A view of the 2014 LA Art Book Fair (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

A view of the 2014 LA Art Book Fair (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair opens on Thursday, January 29, at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. As it enters its third year, the event will welcome 250 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers for a celebration of artists’ books, art catalogues, monographs, periodicals, and zines. And if that isn’t enough, there will also be a full schedule of public programs  including talks, signings, exhibitions, panels, performances, and more.

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Still from Frances Stark's "My Best Thing" (2011), digital video, 100 minutes (via francesstark.com)

Still from Frances Stark’s “My Best Thing” (2011), digital video, 100 minutes (via francesstark.com)


Many of the events are organized by David Senior of the Museum of Modern Art Library, but be sure to check the complete schedule of signings, talks, exhibitions, and performances. Here are our picks:

  • Thursday, January 29 at 7pm in The Classroom: Black Radical Imagination Mixtape — Black Radical Imagination features visual shorts curated by Amir George and Erin Christovale. Here are some the works to look out for: “Moonrising” (2014) by Sanford Biggers and Terence Nance, “Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful” (2012) by Akosua Adoma Owusu, and “Field Notes” (2014) by Vashti Harrison.
  • Saturday, January 31 at 5pm in The Classroom: K-HOLE’S Latest Report — K-HOLE (Gregory Fong, Sean Monahan, Emily Segal, Chris Sherron, and Dena Yago) is a trend forecasting group founded in 2010 and they will be presenting their latest report. Using the language of the marketing and advertising industry (well, kinda) they address how brand and consumer experiences are constructed — all in an art context, of course.
  • Saturday, January 31 at 5pm in Aratani Central Hall (111 North Central Avenue) of the neighboring Japanese American National Museum: Frances Stark (Keynote) — LA-based artist Frances Stark (who is also a publisher) will discuss her literary (Robert Musil and Joan Didion), internet (contemporary chat rooms), and other influences, while also delving into her perspective on the art world.
  • Sunday, February 1 at 12pm in The Classroom: Sex Show N’ Tell — The Center for Sex and Culture’s librarian Miss Ian and gallery director Dorian Katz will be leading a Sex Archive Show N’ Tell. Based in San Francisco, CSC provides judgment-free education, arts events, a library, an archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum. This event will focus on materials printed in the Bay Area between the 1970s and the 1990s.
  • Sunday, February 1 at 11am in the Democracy Forum (111 North Central Ave) of the neighboring Japanese American National MuseumWhy The F**k Should I Care About Copyright? — Art law lawyers Sarah Conley Odenkirk and Kibum Kim are planning on giving a “short and sweet presentation on copyright basics.”

Select Exhibitors

  • Anal Magazine (Mexico) calls itself a “Mexican magazine for homosexuals.” I guess there’s nothing else to say.
  • Applesauce Industries (USA) reflects the subcultures and scenes of Los Angeles through photography, paintings, illustrations, prints, Xerox art, zines, and graffiti. You’ll probably dig the Ebola Strikes Springfield (as in The Simpsons) button.
  • Journal of Aesthetics and Protest (USA) is comprised of an editorial collective with a strong “Occupy” perspective. Books like Mortgaged Lives, which discusses the Spanish mortgage crisis, are careful examinations of complex problems.
  • Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative (USA) is a socially, environmentally, and politically minded cooperative of 30 artists who use screen prints, linocuts, art portfolios, books, and zines to disseminate their radical messages.
  • HEX Editions (Canada) is an ongoing book project by Toronto-based artist Flavio Trevisan, and boy are the books pretty. Focusing on various topics (including Sponsors, Framing Devices, and Blurs), each book contains drawings, found images, and/or brief texts.
  • Girls Like Us (The Netherlands) is an independent journal focusing on women from all backgrounds and gender within arts, culture, and activism. Through personal stories, essays, and vanguard visuals, the magazine “unfolds feminist legacies in a playful radical way.” The latest issue tackles secrets.
  • Ugly Duckling Presse (USA) is perhaps the best nonprofit publisher of poetry, translation, experimental nonfiction, and books by artists. Begun as a 1990s zine, it eventually became a Brooklyn-based small press that has published more than 200 titles to date. So much goodness here.

The 2015 LA Art Book Fair, of which Hyperallergic is a media sponsor, will take place at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 North Central Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles) from Thursday, January 29 to Sunday, February 1.


Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.