T Magazine | Openings
Printed Matter’s Shiny New Shop
By KEVIN McGARRYSEPT. 17, 2015
Clockwise from top left:a rendering of the new space by Handel Architects; the facade of the old building; issues of Art-Rite, the 1970s newsprint magazine sold at Printed Matter. Credit Clockwise from top left: Design by Garrick Gott/Courtesy Handel Architects; Courtesy of David Court & Josh Thorpe; Nancy Lin/Courtesy of Printed Matter
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For decades, one of New York’s most beloved bookshops has provided a trove of inspiration for in-the-know artists and graphic designers by selling and exhibiting rare artists’ books and rarer zines, the likes of which you’d never find at most other bookstores or even on Amazon. This year, the storied nonprofit will both turn 40 and move from its cramped Chelsea storefront to a larger space farther west. Nostalgists will miss the old sticker-plastered headquarters, but Printed Matter is dedicated to remaining as unconventional as ever, as witnessed by this month’s raucous edition of their NY Art Book Fair, a lively marketplace where bookmongers from around the globe packed into MoMA PS1 for what felt more like a music festival than a convention for bibliophiles.
231 11th Avenue, N.Y., printedmatter.org
A version of this article appears in print on September 27, 2015, on page M262 of T Magazine with the headline: Printed Matter’s Shiny New Shop. Today’s Paper|Subscribe
Some 370 book vendors will set up shop at MoMA PS1 for Printed Matter’s tenth annual New York Art Book Fair (NYABF) this week, running from Friday to Sunday (with a preview Thursday night). In addition to peddling art books and magazines, the fair offers an overwhelming number of events to visitors. Here are some of the highlights.
From musicians performing in the courtyard (and streaming on Know-Wave online radio) — including “lullanoise” band Sontag Shogun — to a concurrent academically-minded conference (the Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference, now in its eighth year), there is no shortage of things to see and hear. (There is even an assorted on- and off-site “special events” section, which includes a Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation photobook awards ceremony and a closing party at Greenpoint’s Good Room, running from 9pm to “late.”)
It’s not easy, or even good, to whittle down something as expansive as NYABF into a neatly packaged guide: If anything, the fair is an occasion for the serendipity of unplanned browsing to take hold, an approach we encourage. With that said, our suggestions follow, in chronological order of their appearance. For further details, consult the NYABF website or official printed program:
2. “Blueprint for Counter Education” with Jeffrey Schnapp, metaLAB (at) Harvard. (2-3pm on Friday)
This talk promises to revisit a boxed set called “Blueprint” from the late 1960s, a project that saw the intersection of posterism, radical teaching models, and graphic design.
3. The Revolution Will Be Printed (3:15-4:40 on Friday, at the Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference)
A panel dedicated to “the role of artists’ publications and printed matter in social practice and community engagement” is an ideal prologue to items 10 and 11 on this list, especially one uniting editor and publisher Lobregat Balaguer of the Philippines with artist Steffani Jemison of New York, who recently participated in MoMA’s widely-lauded Jacob Lawrence exhibition.
4. “Good 70s” by Mike Mandel, with Sharon Helgason-Gallagher & Jason Fulford (4-5pm on Friday)
In 1974, Mike Mandel posed photographers and curators for baseball-card snapshots, crafting the results into a work called “Baseball-Photographer Trading Cards.” This talk centers on the reissued “Good 70s” limited-edition box of this and other projects by Mandel, published this fall by J&L books.
5. A Manual Presentation – “Solution 263: Double Agent” (3-4pm on Saturday)
An unusual take on artistic “performativity” and state agency arrives here care of a discussion about “Solution 263: Double Agent,” a recently-published book by Alhena Katsof and Dana Yahalomi engaging, among other things, the restaging of the declaration of Israel’s statehood at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 1948. The artist Jill Magid will also participate in the conversation as a contributor to the book, which was released last month by Sternberg Press.
