Phaidon and Christie’s present 100 Years of Creativity
A Century of Bookmaking at Phaidon
You probably know that Phaidon is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
However, you may not know that as part of those celebrations we have opened up our archives for a very special exhibition at Christie’s, Rockefeller Center, New York which runs from today September 5 – 18.
100 Years of Creativity: A Century of Bookmaking at Phaidon brings together over 150 of the most influential Phaidon books published from the 1920s to present day. Set to run alongside Christie’s marquee Asian Art Week, the New York exhibition will travel to London next month.
100 Years of Creativity will commemorate the inspired and inspiring books that have changed culture at large, from Phaidon’s first full-color, accessible artist monograph on Vincent van Gogh, published in 1951, to the Phaidon books featuring the opinion formers, leading brands, and thought leaders of today, including: Mickalene Thomas, Grace Coddington, Massimo Bottura, JR, Rihanna, Annie Leibovitz, Nike, and Supreme, among many others. The exhibition will also examine the art of bookmaking through the lens of Phaidon’s signature boundary-pushing, yet timeless, designs.
"This fall, Christie’s looks forward to welcoming collectors, scholars and art and design enthusiasts to our Rockefeller Center galleries so they can experience first-hand the rich and diverse world of this esteemed and pioneering publishing house," said Bonnie Brennan, President, Christie’s Americas. "It is an honor for Christie’s to celebrate the centenary of Phaidon with whom we have had the pleasure of collaborating throughout the years."
The books in 100 Years of Creativity will chart key milestones in publishing history. A first edition of E.H. Gombrich’s landmark The Story of Art (1950), which has sold more than 8 million copies in 40 languages, will appear alongside the recent bestseller Great (Women) Artists. A section dedicated to the acclaimed Contemporary Artist Series, Phaidon’s longest-running series of nearly 30 years and 108 books strong, will showcase early editions in the series, focusing on artists such as Alex Katz, Nancy Spero, and Yayoi Kusama; alongside forthcoming publications from Rashid Johnson, KAWS, and Dana Schutz.
Limited edition entries include Rihanna: Luxury Supreme, an oversized edition of the 2019 book atop a bookstand sculpture designed by the Haas brothers that weighs 126 lbs (57 kg) and is plated in 18-carat gold. Meanwhile, rare, out-of-print books from Phaidon’s archives include 1930s surveys and monographs on the Italian Renaissance, Velazquez, and Michelangelo. Other categories feature beautiful books for children and genre-defining culinary titles, such as The Silver Spoon (2005), the seminal Italian cookbook that has been printed in 15 languages and which has sold more than 1.5 million copies.
Complementing the exhibition will be a Reading Room curated by interior designer Nina Magon, founder and principal of Nina Magon Studio. Author of the new book Evoke (Monacelli, October 2023), Magon will create an interactive space where guests can take a moment to experience many of the books included in the exhibition, as well as enjoy a sneak preview of select forthcoming titles.
There will also be a wall dedicated to the many editions that Artspace, a Phaidon company, has created in collaboration with world renowned artists. These include editions by: Rashid Johnson, Dana Schutz, Cecily Brown, Adam Pendleton, Gaetano Pesce, Marilyn Minter, Jonas Wood, Lubaina Himid, Florian Krewer, and Elliott Erwitt, among many others.
Meanwhile, Going Once, a book marking 250 years of culture and collecting at Christie’s, will be on view, alongside books featuring leading artists, photographers, and designers including Nan Goldin, Yoshitomo Nara, Anni & Josef Albers, Paul Smith, Steven Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, and many more. A dedicated section on award-winning books such as Iro, winner of D&AD and the ADC Design Awards, will explore the multifaceted and unexpected forms that books can take.
"A century after Phaidon’s formation, one thing hasn’t changed: our belief that books should enlighten, delight, and inspire," said Phaidon CEO Keith Fox. "100 Years of Creativity will tell the story of how our books championed the great creative voices that defined the last 100 years."
The Christie’s exhibition will be accompanied by a Phaidon anniversary book, also entitled 100 Years of Creativity. The hardcover volume will present original, visual contributions from 100 living artists, writers, designers, architects, illustrators, and chefs currently and previously published by Phaidon, including photographers Stephen Shore and Catherine Opie, chefs Ferran Adrià and Manu Buffara, artists Lorna Simpson and Sarah Sze, and designers Dieter Rams and Bruce Mau, among others. As a limited edition of 1,000 copies, the book will only be available as a gift from the publisher or via select anniversary partners.
Phaidon was founded in Vienna by Dr Béla Horovitz, Frederick "Fritz" Ungar, and Ludwig Goldscheider, who named the company after Phaedo of Elis, a pupil of Socrates. Their vision was to create elegantly produced, accessibly priced art books — something that had not been done before. Today, Phaidon is the leading global publisher in the creative arts with a total of 50 million books sold in 40 languages and with 1,500 titles currently in print.