In November 2009 Rizzoli will publish The Velvet Underground: A New York Art, the first ever monograph devoted to a rock band.
Guided and in some ways created by their mentor and collaborator Andy Warhol, The Velvets were artwork as much as artists. They were the first act to explicitly merge pop culture and the fine arts, collapsing the border between "high" and "low" forms of entertainment. It wasn’t just about the music and the lyrics but the way they were presented: the sleeve designs, the performances, the photographs, and everything else besides. A New York Art celebrates the band’s far-reaching, multi-disciplinary creative vision.
The book focuses on the band’s early years, when they were at their most radical and refreshing. It includes never-before-seen photographs of the band’s first live show in New York as well as Warhol’s familiar sleeve art and poster designs, Lou Reed and John Cale’s handwritten music and lyrics, plus flyers, handbills and underground press clippings, not to mention additional text and visual material from the likes of Lester Bangs, Richard Meltzer and Jonathan Richman. Rizzoli promise "a uniquely comprehensive survey of the first rock group ever to transcend the genre and embrace underground popular culture."
Edited by Johan Kugelberg, who curated the acclaimed 2007 exhibition c/o The Velvet Underground, New York NY, the handsomely presented book is introduced by Velvets Lou Reed and Maureen Tucker and boasts an introduction by Vaclav Havel (playwright, author and, er, first president of the Czech Republic). Doug Yule, Sterling Morrison and Jon Savage also contribute.
The 9"x12" hardcover edition is comprised of 320 pages, with 280 colour and b/w illustrations, at RRP £35 ($50 US, $62 Canadian) or £24 via Amazon pre-order .