Skira has always been synonymous with art books and books on art, with the historical and critical rigour of its essays, with creative graphic design and unwavering focus on the technical quality of images and packaging. It is a commitment that today translates into a multi-faceted offering of publishing products and series covering art from all periods and all countries.
There are the fundamental books that explore the masterpieces of global art with extraordinary details at life size, the monographs authored by outstanding personalities in the field, as well as the inventories and catalogues of major public and private collections.
Then there are the MAXI editions – rich yet compact summaries of movements, moments, tendencies and genres of the art scene – and the Skira Masters, practical, essential monographs dedicated to the leading lights of painting, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century, not forgetting the SMArt (“Skira Mini Art books”), pocket-sized and affordable to all but with all the high quality of a true art book. A dedicated imprint, Skira Kids, marks out the line intended for children taking their first steps into the magical world of art: colouring books, guides to cities and artistic places, fairy tales and stories to allow them discover Leonardo’s machines or Arcimboldo’s oddities or the landscapes of Monet. In the finest Skira tradition, a new Limited Edition series was launched, aimed at bibliophiles, collectors and art enthusiasts, signalling a return to the publishing house’s origins with precious, numbered editions.
These are study tools destined to become reference works for scholars, collectors and the wider market. Skira puts together key repertories ranging from the followers of Leonardo and Caravaggio to the exponents of American Abstraction, as well as inventories of extraordinary public and private collections and the catalogues raisonnés of great French artists (Gauguin, Pissarro, Marquet, Vuillard) along with those of the Italian protagonists on the international scene of modern and contemporary art, including Fontana, Manzoni, Castellani, Marino Marini, Melotti, Rotella, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Paolini, Bonalumi, Scheggi. Conceived in partnership with the estates and archives of the artists, foundations, gallery owners and art dealers, and produced by a team of copy editors, graphic designers and a technical department with internationally respected levels of expertise and specialisation, the reference works constitute a touchstone of the publishing house and one of its most important ranges.
Ancient Egypt, Greek, Etruscan and Roman art, the Islamic civilisation, India, Japan, China, and Tibet, the great African sculpture, pre-Columbian America, ethnic jewellery: these are true reference works thanks to the quality of their texts and images and the thoroughness of their inventories, making them indispensable tools for scholars, collectors and the market as a whole. Indeed, fascinating atlases of the world’s cultures.
A line of major monographs dedicated to great names of the Modern Movement and to by now “historicised” contemporary figures (from Adolf Loos to R. Buckminster Fuller, Giuseppe Terragni to Marco Zanuso, Aldo Rossi to Álvaro Siza), and another series of more agile, accessible monographs – aimed, in the main, at students – that concentrate on documenting the most recent works by international architects and the new architectural landscape of the great metropolises (New York, Tokyo, Beijing, as well as Rome and the Milan of the Expo). The monographs are flanked by dictionaries, collections of writings and a series of essays authored by outstanding scholars such as Christian Norberg-Schulz, Kenneth Frampton, Christoph Liutpold Frommel, Werner Oechslin, Vittorio Gregotti. Skira’s systematic catalogues and monographs on design and the applied arts are also considered crucial references for scholars and collectors alike: glass, fabrics, jewellery, ceramics, furniture, and watches are all inventoried, documented and reproduced with the publishing house’s customary quality and accuracy.
The final decades of the twentieth century and the first years of the third millennium have signalled the definitive consecration of photography as a “high” art form. The success of exhibitions and the market values achieved by the works of outstanding photographers clearly reflect this shift; furthermore, the use of photography by many contemporary artists has blurred the line and made increasingly complex the relationship between photography and the other artistic disciplines.
Skira has intensified and systematised its presence as a publisher in this rapidly expanding sector, underlining its enhanced commitment through the creation of a dedicated imprint, Skira Photography, which was inaugurated with a series of international monographs devoted both to historic masters and to those at the forefront of the contemporary scene. Weston, Steichen, Chappell, McCullin, Mapplethorpe, Moriyama, Sugimoto, Morimura, Izu, Araki, Bailey, Greenfield-Sanders, Hütte, Weber, Kenna, Ruff, Monti, Rotunno, Mulas, Jodice, Basilico, Gastel, Storaro, in addition to a lavish, authoritative and fully documented History of Photography from its origins to the present day.
Cinema and theatre, music and sport, but also politics and industry: portraits of the leading names, always marked out by the customary trademark visual quality of Skira’s art books.
Eleonora Duse and Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, Luciano Pavarotti and the Beatles, Pink Floyd’s extraordinary story of music and personalities, Federico Fellini, Giorgio Strehler and Paolo Sorrentino, Futurist photography and cinema and the history of comic and satirical song in Italy.
The history of fashion, the illustrious designers and the great fashion houses. The pieces, the garments, the fabrics produced by the most celebrated Italian and international names: Ferré, Capucci, Coveri, Ferragamo, Loro Piana, Zegna, Vuitton, Dior, Moschino, Chanel, and Pucci; the jewellery created by Cartier, Bulgari and Buccellati, but also the traditional dress of North Africa and the fashions in Napoleon’s era.
The Skira Art Library plays host to collections of essays by leading international academics, from Francis Haskell to Pierre Rosenberg, Giuliano Briganti to Carlo Bertelli, Alvar González-Palacios to Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, Giulio Carlo Argan to Federico Zeri, as well as numerous cutting-edge contemporary critics. The Skira Paperbacks are devoted to debate and reflection upon the art of today, with Gillo Dorfles being flanked by Achille Bonito Oliva, Germano Celant, Lea Vergine. The series also takes in the autobiography of the great art dealer and collector Ernst Beyeler as well as Jean Clair’s polemic on the crisis of the museums. The range is completed by the SMS series, with cult titles such as Walter Benjamin’s Short History of Photography and Jean Clair’s 40-page miniature masterpiece, the Short History of Modern Art.
Skira entered the world of fiction publishing in May 2009 through two main series, Skira Fiction and Stories, the former in hardcover and the latter in paperback, both as accurately put together as the publishing house’s core titles. The two series have both carved out their own significant space within the strategy of the publisher and on retail bookshelves. Some of the most high-profile names include famous writers of the past such as Hawthorne, Mérimée, Dickens, Poe, Pirandello, Colette, Yasushi Inoue, and Rebecca West, together with heavy hitters of the contemporary scene such as Andrea Camilleri, Aldo Nove, Simonetta Agnello Hornby, Maurizio de Giovanni, Hans Tuzzi, Antonia Arslan, Edgarda Ferri, Masolino d’Amico, and Carlo Lucarelli.
A large part of the new fiction titles and essay collections brought out by Skira are available as downloadable e-books that can be read on all readers, tablets and smartphones running Mac OS or Android.
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