6. “Statement and Counter-Statement: Notes on Experimental Jetset” (6-7pm on Saturday)
Experimental Jetset has emerged as a leading graphic design practice (recent clients include the Whitney), and this talk will shed light on 20 years of their work. The Dutch designers will speak on the occasion of the publication of “Statement and Counter-Statement” by Roma, the first-ever volume dedicated to their work. Fans of Experimental Jetset might also consider attending a discussion on Melanie Bonajo’s “NON HUMAN ANIMAL PERSONS,” a publication designed by the group, on Sunday from 6-7pm.
7. Keynote: Walead Beshty and Liam Gillick (6-7:30pm on Saturday, at the Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference)
These two cerebral artists will discuss the networks in which art circulates, and in so doing perhaps circulate some ideas of their own. They are brought together by “Ethics,” a book edited by Beshty (with Gillick as a contributor) published in March by MIT Press as part of their influential Documents of Contemporary Art series.
8.ADJUNCT COMMUTER WEEKLY. (7-8pm on Saturday)
Last month, we chronicled the launch of Dushko Petrovich’s earnest meta-media project catering to the adjunct academic, “a growing and increasingly influential demographic.” Now you can hear contributors to the first (and last) print issue of Adjunct Commuter Weekly read from the funky tabloid.
9. Paginated Exhibitions with Charles Stankievech, K. Verlag & Regine Ehleiter (1-2pm on Sunday)
This conversation will focus on the practice of the publishing outfit K. Verlag to tackle a subject that is rather central to the NYABF: publishing as a means of exhibition-making. The discussion promises to set examples from K. Verlag’s output against context from “the historical arc of publishing and the curatorial.”
10. “STREETOPIA: artists respond to displacement” (2-3pm on Sunday in the PS1 basement theatre)
A panel discussion on the “Streetopia” exhibition held at Luggage Store Gallery in May 2012 in response to urban “cleanup” and gentrification policies enacted in San Francisco, this promises to be one of the NYABF’s livelier talks. Nearly three decades after Rosalyn Deutsche and Cara Gendel Ryan published “The Fine Art of Gentrification,” the role of artists and cultural production in urban life remains a hotly contested subject, and the exhibition at Luggage Store Gallery seems to be an intriguing case study.
11. The Art of Movement Building: Black Lives Matter. (5-6pm on Sunday)
To continue the politics-and-aesthetics theme, go to this panel (which is very thinly described on the NYABF website) to see if one can productively engage with “the use of art and graphics in the Black Lives Matter movement” in an art context. It’s possible (see The Yams Collective at P! last year), but difficult (see the furor provoked by David Joselit in the February 2015 issue of Artforum).
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the dates of two talks occurring as part of the Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference.
The 2015 edition of Printed Matter‘s NY Art Book Fair opens to the public today and in anticipation we reviewed some of its standout offerings. From risographs of skateboarding samurai to an essay ruminating on the public persona of Missy Elliott, the fair truly has something for everyone.
We all go through stages when we’re suddenly alone, whether through a breakup, distancing from negative friends, or just deciding other people can keep away for a while. Whether you are alone by circumstance or by choice, the Guide to Being Alone by Julia Arredondo from Oklahoma’s Vice Versa Press — its first year at the NY Art Book Fair — personally delivers positive step-by-step advice in a cut-and-paste collage style. As an alternative to relying on your phone companion, the guide encourages appreciating downtime even in dark moments, getting into vinyl, taking a public transit adventure, and confidently dominating a dance floor solo. As Arredondo writes: “Don’t wait around for some fools to call, go do your thing!” —Allison Meier
This zine is inspired by a 2008 YouTube video about a man going through a midlife crisis who calls up a PT Cruiser dealership to score a “pussy magnet.” The story is a colorful tribute to a short-lived (2001–10) and retro-styled car that — as one YouTube commenter puts it — “… epitomises everything thats [sic] bad about American cars …” You can’t argue with that. —Hrag Vartanian
Girls Like Us, issue 7 by Maria Guggenbichler, Jessica Gysel, Sara Kaaman, and Katja Mater
