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    "A Cabinet of Irresistible Curiosities"

    [Visionaire]. [Karl Lagerfeld, Mario Testino, David Byrne, Alexander McQueen, and Many More, Contributors]. Stephen Gan, Editor-in-Chief. A Remarkable Collection of Visionaire, a Continuous Run of the First Fifty-Six Installments of the Groundbreaking Art Publication. New York: Visionaire Publishing, 1991-2009. Numbers One through Fifty-Six. Limited editions of varying quantity, all numbered.

    Defined as "a multi-format album of fashion and art," Visionaire first appeared in 1991 as a collaboration between Stephen Gan, Cecilia Dean and James Kaliardos. Each issue has a central theme, from erotica to religion, as concrete as the five senses or as conceptual as dreams. These themes manifest themselves in wildly different ways. Early issues vaguely resembled a magazine: they were printed on paper, image-focused, and contained features on contemporary art, fashion and culture. But it's clear the founders of Visionaire had a baroque vision for a new kind of publication. Later issues take the form of, among other things, a dress pattern, a jigsaw puzzle, or a set of toys.

    The minds behind Visionaire began their careers in fashion, and fashion remains their central focus. Photography staples like Mario Testino, Steven Meisel and Inez and Vinoodh are longstanding partners. As its reputation grew, fashion brands became sponsors: more than one issue bears the Louis Vuitton monogram, issue 54 is housed in an Hermes leather portfolio, and Tom Ford served as guest editor when he was still at Gucci. The art world shares space with fashion in the issues of Visionaire, and artists as diverse as Francesco Clemente, R. Crumb, Ryan McGinley and Jenny Holzer have been featured.

    For all the name-dropping, the success of the publication has been in providing space for exploration. Mario Testino spoke to this idea, saying, "Visionaire is a tribute to the vision of many... it has allowed hundreds of artists a place to let images and ideas breathe a different air." The prince of the fashion set and the guest editor of issue twenty-three, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel nicely summed up the influence of Visionaire; "Fashions rise and fashions set, but Visionaire continues to shine with its unperturbed new visions, influenced by nobody, influencing them all." This collection of the first fifty-six issues, amassed by an early devotee, shows the dramatic evolution of the publication. An impressive collection in fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
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