Taschen and Phaidon. Two art publishing houses with two very distinct reputations. So don’t you think it’s high time for a face-off between the two? Good! Let’s begin with the Collector’s Edition wars.
Benedikt Taschen turned 50 this past February and his debaucherous party was written up in The New Yorker a few days ago. The cult lowbrow publisher never fails to shock and titillate, and his aim to create lasting, limited-edition books has made him a hero to many. On Taschen’s website, Benedikt writes that he “sensed early on that books could open doors to different worlds, and that a world full of artists and free-minded spirits was the world I wanted to be part of.”
The venerable Phaidon Press is now in its 88th year, and it launched by printing a large format Van Gogh monograph in 1936, which sold out within two days of publication. On its website, Nigel Spivey, a lecturer in classical art at Cambridge, writes that Phaidon is named after Plato’s middle-period dialogues on the immortality of the soul. “By means of beauty, beautiful things become beautiful,” Socrates says to Phaidon and company. Which is one way of putting it, we suppose.
The gloves are off, and the niceties have been done away with. Let’s brawl!
… Read More
When artist Dash Snow died of a drug overdose last Monday, it stirred a mad rush of news articles, ranging from the mild to the wild, in publications around the world. The rebellious young talent, who passed away at the mythical age of 27, was an inspiration to a bohemian pack of creative pals. They expressed dismay at his death, while honoring him with their recollections of his life. Meanwhile, art pundits discussed the value of his body of work; makeshift memorials popped up on the Bowery; and his last gallery, Peres Project of LA and Berlin, joined forces with Deitch Projects in New York to organize a memorial exhibition, which will be open for… Read More
As Venice settles down to a calmer flow of visitors to the Biennale throughout the summer, the art-world caravan has journeyed to Switzerland for the 40th edition of the world’s most prestigious fair, Art Basel. Collectors stormed the booths of their favorite galleries at the preview, making quick acquisitions of high quality modern and contemporary art.
More than 300 international galleries are showing work in a variety of media by more than 2,500 artists. With the exception of the sections of the fair offering emerging art and experimental projects, most dealers have been cautious to bring the best work by known artists — a strategy that is already paying… Read More