The Book as Collector’s Item
In the past we discussed books about inspiring collectors, impressive collections and about the art of collecting. Yet what we haven’t talked about is the book as a collectable item. Books about art that become art themselves – an interesting genre mostly referred to as "the collector’s edition". We have selected two collector’s editions that we would like to present to you: one in sumo, one in pocket format - both equally impressive.
Annie Leibovitz, Taschen
In spring 2014, Taschen has published a book about one of the most iconic photographers of our time - Annie Leibovitz. And what better way is there to live up to the artist’s grandeur than to go with a SUMO format? Fact is: this book will most probably not fit into your bookshelf. Therefore it comes with its very own book stand that makes it even more pleasant to browse through 40 years of Annie Leibovitz’s impressive work. The reader will come across well-know pictures such as the portrait of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, personal reportages for Rolling Stone magazine and even unseen material. Furthermore, an additional book contains essays by critics such as Hans Ulrich Obrist and Paul Roth and other texts that serve to accompany the 250 photographs. To make the book instantly recognisable as a piece of art, readers (or let’s rather say collectors) can choose between dust jackets designed by Whoopi Goldberg, Patti Smith, David Byrne or Keith Haring. The publication is limited to a total of 10,000 signed and numbered copies.
Tacita Dean: 66 DEAD 4/5 leafed clovers, Phaidon Press
Smaller in format but just as appealing is Phaidon’s publication on the works of acclaimed contemporary artist Tacita Dean that appeared as a limited collector’s edition in 2008. The aesthetically assembled “item” consists of an artists book and a photograph of an envelope that Dean has kept for over 30 years (this mysterious envelope has to do with her clover collection that she started as a child - to give you a small hint). In 100 color and 25 black and white illustrations, the hard cover book documents the artist’s past work including projects like FLOH (2002), a collection of photographs found on fleas markets, and a Jukebox (2000) playing ambient sound recorded around the world on the millennium night. The book also includes written pieces, poems and an interview with the artist, in which she talks about the recurring and important theme of chance in her works. All 45 copies are signed and numbered by Tacita Dean. At the time of writing there is only one copy left.