The Players selected by Michael Mack as an essential photo book of 2017 in Tank Magazine

Originally appeared in TANK MAGAZINE


Every summer, Tank asks three of the world’s most important people in publishing to select with us a series of the new season’s best books. This year we approached the estimable Barbara Epler of New Directions, New York; Michael Mack of MACK, London; and Nesrine Malik. Their photobook selection ranged across genres from the theoretical works of Allan Sekula to the astonishing paintings of Alice Neel. Here is their selection of the best photobooks of this summer.

 The Players by Mark Steinmetz
“Steinmetz brings us a collection of empathetic photographic portraits of young boys aged 6 to 13 (with the exception of a few older teens) learning how to play baseball. The kids stumble through the awkward beginnings of their craft, while family and peers watch carefully or distractedly from the sidelines. Some photographers have the capacity to make classic photographs in the simplest vein and Steinmetz is someone who has done this throughout his career, largely focusing on the world close to home. His black-and-white photographs and his simple books suggest a masterful control of the medium.”—Michael Mack