“I feel like we’re just now developing a serious language for artists who use their body as material,” says K8 Hardy, who designed a series of covers for the seventh issue of Girls Like Us — they look like mashups of Martha Rosler collages and Jon Rafman’s “9 Eyes of Google Street View” translated into Hardy’s distinctive self-portrait idiom — in the accompanying interview. The 120-page magazine, devoted to the theme of the body and printed almost entirely in shades of gold, features a dozen interviews, including with African-American filmmaker Barbara McCullough and German-Iranian author Jina Khayyer; an essay on a disturbing, early chapter in the history of the biotech industry by Crystal Z Campbell; and a pointed analysis of representations of black women in mainstream US media in the 1990s (from Anita Hill to Missy Elliott) by Derica Shields. —Benjamin Sutton
Skateboarding and samurai meet in this quirky 24-page collection of risographs by Hoyeah Studio, founded by the Singapore-based illustrator Tuckwai who himself grew up skateboarding in the late 1980s. Rendered in the style of ancient Japanese scrolls, Temple of Skate’s subject is a fantasy skate park reserved for martial arts disciples and grand masters who balance on boards as they shoot arrows, perform tricks on halfpipes in the shadow of a Japanese maple, and catch air off the slanted roofs of temples. —Claire Voon
For two weeks, Urbani, who hails from Italy, traveled through Japan’s capital, each day recording through sketches her observations of the striking, the strange, and the seemingly banal. The result, TOKYO diary, is less a play-by-play narrative of a first-timer’s experience than an endearing, personal glimpse into a foreign culture that hovers between modernizing and adhering to tradition. The zine’s pages present a teasing patchwork of doodles — one that will make you long to experience the city yourself. —CV
The 2015 edition of the NY Art Book Fair continues at MoMA PS1 (22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens) through September 20.
Jack Pierson Releases Third Installment Of ‘Tomorrow’s Man’ (NSFW)
Posted: 09/19/2015 10:11 AM EDT | Edited: 18 minutes ago
Photographer and artist Jack Pierson’s newest book is now available — the third volume in his ongoing series Tomorrow’s Man.
The previous two volumes have included the work and collaborations with a number of other artists, and this third volume includes the work of three more: Richard Tinkler, Peter Fend and writer Veralyn Behenna.
The title of this ongoing project, Tomorrow’s Man, comes from the famed physique pictorial magazine from the 1950s and ’60s.
“Reappropriating the publication’s title as well as its retro bodybuilding aesthetic, Pierson takes viewers on a dizzying visual journey encompassing the full spectrum of cultural references,” a press release for the book said.
Social Malpractice at the 2013 New York Art Book Fair
The sign of a good book is usually the discussion it engenders. Perhaps that’s why a highlight of the tenth edition of the New York Art Book Fair, which opens on Friday, 18 September, at MoMA PS1, is the programme of talks organised over the weekend.
The schedule includes keynote addresses by the artists Walead Beshty and Liam Gillick on Saturday evening. Their discussion takes place on the occasion of the new book Ethics, part of the Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art series, edited by Beshty and published by MIT Press.
More informal conversations, grouped together under the title The Classroom, will focus on topics like the Black Lives Matter movement and the release of the new publication Adjunct Commuter Weekly. The latter is “a lifestyle magazine devoted to the interests of a growing and increasingly influential demographic”—ie, part-time professors—edited by the artist and writer Dushko Petrovich.
The fair, which is free and open to the public, includes around 370 publishers, artists, institutions and dealers in antique and rare books from 30 countries, including the US. It is organised by Printed Matter, a New York-based non-profit that focuses on artist’s books. Sponsors include American Apparel, the M. Wells restaurant and the online art publication Hyperallergic.
In many ways, the annual New York Art Book Fair—which opened last night and runs all weekend at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City—can feel like the publishing version of the South by Southwest music festival, which is to say, the visual equivalent of hearing seven bands play all at once as you walk down a crowded and hot Texas street with a hangover. But if you can stomach the headache-inducing visual noise and actually “get in the pit,” such as it is, there is a lot of good stuff to take in.
