Opening tomorrow, Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair is an annual sprawl of the printed word, from scrappy zines to rare editions of avant-garde art books. The crowds can be intense, but they’re worth braving in order to discover one of the event’s many treasures. Past finds include Katie Holten’s book with a typeface inspired by trees and a poster borrowing lyrics from Les Misérables by the counterculture cooperative Justseeds. We’ve highlighted five new presses, as well as one tattoo parlor inking artists’ designs, at this year’s fair.
(Snag a copy of Hyperallergic’s New York Art Guide at the fair to read these picks — and much more — in print.)
The Tokyo-based Goliga doesn’t simply publish the work of Japanese photographers, it collaborates with them to translate their art into book form. This can mean silk-screening the individual pages of a book and folding them together to create an accordion — as in the case of Daido Moriyama’s Accident — or it can mean screen-printing a book’s images onto a layer of brass and then having the artist apply acetic acid to produce a chemical reaction — in the case of Daisuke Yokota’s Untitled. Goliga will bring both of those experiments and more to the fair.
Carrying the torch of indie publishing’s activist bent, Press Press instigates projects around and about its home of Baltimore. The publisher’s focus at the NYABF will be If I Ruled the World, which asked Baltimore creatives and activists to present their most positive visions of the world (falling, we hope, somewhere between Nas’s “If coke was cooked without the garbage” and “Political prisoner set free, stress free”). The book’s collaborations consider the role of the artist in making social change — a constant question for Press Press, which also produced a guerrilla catalogue for the Maryland Institute College of Art’s 2015 commencement that called attention to the school’s contentious relationship to the city.
Preston Is My Paris
True to its name, Preston Is My Paris was founded in Paris in 2009 by Brits Adam Murray and Robert Parkinson, and has since evolved into a multihyphenate curatorial and publishing platform with a focus on photography and a guiding love of Preston, Lancashire, and other North England environs. Murray and Parkinson’s table will include the second edition of their zine series The North West — featuring their original and found images of Liverpool, Manchester, and other cities in England’s northwest — and the precious few remaining copies of their 2010 collaboration with photographer Jamie Hawkesworth, Preston Bus Station, for which the trio set up a makeshift photography studio in a vacant storefront space in Preston’s main bus station.
Founded in 2008 by Sharmini Pereira, Raking Leaves will bring its full output to the fair, which will be New Yorkers’ first chance to get familiar with the Sri Lankan press. Among its elegantly bound volumes are Lahore-based artist Aisha Khalid’s Name Class Subject, which mimics the aesthetics and ideology of student workbooks issued by the Pakistani government, and The One Year Drawing Project, an exquisite corpse–type endeavor that four leading Sri Lankan artists — Muhanned Cader, Thamotharampillai Shanaathanan, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, and Jagath Weerasinghe — collaborated on, mailing each other drawings every week for 52 weeks. Pereira will be on hand to discuss the latter project during a panel on the relationship between publishing and curating (September 16, 1:30pm).
Gagosian’s Flash Flash Flash, an Exhibition as Tattoo Parlor
Gagosian Gallery is becoming more adventurous with its contributions to Printed Matter’s annual art book and zine fairs — the blue-chip gallery will create an “exhibition as tattoo parlor” for the 2016 New York edition. Artists Devendra Banhart, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Douglas Gordon, Kim Gordon, Max Hooper Schneider, and Richard Wright have created original flash art for the occasion, and visitors can buy one of the six limited editions and have it inked (and numbered) by a professional from Brooklyn’s Flyrite Tattoo.
The Zine Tornado
For this unusual project, Maia Ruth Lee and Peter Sutherland commissioned over 100 artists — including Rob Pruitt, Petra Collins, Ryan McGinley, and Tauba Auerbach — to design a page for a hypothetical zine based on the theme of a tornado. At the fair, Lee and Sutherland will unleash the loose pages into a portable tornado, where visitors can snatch the ones they want in order to make their own zines. The experience is intended to recreate the feeling of being at the book fair itself: hectic and over-stimulating. There will be also a station where you can receive an index for your handpicked collection.
The 2016 edition of Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 (22–25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens) will have its preview on Thursday, September 15, 6–9pm, and continues through Sunday, September 18.