Assouline and their luxury books
The Assouline brothers realized the need for luxury books, especially art books, and founded the company that bears their name in Paris, in 1994. Nine years later, they moved the publishing house to New York, from where they operate for the rest of the world.
Assouline specializes in books dedicated to the fine arts, but in their catalog you can find beautiful books on gastronomy, photography, architecture, design, fashion, travel and lifestyle.
In the United States, Assouline books are sold in department stores such as Bergdorf, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and in bookstores like Books & Books in Coral Gables, where there is a room especially dedicated to this collection.
We particularly recommend two valuable titles: Manolo Valdés, a monograph on the Spanish artist with English text by David Ebony ($95), and Ballets Russes ($750), a true editorial gem.
Other Assouline books that you should have in your library:
The Impossible Collection of Art. Limited Edition ($695). In English, with 100 images of the most outstanding works of art of the XX century, curated by Philippe Segalot and Frank Giraud.
The Impossible Collection of Fashion ($695). The most iconic dresses of the last century, selected by Valerie Steele, Director and Head Curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
The Impossible Collection of Cars ($695), the author is Dan Neil. The 100 most beautiful cars of the XX century.
Another wonder of the bibliography of good taste are the books of the Taschen publishing group.
We have selected three of the most exquisite editions to delight our readers.
Pinxit. Mark Ryden. Limited edition of 1000 copies, 14 x 19 inches. Hard cover in a box ($1,000). Each copy is numbered and signed by the artist. Collector´s edition. Monograph in large format, with gold relief embossing in the front. Leather spine.
You can´t find a more exquisite present for that very special person, someone who can appreciate such refinement.
The pages of this book are devoted to the themes of the most important of Ryden’s exhibitions, with commentaries by experts in the field, such as Yoshitomo Nara, Carlo McCormick and Kristine McKenna.
Mark Ryden (United States, 1963) is well known for his delicate depictions of little girls with big piercing eyes and sad innocent stares, sometimes cheerful, but seemingly hiding some deep secret that we shall never uncover. Their innocence hurts, and it can be cruel and macabre.
It has been said that Ryden belongs to the category of pop surrealism; although without a doubt he is a descendant of the conceptual art of Duchamp and Sol Lewitt, and is closer to Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington than to Dali or Magritte. His position, half way between what is considered serious art and popular art, has been much imitated and at times even called “kitsch.”
At any rate, Taschen, which never publishes books that don´t have a real artistic value, dared to publish this ultra-luxurious edition called Pinxit, which in Latin means, “painted by.”
Olafur Eliasson and globalization
Another fascinating book from this publishing house is Studio Olafur Eliasson, An Encyclopedia (Taschen, 2008), which even though it is short and unostentatious, its value is incalculable. ($39.99). 532 pages. It is published in English, French and German.
The installations, sculptures, photographs and architectural projects of the young Danish artist, Eliasson (Copenhagen, 1967), have been exhibited in the most important art centers of the world, among them: the Venice Biennial (2003), the Tate Museum in London, the Museums of Modern Art in New York, Sydney and San Francisco and the Contemporary Art Museums of Chicago, Tokyo, Paris and Berlin.
Taschen wanted to offer this anthology of his study projects in Berlin with an introduction by art historian Philip Ursprung (Baltimore, 1963), in which he explains the way Eliasson and his colleagues work in a space where visitors and students can see, in all its dimensions, the working process of a project. Just as it happened at Andy Warhol´s The Factory, at Eliasson´s atelier, artists work at all hours in various disciplines.
In his essay, Ursprung explains the efficiency of the globalized world that Eliasson achieved in his studio in Berlin, a city where several artists have moved due to the facilities they find in this urban center.
Monograph of Experimental Architecture
If you want to regale your eyes with a magic journey through the works of Spanish architect Félix Candela (1910-1997), order without delay this monograph simply titled Candela (Taschen) with 120 images of the buildings designed by this talented Spanish architect who developed his career in Mexico.
The critical essay written by art historian Enrique X. de Anda Alanís takes us by the hand through the structural experiments with reinforced concrete conducted by Candela.
With vaults, industrial buildings, churches, universities and restaurants of poetic shapes, this extraordinary expressionist architect embellished cities and towns in the land of the Aztecs.
One of Candela´s more renowned buildings is the restaurant Los Manantiales de Xochimilco in Mexico City, an octagonal structure revolutionary for its parabolic roof made of eight components. Published in English, 96 pages. ($9.99). ■