“This is the biggest weekend in New York City, every year,” the Los Angeles artist Cali Thornhill-Dewitt stated bluntly. He was outside of the booth that his crew WSSF were running, located in a small room on the third floor. He didn’t offer too many details about the booth, but he did let one important piece of information slip. “There is a Marky Mark shirt in there,” Thornhill-Dewitt said. Sold!Also in that small room and also from Los Angeles was Wendy Yao, who had a stall for her store and publishing imprint, Ooga Booga. She was selling, among many other things, shirts from the artist Oliver Payne that contained lyrics from the record Chill Out by the seminal British conceptual electronica duo the KLF. The shirts serve as an extension of a performance Payne staged last year at the L.A. Oooga Booga space 356 Mission wherein the album was played in its entirety. “It was really awesome, no ins and outs,” Yao said. So, like one of those high-school lock-in parties? “It was a lock-in. With a chill-out security guard. You were required to chill.” (Truthfully, a classic rave-style chill-out room would’ve been very appreciated at the fair, which is nothing if not completely overwhelming.)Elsewhere, the booth of New York’s Karma bookstore had on display a new monograph from the Los Angeles artist Sterling Ruby as well as some of Ruby’s cardboard-based collages. These works had the wet and dirty feel of something sourced directly off of one of L.A.’s endless strip-mall streets, with the occasional Miller Light six-pack peaking through. I asked Karma’s Marie Becker if Ruby actually drinks those six packs himself before putting them to artistic use. “That’s a good question. I’m sure some of that he really just finds and he puts together. I mean, I don’t know if that Evian box he actually drinks,” she said. “It’s very…” she continued later, trailing off. “It’s used.”Right around the corner and down the stairs from Karma was David Zwirner’s contribution to the fair, the video Death Disco Dance by Marcel Dzama, projected big on a basement wall at PS1. The video features dancers in polka-dot leotards in a rubble-filled clearing adjacent to a highway, flanked by some ominous characters in giant Easter Island–esque masks. For the occasion, those very leotard-clad dancers were in attendance, doing two performances in front of the projection. “We’re not doing this dance,” Vanessa Walters, one of the dancers told me, gesturing up to the video. “We’re doing a different dance. But it’s related. And we don’t have these guys,” she said, pointing to the aforementioned masked intruders.“Last year’s New York Art Book Fair broke the attendance record for MoMA PS1, and people are all coming out for print,” Jonathan Thomas, editor-in-chief of the Third Rail told me in the middle of a conversation about my new internet service provider. “We had been talking about the internet recently, and how fast your new internet connection is, and here it is, a slower pace to work with print. But that so many people want it, I think that says something about it.” It’s true: people love art books! Although I didn’t outright buy anything, I ended up somehow gradually accruing a bunch of stuff as the night went on. Never in my life did I wish I had a tote bag more! I wonder if anyone on the grounds were selling such a thing. I guess now I’ll never know.At the Nieves booth, Anthony Atlas was holding it down and very excited about a photo book published by Edition Patrick Frey about grand prix racing called Gasoline and Magic. “My father worked for a race-car driver for a long time and I’m exploring it, going back in time,” Atlas said. So are you keeping the book, or giving it to your dad? “Well, if they have more at the end of the fair, I’m going to buy another one and give it to my dad.” In other words, he’s keeping it. Was this a subtle suggestion that his father might not appreciate limited-edition art books? “No, I don’t think he does,” Atlas said. “He might appreciate this.” Atlas then pulled out a fantastic poster of a race-car driver, one of his father’s former clients. I thought it was really cool and I’m not even a dad! Talking about his station at the fair, Atlas commented that “honestly, this is a room with a lot of intensity” (he was in the same small room that housed Ooga Booga and WSSF). “It’s hot already, and it’s been about ten minutes of the fair officially being open, which doesn’t bode well. It’s a lot of vibe in this room. I wish I was in a rare-book room, where I could browse library books.”With Atlas’s comment ringing in my head, I went down to the boiler room of PS1 to visit a special installation by antiquarian bookseller Arthur Fornier about Maurice R. Stein and Larry Miller’s work of “radical pedagogy” The Blueprint for Counter Education, which, in broad strokes, attempted to create a new academic canon for post-’60s culture. The installation was based on elementary instructions from the book’s “shooting script,” and was designed to feel like the off-campus apartment