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Annie Leibovitz, Bigger Than Ever

Culture Watch
The new "Annie Leibovitz" book from Taschen is a limited edition oversized art object available at Books & Books Bal Harbour.

Undoubtedly one of Taschen’s crown jewels, SUMO, by Helmut Newton, is a collector’s item and a prized possession of the lucky owner’s of that monumental printed masterpiece. Book fanatics, get ready to place your order on the next SUMO-sized prize: “Annie Leibovitz,” a limited edition art object available at Books & Books Bal Harbour.

The project took several years to develop and proved to be revelatory. In a limited edition of 10,000 numbered copies, each signed by Annie Leibovitz (9,000 Collector’s Editions and 1,000 Art Editions), Leibovitz drew from over 40 years of work, starting with the viscerally intimate reportage she created for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s and extending through the more stylized portraiture of her work for Vanity Fair and Vogue. Celebrated images such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono entwined in a last embrace are printed alongside portraits that have rarely, and sometimes never before, been seen.

Annie Leibovitz was able to present some of her famous group portraits in a format that proves that she is the master of the genre. Her pictures are at once intimate and iconic, wide-ranging stylistically and also uniquely hers. Annie Leibovitz is often imitated, particularly by younger photographers, but her work is somehow immediately recognizable. 

The bookends of the Leibovitz collection are the black-and-white photograph of Richard Nixon’s helicopter lifting off from the White House lawn after he resigned as president in 1974 and the formal color portrait of Queen Elizabeth II taken in a drawing room of Buckingham Palace in 2007.

In between are portraits that make up a family album of our time: actors, dancers, comedians, musicians, artists, writers, performance artists, journalists, athletes, businesspeople. Performance and power are recurring themes. A supplementary book contains essays by Annie Leibovitz, Graydon Carter, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Paul Roth and short texts describing the subjects of each of the over 250 photographs.

Additional details truly make this book a work of art: the stand, manufactured in Italy, is designed by the celebrated designer Marc Newson and the paper used for the book is no longer on the market, and was produced especialy for Taschen.

This limited-edition art object is available at Books & Books Bal Harbour, with the David Byrne cover—one of four versions available—while supplies last.

 

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