Fairs | September 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

NY Art Book Fair Returns

Back for its sixth year, the NY Art Book Fair, presented by Printed Matter, will be held this upcoming weekend from preview night on Thursday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 2. This fair, held at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, is NYC's premier event for artists' books, contemporary art monographs, and art zines. (This picture is from last year's NY Art Book Fair. Courtesy of Printed Matter, 2010.)

More than two hundred exhibitors will feature their work to browsing attendees, who might also pop in to the "Classroom," a curated series of informal conversations and workshops led by artists and organized by David Senior of the Museum of Modern Art. More serious folks will join the two-day contemporary artists' books conference, focused on emerging practices and debates within art-book culture. Tauba Auerbach will give the keynote. A new addition to the fair this year is the "Schoolyard," an international selection of more than sixty zinesters and independent artists under a big tent in the MoMA PS1 courtyard. Exhibitors there include Cinders, Fluens Forlag and Flâneur (both Brooklyn); Goteblüd, Needles & Pens (both San Francisco, CA); and ZINE'S MATE (Japan). Of these, twelve will continue the tradition of Friendly Fire (politically-minded artists), curated by Max Schumann. AA Bronson, the fair's director and president of Printed Matter, told me he expects this feature to be "super popular and busy."
Photobooks, ever gaining in popularity, will be highlighted. Said Bronson, "This year's fair very much focuses on photography books. There is a special section called "Focus: Photography" with eighteen exhibitors in Galleries L/M/N on the third floor, including Dashwood Books, Aperture (both New York), Steidl + Mack, Morel Books (both London), Fantom (from Milan) and more. In addition, Printed Matter presents the exhibition "Artists' Photography Books" in Gallery C on the ground floor, curated by the notable Zurich collector Christoph Schifferli and drawn from the collection of Philip Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons.

For collectors of artists' books, photobooks, zines, and the like, this is a fair not to miss. Even for more "traditional" antiquarian book and ephemera collectors, a handful of dealers will be on hand as well. Royal Books, for example, will be exhibiting at this fair for the first time. According to Royal's John McDonald, they are bringing art and photo books and "a number of cinema-related ephemera, including film stills, pressbooks, programs, and scripts."