A vast “warehouse sale” of collectable Taschen books starts today, featuring work by Ren Hang, Georgia O’Keeffe, Wolfgang Tillmans and more
In 2020, Taschen celebrated 40 years of publishing some of the world’s most sought-after art books. Founded by its namesake Benedikt Taschen in 1980, the company began as a comic book publisher before expanding its remit to other creative realms. In the four decades since, its released everything from iconic fashion tomes and scintillating erotic books to architectural surveys and highly-collectable artist profiles. With a renegade ethos that “there is no forbidden art,” Taschen has historically shone a light on subjects many other publishers have overlooked. “My greatest joy here is to take a photographer or artist who never got any respect [from the art world], make a beautiful book about them, and see the joy it brings them to be elevated on the world stage,” Taschen once said.
Today, the publishing mainstay is opening its doors for a “huge warehouse sale” which will see some of its most treasured titles available to buy for up to 75 per cent off. Running for just three days, between 27-30 January, the sale will take place in both Taschen’s physical locations – on Brook Street and Duke of York Square in London – and also online. There’s something for everyone in the selection, which spans the subjects of photography, fashion, design, art, and subculture, and includes titles on the likes of Andy Warhol, Ren Hang, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Stanley Kubrick, Nobuyoshi Araki, Naomi Campbell, and much more. Here, AnOther has hand-picked six of the best books featured in the sale.
A must-have for photography book lovers, this publication is the only international collection of works by visionary Chinese image-maker Ren Hang, who tragically committed suicide in 2017. Beautiful, explicit, and full of emotion, the book brings together some of Hang’s most iconic images as well as lesser-known works across 300 vivid pages. An immersion into Hang’s world, the book features his subjects naked in nature, sexually aroused, or artfully tangled together in sculptural formations. The book is a celebration of the singular vision of the late artist, who was – inadvertently – at the forefront of a battle for creative freedom in a highly-censored China. “I don’t really view my work as taboo, because I don’t think so much in cultural context or political context,” Hang once said. “I don’t intentionally push boundaries. I just do what I do.”
This beautiful book charts the seven-decade career of the “mother of American modernism”, Georgia O’Keeffe, surveying her majestic paintings of magnified flowers, animal skulls, and New Mexico desert landscapes. Following the artist through her manifold creative breakthroughs and travels to Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, and New Mexico, the book traces the rise of O’Keeffe’s unique artistic vision, which sought to capture abstract forms in nature. Though O’Keeffe’s life was one of struggle – punctuated by spells of debilitating mental health struggles, hospitalisations, and controversies connected to her fraught marriage to Alfred Stieglitz – the artist was widely celebrated in her lifetime, making history in 1946 as the first female artist to be given a solo show at the MoMA in New York. In 2014, her 1932 painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 was the most expensive painting by a female artist ever sold at auction.
Two of New York’s most significant creative forces, Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat, shared a brief but intense five-year friendship in the 1980s. Warhol, then in his fifties, was already an icon of the New York art scene and an international figure, while a young Basquiat was on the rise, having made waves with his graffiti works under his tag SAMO. Created in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s estate, this book documents the pair’s relationship through diary entries and hundreds of photographs of Basquiat taken by Warhol, featuring characters like Madonna, Grace Jones, Keith Haring, and Fela Kuti. The book is a tender document of male friendship, capturing not only the two artist’s creative collaborations, but also the duo simply hanging out – working out in Warhol’s studio, eating Chinese food together, and even getting manicures.
It’s a fact that the male nude has not been as widely celebrated – or indeed scrutinised – as its feminine counterpart. A gem in Tachen’s ‘sexy books’ wing, this book aims to redress the imbalance, paying ode to the male physique through a sprawling history which ranges from anonymous 19th century erotica through to contemporary work from David Hockney and Duane Michals. Encompassing “the classic, the playful, and the provocative”, the book also features photography by the likes of Herbert List, George Platt Lynes and Robert Mapplethorpe, plus illustrations from the pioneering 1950s “beefcake” magazine Physique Pictorial.
Cinematic and captivatingly raw, Peter Lindbergh’s seminal black-and-white photographs revolutionised fashion photography forever. “This should be the responsibility of photographers today to free women, and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection,” he once said of his approach, which sought to celebrate the grit and imperfection of his subjects. “If you take out the fashion and the artifice, you can then see the real person.” This book documents the first and only exhibition curated by the late photographer, who put together the show before his untimely death in 2019. The book includes a tribute by close friend Wim Wenders and imagery from across Lindbergh’s trailblazing career, featuring faces like Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Robin Wright, Jessica Chastain, Jeanne Moreau, Naomi Campbell, Charlotte Rampling and many more.
Released as part of Taschen’s 40th celebrations, this book binds together Wolfgang Tillmans’ previous four titles with the publisher, together forming one stream of “intersecting perspectives on life around the turn of the millenium.” From early portraits of his friends to still lifes, travel shots, nudes, landscape and sky photographs, to his abstract work, the book is a comprehensive survey of the German artist's work and a celebration of his diverse approach to the medium of photography.
Taschen’s Warehouse Sale runs from January 27-30 in stores and online.