of a radical grad student circa 1970. John Fahey softly played on speakers flanked by lit candles, and a table of books direct from the author’s library was available to peruse. This was pretty close to the chill-out zone I was looking for. “I love being in a meditative space where people can actually come and take a pause, or step out of the maelstrom of 40,000 people walking through a book fair and come down here and listen to music, read a few books,” Fornier told me.Out of the boiler room, through the courtyard, and past a man tepidly playing middling techno at a moderate volume, there was the third world–like zine tent. Inside, the Philadelphia comics legend and true unsung hero Andrew Jeffrey Wright was present, alongside the notorious Retard Riot, also known as Noah Lyon. Although Jeffrey Wright—who had for sale the new edition of his “Abs With Labs” calendar, which combines drawings of physically fit dogs with, among other things, furniture design and pizza—has in the past performed comedy with his group the New Dreamz at the fair, this was his first time manning a booth. “It’s like just nonstop streams of people coming through, putting their hands on your stuff,” he said. Do the visitors’ paws ever get too grubby? “I have buttons in a shoebox, and sometimes [art fair attendees] massage their hands in the shoebox and stare off into the distance,” he said. “Whatever, if it makes them feel good, it’s fine.”Jeffrey Wright wrote the foreword to a new book of Paper Rad zines debuting at the fair, which was, on the opening night, sadly stuck in customs. There was, however, a thoughtful collection of Paper Rad material encased under glass, a shrine to a collective that existed just as much digitally as physically (Cory Arcangel’s Arcangel Surfware booth had some early Arcangel Nintendo hacks on hand that evoked a very similar era).A zine-game veteran, Paper Rad member Jessica Ciocci was able to keep everything very much in perspective. “That’s kind of the vibe of this place,” Ciocci said during a conversation about the fair, while surveying the scene in PS1’s courtyard. She paused. “Very nerdy.”
Copyright 2015, ARTnews Ltd, 40 W 25th Street, 6th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10010. All rights reserved.
September 18, 2015 12:29 p.m.
Read Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon’s Zine
By Carl Swanson
Photo: Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon. Courtesy David Zwirner Books.
Among the artist-made books (as opposed to the books about artists) at the New York Art Book Fair, which opened last night at MoMA PS1 to a hustling, bustling VIP crowd, is a zinelike collaboration between Marcel Dzama and Raymond Pettibon. Both are artists with David Zwirner, whose new publishing house put the two artists together on the project. “They like each other but had never worked together,” says Lucas Zwirner, who works with his family’s bookmaking operation. First Pettibon gave Dzama some of his unfinished drawings, which Dzama collaged, and then, a week later, Dzama brought some of his to Pettibon, which Pettibon added some of his gnomic text to. “They swapped and then reswapped,” says Lucas. “They wanted to augment each other’s work.” It comes in an edition of 300, none of which are signed, which is why they’re only $30. The tone is a bit anxious and perverse. As for what it means, well, some of Dzama’s drawings — and he’s always drawing — are on Chateau Marmont letterhead. But only since he was in L.A. during part of the collaboration, so the only meaning there is that some artists sometimes get to live like they’re in the movie business. But the zine’s repeated phrase is: “The appeal to the reader is that of a folk or fairy tale well told.” To which, in one corner, Pettibon’s wan all-caps scrawl is added: “This story, if it is one, deserves the closure of a suicide.”
Printed Matter’s 10th Annual NY Art Book Fair Opens this Week
Printed Matter presents the tenth annual NY Art Book Fair, from September 18 to 20 at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. A preview will be held on the evening of Thursday, September 17.
Free and open to the public, the NY Art Book Fair is the world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogues, monographs, periodicals, and zines. This year, the fair features over 370 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, institutions, and independent publishers from 28 countries. Last year’s fair was attended by more than 35,000 people.
This year’s NY Art Book Fair includes an ever-growing variety of exhibitors — from the zinesters in (XE)ROX & PAPER + SCISSORS and the Small Press Dome representing publishing at its most innovative and affordable, to rare and antiquarian dealers offering out-of-print books and ephemera from art and artist book history, plus the NYABF classic Friendly Fire, focused on the intersection of art and activism, which includes Visual AIDS (New York), Black Lives Matter (USA), World War 3 Illustrated (New York), and others.
