A tribute to one of the 20th century’s most influential, intriguing and controversial photographers
SUMO was a titanic book in every respect: it broke records for weight, dimensions, and resale price.
Helmut Newton (1920–2004) always demonstrated a healthy disdain for easy or predictable solutions. SUMO—a bold and unprecedented publishing venture—was an irresistible project. The idea of a spectacular compendium of images, a book with the dimensions of a private exhibition, reproduced to exceptional page size and to state-of-the-art origination and printing standards, emerged from an open, exploratory dialogue between photographer and publisher.
With the physically commanding SUMO weighing in—boxed and shrink-wrapped—at 35.4 kilos, Newton created a landmark book that stood head and shoulders above anything previously attempted, both in terms of conceptual extravagance and technical specifications.
Published in an edition of 10,000 signed and numbered copies, SUMO sold out soon after publication and quickly multiplied its value. This worldwide publishing sensation now features in numerous important collections around the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Legendary SUMO copy number one, autographed by over 100 of the book’s featured celebrities, also broke the record for the most expensive book published in the 20th century, selling at auction in Berlin on April 6, 2000 for 620,000 German Marks – approximately € 317,000.
SUMO established new standards for the art monograph genre, and secured a prominent place in photo-book history. This new edition, carefully revised by June Newton, is the fulfillment of an ambition conceived some years ago by Helmut Newton. He would surely be pleased that, a decade on from its first publication, SUMO—now in a format that allows for a more democratic distribution—will reach the widest possible audience.
However, proud owners of the new edition won’t wrestle with their copy of SUMO. It comes with a unique stand for displaying the book at home.
Helmut Newton(1920 – 2004) was one of the most influential photographers of all time. He first achieved international fame in the 1970s while working principally for French Vogue, and became celebrated for his controversial scenarios, bold lighting, and striking compositions in street or interior settings, rather than studios. His many titles and awards included Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Helmut Newton Hardcover with booklet and book stand, 10.5 x 14.7 in., 464 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-1730-0 Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
“Since I own every TASCHEN book it is a very difficult choice, but my favorite is Helmut Newton’s… Maybe because it was the first of its kind and Helmut signed it to me personally: For Brett, A Fellow Traveller.”
Illustration: Robert Nippoldt
December 04, 2015 - May 22, 2016
Helmut Newton: Pages from the Glossies
Helmut Newton Stiftung, Museum für Fotografie, Jebensstraße 2, 10623 Berlin, Germany