Though an American edition is due out in early April, fashion insiders and magazine mavens can’t wait for Alexey Brodovitch, Editions Assouline’s luxe portfolio of the influential art director’s work. The book’s French version, lugged back by design diehards, was on chic Manhattan coffee tables for the holidays and is sure to migrate to art directors’ layout boards this month. The attraction: Brodovitch as raw material, inspiration distilled. Like Helmut Newton’s Pages From the Glossies, this is a book of magazine spreads that’s not just for ephemera cultists.
Editor Gabriel Bauret has chosen more than 60 of Brodovitch’s most inventive layouts for Harper’s Bazaar between 1934 and 1958, when he used its pages as a showcase for his sleek, sophisticated take on European avant-garde design and for a stable of photographers that included Richard Avedon, Bill Brandt, Man Ray, Erwin Blumenfeld, Martin Munkacsi, and Lillian Bassman. Brodovitch’s moment at Bazaar is so legendary it still reverberates; he didn’t just create one of the great American magazines, he conjured a style that looks quintessentially modern more than half a century later.
Also on the shopping list: The Man in the Crowd (Fraenkel/ D.A.P., $50), a collection of Garry Winogrand’s brilliant, unsettling street photographs that coincides with a show at San Francisco’s Fraenkel Gallery. Take it along to the Philip-Lorca diCorcia show to compare streetscape visions, and don’t miss Fran Lebowitz’s brief intro. “At least part of all art should be a question,” she says. “Everything now is all answer.” The January W includes 16 pages by British photographer Martin Parr on the New York art world. No revelations here (unless you expected Mary Boone to be an angel of mercy), but plenty of sly swipes. Finally, the pop-up, foldout collector’s item of 1998 is back in print. Damien Hirst’s mammoth I Want To Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, With Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now (Monacelli, $125), which disappeared quickly last year, is back to alarm and amuse.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 5, 1999