NYABF15 will also host an array of programming and special events. Now in its seventh year, The Classroom is a curated engagement of informal conversations, workshops, readings, and other artist-led interventions. The Classroom is organized by David Senior, Museum of Modern Art Library. The eighth annual Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference (CABC) presents two full days of lively debate on emerging practices and issues within art-book culture. This year’s conference will feature a keynote address by the artists Walead Beshty and Liam Gillick on the occasion of the publication of the volume Ethics in Whitechapel’s Documents of Contemporary Art series (MIT Press 2015).
Print is big in New York this weekend, with book-related events taking place at MoMA PS1 in Queens and the SVA Gramercy Gallery in Manhattan.
On Friday, September 18, the 10th annual NY Art Book Fair opens to the public at MoMA PS1, and for the second year running, SVA will have a booth at the fair and offer 2D and 3D prints, original artwork and, yes, books, all created by students and faculty of the BFA Fine Arts, BFA Photography and Video and MFA Photography, Video and Related Media departments. “We’re one of the few schools represented,” says Andres Janacua, director of operations for BFA Fine Arts, who manages SVA’s participation. “More than 30,000 people pass through the fair, so we inevitably meet a lot of people, including alumni, and have a lot of great conversations.”
The NY Art Book Fair is organized by Printed Matter, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the cultural importance of artists’ books. Printed Matter also produces the LA Art Book Fair, held earlier in the year. This year, Janacua arranged for an SVA booth there, too, and sold all of the BFA Fine Arts works he’d brought with him, with all proceeds going back to the artists.
Among the pieces available at SVA’s booth at PS1 is Eight Photographers: A Collaboration. Conceived and edited by BFA Photography and Video student Alex Cassetti, the self-published book presents work by eight third- and fourth-year students in the program, Cassetti included, all of whom took part in a critique course taught by Seth Greenwald last summer. Cassetti’s aim for the project, beyond showcasing his own and his classmates’ photos, was to illustrate how even a shared experience—in this case, a common education—can have varied effects. “We’re all being taught the same thing,” he says. “But we’re all generating different ideas and different work.”
EightPhotographers‘method of finding meaning through juxtaposition is just one of many possibilities the book format allows. And the relative ease and speed with which Cassetti produced the bound editions, using an affordable online platform, demonstrates how straightforward it can be to package and promote one’s work in published form.
It’s no surprise, then, that artists and artists’ representatives from fledgling to well established seem newly appreciative of printed works. Earlier this month, ARTnews reported on “the art world’s publishing boom,” noting that big galleries like David Zwirner, Gagosian and Pace routinely produce books, and even periodicals, featuring their represented artists’ works, while other artists are establishing small presses of their own, like Urs Fischer‘s Kiito-San.
One longtime believer in the power of artists’ books is MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Chair Marshall Arisman. For more than 20 years, his department has put on an annual exhibition, “The Book Show,” (this year’s opens on Saturday, September 19), featuring original narratives and themed collections produced by students at the end of their first year in the program.
“A book is an alternative to a traditional illustrator’s portfolio, and it’s more interesting,” Arisman says, adding that, by focusing on a sustained project of one’s own choosing, students are more likely to develop a personal, consistent style. This, in turn, will make them more attractive for commercial or editorial assignments, as it demonstrates to clients that they have a unique voice to offer.
This year’s books, created by the class of 2016, include Annie Bowler‘s Born to Run, a compilation of portraits that blend subjects with their “spirit” or “totem” animals; Mikayla Butchart‘s Elberta from Alberta, about her great-grandmother, a Canadian rodeo queen; Joowon Oh‘s A Quiet Morning, a fable about a solitary old man and his daily routine; and Vesper Stamper‘s The Orange Tree, about a romance that forms between two young Holocaust survivors.
The NY Art Book Fair opens Friday, September 18, at 1:00pm and runs through the weekend. The 2015 “Book Show” will be on view at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street, through November 16, and a reception will be held on Monday, September 21, from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Admission to all events is free.
Images, from top: Flier for the 2015 NY Art Book Fair; photo by Martin Mendizabal, from Eight Photographers; illustration by Annie Bowler, from Born to Run.