Let me recommend some art books that I personally enjoy: the products of the publishing company Taschen.

Taschen publishing started in the eighties as the brainchild of an 18-year-old comic shop owner, Benedikt Taschen.

Since then, Taschen has become a staple of art books. Its publications cover painting, sculpture, photography, and fashion alongside, of course, product design. Taschen’s publications are meant to be accessible. Their prices are affordable and the majority sell for between $10 and $30.

These books are a joy for students who finally have access to affordable art. They’re also open to an international audience; flipping through a Taschen publication, you’ll find that the text appears in three separate languages: English, French, and German.

Taschen design books - Chairs and Design
TASCHEN Icons Design books

Taschen is also offering a Collector’s Edition.
The first edition of Helmut Newton’s SUMO, signed by more than eighty celebrities appearing in its pages, sold for $320,000 dollars at auction.

Taschen – SUMO, Helmut Newton
Taschen – SUMO, Helmut Newton

The book weighs 30kg (66lb) and comes with its table

SUMO, Helmut Newton, Yves Saint Laurent,
SUMO, Helmut Newton, Yves Saint Laurent,

Le Smoking (a tuxedo suit for women and one of the first examples of women’s trousers in modern fashion)

helmut-newton-sumo-soldoutOnly 10,000 copies were printed of the Collector’s Edition of SUMO, and these sold for €10,000 each. Note that the Taschen store displays a “SOLD OUT” sign.

Look at the image on the right, specifically at the chair with metal reinforcements. Make a guess at what year this image comes from.


In fact, it’s from the 1930s.
This tends to surprise some people since it’s such a modern-looking style. This is the LC2 armchair, concocted in 1928 by the renowned designer Le Corbusier.

Le Corbusier 1887-1965
Le Corbusier 1887-1965

If this chair doesn’t seem familiar to you at the moment, I’m betting that after you’ve studied it a little, you’ll notice its presence as soon as you begin to look for it.

You’ll probably find it in a hotel, an upscale department store, or a museum. Whatever the setting, this particular design will surely catch your eye.

Thanks to their affordability and accessibility, the Taschen publications bring a common culture to anyone involved in the world of art and design.

Do you have a particular designer that inspires you?
Let us know in the comments below.


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