The 2014 New York Art Book Fair

The entrance to the New York Art Book Fair in 2013 (via

Opening tonight at the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1 (aka MoMA PS1), Printed Matter’s much-loved NY Art Book Fair will present an international lineup of art-publishers and their associated projects. This buffet of print, founded in 2005 by the artist and then-Printed Matter president AA Bronson, runs the gamut from obscure handmade zines to collectors’ editions of rare artists’ books. A rigorous schedule of public programs will accompany this year’s iteration, including musical performances, talks, signings, exhibitions, and panels.

And not to crassly reduce the appeal of such an enlightened gathering, but an art-journalist friend once intimated that in a previous edition of NYABF, he missed out on buying Richard Prince’s J.D. Salinger appropriation for $40 off a blanket manned by the artist’s assistant, later seeing it offered for many multiples of this figure. Your mileage may vary, but with over 350 exhibitors from 28 countries — not to mention 27,000 visitors last year — the New York Art Book Fair is uncontroversially one of the most crowd-pleasing events of New York’s cultural calendar.

The New York Art Book Fair

New York Art Book Fair purveyors in one of the crowded central galleries at PS1 in 2010 (photo by Kyle Chayka/Hyperallergic)

Here’s a breakdown of events and presentations that we thought are worth noting.


Full schedule of signings here. Talks, exhibitions, and performances here. Highlights below:

  • Tonight, September 25 at 7pm in A30: “Deanna Havas signs her new book Actual Person. Presented by Social Malpractice Publishing.” The best artist on Twitter, Havas’s 17-page chapbook is a compelling exemplar of digital poetics, a burgeoning genre that combines “the old longevity of contemplation, the new compression of expression,” as Quinn Latimer recently put it. Social Malpractice Publishing is also sure to be a standout among the fair’s exhibitors.
  • Tomorrow, September 26 at 6pm in V05: “Signing of The Best American Book of the 20th Century by société réaliste. Presented by Onomatopee.” This playful conceptual tome by the Parisian collective Société Réaliste mines 20th century bestsellers.
  • Saturday, September 27 at 1pm in F03: “All-at-once signing for THE THING THE BOOK with Starlee Kine, Laurel Nakadate, Matthew Higgs, Rick Moody, Andrew Hultkrans, Molly Springfield, Lucy Pullen, Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan. Presented by The THING Quarterly.” A cluster of talent signs an inaugural clustering of material: it’s the first book project by the quarterly publication, a latter-day Aspen that every year publishes four objects, each created by a different artist, writer, musician, or filmmaker.
  • Saturday, September 17, 1–2pm in The Classroom, “How to Hack an Abstraction: Google Warhol, a conversation with McKenzie Wark.” E-flux editor Brian Kuan Wood will speak with the media theorist McKenzie Wark about “the consolidation of finance and art” and the “hacker class.” The conversation is bound to plug into some salient issues around labor and the affective digital economy.
  • Sunday, September 28, 12–1pm in The Classroom, “Ray Johnson: Nothing vs. Nothing, with Mark Bloch and Elizabeth Zuba.” Hyperallergic Weekend’s Frances Richard diagnosed Johnson’s pioneering potency as follows: “an artist who signs his name to the artifact but knows that genre, facture, legibility, and identity are cancelable, NOTHING.”
  • Sunday, September 28, 4–5pm in The Classroom, “Publishing as Research & Development.” Three nonprofit publications — Triple Canopy, WdW Review, and East of Borneo, will talk about the relationship between form and content in online publishing. If you’re into this kind of thing, it’ll be a ball.
Sara Cwynar, CMYK Print Test Panel (Darkroom Manuals) (detail), (2014), set of four silkscreen prints, NY Art Book Fair fundraising edition.

Sara Cwynar, CMYK Print Test Panel (Darkroom Manuals) (detail), (2014), set of four silkscreen prints, NY Art Book Fair fundraising edition.

Exhibitors & Performers

  • There are over 350 exhibitors, including many terrific and familiar names. But many more are unfamiliar, and the whole point is to walk around; to premeditate the encounters would be to defeat a large point of the fair.
  • Beyond the usual fare, one of the specially-curated sections stands out: Friendly Fire, a grouping of “politically-minded collectives and presses” curated by Printed Matter’s Max Schuman includes the ever-reliable Interference Archive and Guerilla Girls, among others. Also, two special-interest sections comprising “international artists, zinesters, and small presses” will be presented on their own: XE(ROX) & PAPER + SCISSORS and The Small Press Dome.
  • For the more academically minded, the fair’s concurrent, seventh annual conference will run Friday and Saturday and conclude with a keynote speech by RH Quaytman at 6:00pm on Saturday.
  • There will be seven exhibitions (full listing here) — we are especially intrigued by the presentation of Dorothy Iannone’s feminist artists’ books and prints from the 1960s to the present and Boo-Hooray’s The Tattooed Dragon Meets The Wolfman, which consists of the Sci-Fi zine collection of Lenny Kaye, spanning 1941–1969.
  • Musical performances are slated to take place Thursday through Saturday. Two DJs will play Thursday, Friday highlights include Michael Beharie, Tristan Shepherd, and Christopher Tignor, Saturday will see “conceptual rapper” Fortunate Dad and ascendant emcee Junglepussy turn up, among others.

The NY Art Book Fair, of which Hyperallergic is a media sponsor, will take place at MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens) through Sunday, September 28.

Mostafa Heddaya is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic.