New York — These are the voices of a new generation of young, contemporary artists who are bringing fresh vision to the creation of artists’ books. At the upcoming New York City Book & Ephemera Fair, March 9 & 10 at the Sheraton Central Park/Times Square Hotel, the work of these and over 40 other gifted artists and artists’ groups, will be featured in the premiere of the annual Booklyn Artists’ Book Fair, new fair-within-a-fair section devoted to artists’ books and zines.
It is the first fair of its kind in Manhattan to provide a cutting-edge alternative to the coinciding Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America Book Fair and to other art fairs happening during Manhattan’s Rare Book Week. The exhibition is curated and organized by Marshall Weber, co-founder of Booklyn, a non-profit artists’-run organization based in Brooklyn, that publishes, distributes and promotes artists’ books and zines. Booklyn actively maintains an exhibition program of prints and works on paper that addresses current social issues. All of the exhibiting artists are members of this organization.
Chilean-born, New York based artist, Maria Veronica San Martin, a studio artist at the Whitney Museum in 2017 &’18, evokes the urgency of history through its capacity to fade in memory. A major work, “In Their Memory: Human Rights Violations in Chile, 1973-1990, documents the erosion of memory deeply connected to the disappearance of War Victims in the Pinochet era. Her books take the form of sculptural memorials and spaces depicting absence, reflection and resistance. It is a protest, a cry from the heart, that asks us to remember, above all, and keep this urgent history with us as we fight against violence inherent in dictatorships today.
Pop-up artist, Colette Fu, creates exuberant, often very large, intensely colorful collapsible artists’ books that combine her own photography and paper engineering to tell a story. Fu was the recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship that enabled her to travel throughout China for six months, immersing herself in local regional cultures. “We are Tiger Dragon People” is a series of pop-up books that focus on the ethnic diversity of minority communities in Southwest China’s Yunan Province. Fu also explored the mountainous Yi landscape - a part of her own cultural heritage. An acquaintance from this region told her that there is an old saying, “although an eagle flies far into the distance, its wings are folded back.” This means that one essential goal in life is to find the path of your ancestors. And Fu has done just that!
Distinguished artist, Xu Bing, the recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Medal of Arts Award for promoting U.S. and China cultural exchange, is known to surprise and at times, shock the viewer. He creates a feeling of purity and serenity in his work. However, when looking more closely, the viewer is bewildered to realize that all is not as originally believed. His “A Book from the Sky,” is an ambitious example that made the artist famous when it was installed at the National Art Museum of China in 1989. A set of four hand-printed books--carved from wood blocks and bound in book form with delicate, thread binding-- hold a subtle surprise. The symbols making up the text are not real. Rather the artist invented 4,000 individual meaningless glyphs, laboriously carved into the woodblocks, that have no meaning. Reality is not always as it appears.
Book artist and poet, Rick Black, fell in love with the poetry of Yehuda Amichai, while working for the Associated Press and the New York Times in Jerusalem, where he resided for six years He particularly loved Amichai’s poems that dealt with family love and war. He spent ten years creating a limited-edition artist’s book, “The Amichai Windows,” of the poet’s work. The poems are letter pressed, and embossed, with some designs highlighted in gold-leaf. One memorable papercut shows the view from Amichai’s terrace, located in an old historic Jerusalem neighborhood called Talpiyat.
The fair also showcases a provocative new work from premiere cult zinester, Sofia Szamosi, called “#Me too On Instagram: One Year Later” and socially politically engaged publications from Interference Archive, and Justseeds Artists Cooperative. Swarthmore College’s “Friends, Peace and Sanctuary” will premiere collaborations between American artist bookmakers and artists, poets and artisans from the Syrian and Iraqi refugee community in Philadelphia. Booklyn will also represent the work of: Wolfgang Buchta, Ken Campbell, FLY, Candace Hicks, OccupyWall Street/Occuprint, David Sandlin, Maria Veronica San Martin, Veronika Schäpers, Beldan Sezen, Robbin Ami Silverberg, Re:Surgo, Sofia Szamosi, Brian D. Tripp, Marshall Weber, Sam Winston, among others.
Fair hours are: Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8AM - 4PM
Sunday, March 10, 2019, 9AM - 3PM
Sheraton Central Park / Times Square
811 7th Avenue
New York, NY, 10019
Admission - $15 each day, with student ID - Free
Pre-purchase a weekend pass online and save $5 or register for a complimentary pass for Sunday, March 10 - http://bit.ly/NYCBook19.
Image Credit: Maria Veronica San Martin