And you thought 2020 was intense! 2021 has put us all, as creatives, through trials and tribulations aplenty.
However, the escapism of a book – especially one that is beautifully designed – can be the most soothing of tonics. Here are some of our favourites of the year.
Lucien Boucher’s 1920s Parisian Shop Front Lithographs Are Infused with an Update
Originally published alongside surreal prose poems by Pierre Mac Orlan, Boucher’s lithographs of Parisian shop fronts are rare and sought after.
This year sees a new version, published by The Mainstone Press, which brings together 37 of the artist’s lithographs, which are no less vibrant or amusing now than they were almost 100 years ago.
Both childish yet adult and complex, Boucher’s lithographs capture a bygone era in Paris’ visual culture, celebrating the architecture, typography, arcades and window displays that characterised the city in the 1920s. This was truly the beginning of the modern lifestyle we have all become accustomed too and sat centre stage in much surrealist French literature during the celebrated era.
Taschen Publish Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Unfulfilled Dream to Wrap the Arc de Triomphe
“Fabric is like a second skin,” said Bulgarian-born artist Christo. “Even when I obstruct the normal view of things, I am creating something invitational. Using fabric is not like building a brick wall which is by its very nature intimidating or arrogant; fabric is a sensual medium that tantalises us to look beyond it.”
The couple dreamt up the project whilst renting a little apartment near the monument in 1961. They recorded and planned the project at length, all of which is presented beautifully in the Taschen book. The book includes original sketches, technical data, and exclusive photography, all of which culminate in a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of this artwork.
Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings: The Most Extensive Frida Kahlo Study To Date
The book is an emblem of both the unmistakable face, life and work of the iconic Mexican painter.
Amounting 152 pages, the publication by Taschen displays the most extensive Frida Kahlo study to date. The book compiles a vast selection of Kahlo’s paintings, diary pages, letters, an illustrated biography, plus rarely seen photographs from Edward Weston, Manuel Lola Álvarez Bravo, Nickolas Muray and Martin Munkácsi.