII Agency since 2010.


Carrie Gibson is the author of the acclaimed El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America and Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean From Columbus to the Present Day. She received a PhD from Cambridge University, focusing on the Spanish Caribbean in the era of the Haitian Revolution, and has worked as a journalist for the Guardian and contributed to other publications, as well as the BBC. She has done research across Mexico, the West Indies, and North America. She lives in London.