Monday, August 31, 2009

Little Sumo

Helmut Newton, at right, with publisher Benedikt Taschen in 1999.

While we're on the subject of the late Helmut Newton (1920-2004), it's worth noting that next month sees Taschen's tenth-anniversary re-release of SUMO, a behemoth collection of approximately 400 of Newton's photographs, which covered the full spectrum of the influential photographer's career and included many images never before seen.

(worthy of its name at 464 pages, dimensions of 20 x 27.5 inches and a 66-pound heft) was first published in 1999 in a limited run of 10,000 copies, each personally signed by Newton and accompanied by a stand custom designed by Philippe Starck.

The original tome quickly sold out at $15,000 a pop, and has subsequently become highly sought after by collectors, with copy number one selling at German auction in early 2000 for the equivalent of $430,000. A copy is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Taschen's revised hardcover re-release, which coincides with this summer's exhibition of images from the original book at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, will be smaller (10 x 15 inches) and decidedly more affordable ($150). More modest, maybe, but as Newton's photos attest, no doubt still packing a big punch.

The new edition of SUMO can be pre-ordered now through Taschen's website, here.

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