Adhoc News

Why You Should Attend the 2015 NY Art Book Fair

It’s no secret that New York has one of the most celebrated art scenes, well, anywhere. Galleries upon galleries have contributed to the scene, scraping up emerging artists out of studios and onto their walls. So it’s hardly surprising that an event in New York involving these creatives and others internationally celebrated would be such “a big deal” to anybody as much as the New York Art Book Fair. Its location at MoMA PS1 and organizer of the fair Printed Matter, Inc. are some of the greatest nonprofit organizations dedicated solely to sharing contemporary art. So it should hardly take any convincing for you to attend the fair, but if you’re still in need, let me do that for you.

Reader, meet Printed Matter, Inc.!
Located in the premium gallery district in Chelsea that will soon be relocating, Printed Matter has become the leader in selling, sharing, and celebrating artists and independent publishers. From their mission statement, Printed Matter is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination and appreciation of artists’ books.

Printed Matter works to distribute and promote artists’ books to bring an increased visibility and appreciation to the field. The range of publications stocked at the shop is a testament to our broad and all-inclusive understanding of the medium.


The fair goes on through the entire weekend. Take a look at the hours and plan your trip to MoMA PS1 to see it all.
Preview Thursday, September 17, 6-9 pm
Friday, September 18, 1-7pm
Saturday, September 19, 11am-9pm
Sunday, September 20, 11-am-7pm

Each year for the past 10, Printed Matter has organized the New York Art Book Fair with a collection of artists and illustrated publishers that get increasingly larger every year. The fair is hosted by MoMA PS1, an institution located in the boroughs of Queens, NY, that is solely dedicated to contemporary art as a non-collecting exhibition space. Booths featured in the fair present booksellers, zinesters, artists, independent publishers, and institutions from all over the world that provide you the opportunity to engage with and collect from. There are almost 400 – yes, 400, exhibitors in this year’s fair, with even more artists and books to see. It would be impossible for me to tell you the great qualities of all of them, though I’m sure I could if you wanted to hear it. But instead I’ll list some of the highlights from the collection. However, if you are down to look at all of them and just want to read about them in my voice, follow this link for the entire list of exhibitors.


And that’s barely scratching the surface! All of these magazines, publications, prints, organizations, whatever, exist for the purpose of celebrating these creative art books and the people who make them. It is so important to share this celebration by purchasing artist books like these as it is one of the greatest means of support and engagement of audiences with artists in exciting new ways. Many artists these days who are also creating art in whatever media they practice are also actively creating art zines. Our friend Anna Conner for example has embraced the art book and zine, using it as a means of sharing her art and expanding her printmaking practice. We interviewed Anna many moons ago and got to know her style and what her views were on the importance of creating and buying artist zines.

“It’s really important to me to support artists by buying zines, artist books, and shirts; whatever they have to sell. Having a little piece of them around really helps get the creative juices flowing.”

Hush Baby Mixed Media Artist Book 2014
Hush Baby Mixed Media Artist Book 2014


And just because these are called “artist books” does not limit them to the traditional idea of textual discourse. Artists like Anne Vieux create art books that embrace the image as text, using the visual display of pages to hold her work. We were able to discuss her book making process that has been aided through a Brooklyn based publication called Small Editions. Though it doesn’t appear they will be participating in this year’s NYABF, I would still strongly recommend visiting their location to see all the great art books they have available.

“I wanted to create a completely abstract work that encapsulated an intimate relationship with the viewer, using transitions, framing, and gesture. I was interested in destabilizing the traditional experience of the artists book and create a time based experience. The imagery came from scanning materials that refract light, and I was excited by making so many images relate to each other in a total work.”

Transitory Flatspace Handbound Inkjet Print on Cotton Rag Paper, Foil Stamps, Lenticular Fabric 2014
Transitory Flatspace Handbound Inkjet Print on Cotton Rag Paper, Foil Stamps, Lenticular Fabric 2014


Along with just the fair, which runs through the 20th of September, there will be opportunities to get to know these artists and engage with the community through many events. Each of the events are presented by various international exhibitors. These events provide a unique and exciting opportunity to get to know these international participants and the artists who share in the experience. Below is a quick list taken from the NY Art Book Fair. For a full description of events, follow this link.



2:00-3:00pm | Blueprint for Counter Education with Jeffrey Schnapp, metaLAB (at) Harvard
3:00-4:00 pm | Marking the Dispossessed by Danielle Aubert with performance by Mobius Percussion
4:00-5:00pm | Good 70s by Mike Mandel, with Sharon Helgason-Gallagher & Jason Fulford
5:00-6:00pm | Bottom of the Lake by Christian Patterson
6:00-7:00pm | Printing Book Covers On Our Dinner Table with Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta



12:00 – 1:00pm | Gay Semiotics, by Hal Fischer, in conversation with Tina Kukielski
1:00- 2:00pm | untitled anonymous by Vince Aletti and Andrew Roth
2:00-3:00pm | New Lovers reading with Al Bedell, Lex Brown and Cara Benedetto
3:00-4:00pm | A Manual Presentation – Solution 263: Double Agent
4:00-5:00pm | Analog/Archive with Tammy Rae Carland
5:00-6:00pm | Poster Tribune Issue 5 launch
6:00-7:00pm | Statement and Counter-Statement: Notes on Experimental Jetset
8:00-9:00 pm | Reading from Notes from the History of Ed-



12:00-1:00pm | About Trees by Katie Holten
1:00-2:00pm | Paginated Exhibitions with Charles Stankievech, K. Verlag & Regine Ehleiter
2:00-3:00pm | Dust: The plates of present, February 2013 – July 2015, Book Launch and Round Table
3:00-4:00pm | Beyond the Food Chain and the Fabulous: A Taxonomy of Interspecies Animal Friendships by Nikki Columbus
4:00-5:00pm | The complete Boabooks artists’ notepad by Izet Sheshivari
5:00-6:00pm | The Future of First Rate Second Hand
6:00-7:00pm | Messages to the Future People



Sunday Classroom Sessions in the MoMA PS1 Basement Theatre

11:30-1:00pm | The NEW Century of Artists’ Books
1:00-2:00pm | Love and Death in the Old South, with Daniel Fuller and Victoria Camblin
2:00-3:00pm | STREETOPIA: artists respond to displacement
4:00-5:00pm | Jimmy DeSana moderated by Laurie Simmons presented by Aperture and Salon 94
5:00-6:00pm | The Art of Movement Building: Black Lives Matter
6:00-7:00pm | NON HUMAN ANIMAL PERSONS by Melanie Bonajo


If you can’t visit the fair, be sure to keep up with everyone online through social media.

#NYABF is on Instagram and Twitter

Header image: Cody Defranco at NYABF14. Photo courtesy BJ Enright Photography. Read more at Crave Online.

Last modified: September 18, 2015