Shelf Life


Next week, at its Next Generation dinner on November 6, the New Museum is raffling off a library curated by its Artistic Director Massimiliano Gioni—a whopping 100 volumes selected from the archives of the publisher Phaidon. Here, he gives lets us in on the ten books that he deems absolutely essential.


Warhol: Paintings and Sculpture Vols. 1–4, Catalogue Raisonné

“Warhol’s dictate to ‘Always leave them wanting less’ has become my curatorial motto. The catalogue raisonné takes his maximalism to whole new levels.”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


Gilbert & George

“I can never get enough of their living sculptures. And no artist has ever been so drunk and so stylish at the same time.”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


Mike Kelley

“This was the first Phaidon monograph I ever bought. (Actually, I stole it—but don’t tell anyone.) Paint Shitter & Proud… you can’t really beat that.”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


The Story of Art (pocket edition)

“‘There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists.’ Best opening line ever.”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State

“If you have delusions of grandeur and dictatorial tendencies—as any good curator or artist does—this book is for you.”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


Massimo Bottura: Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef

“Never trust a curator who doesn’t eat properly.”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


They Called Her Styrene, Etc.

“Probably one of the best book titles of all time.”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


Agnes Martin: Paintings, Writings, Remembrances

“Less colorful but more blissful than Fifty Shades of Grey…”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.


Boring Postcards

“Martin Parr is a genius. Isn’t boredom just happiness stripped of any desire?”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.



“Dada, the gateway drug for so many artists and art lovers, succinctly explained in all its madness. As Tristan Tzara stated, ‘DADA is our intensity…’ ”

Photo courtesy Phaidon.