This past weekend had me preoccupied with the Printed Matter New York Artbook Fair held at PS1 in Queens NY. For anyone living in the area who hasn't been, it is a great chance to see more books than one can possibly take in within one weekend. Still I saw some stuff that had me wanting to rethink my recent personal moratorium I placed on book buying.
The events started Thursday evening with a preview and after-party at Deitch Projects. The after-party seemed to be mostly long lines of thirsty and hungry hipsters waiting for free beer and dollar-fifty empanadas. Art was on the walls and floor but no one seemed interested in much beyond the complimentary Tom Sachs screwdriver (a real Stanley).
Germany was present with a booth run by Markus and Schaden.com along with the Marks of Honor project run by Nina Poppe and Verena Loewenhaupt. Look for Markus's Le Brea Matrix project in the near future. Oliver Sieber and Katja Stuke from the Dusseldorf-based Bohm/Kobayashi press also had ten years of their own artist book projects for offer, plus a new book by the NY photographer Ted Partin, Who are you this time?
The Foil booth from Japan had a signing with Rinko Kawauchi. Jason Fulford and Leanne Shapton of J+L had a few limited edition's of their books including a great portfolio by Landmasses and Railways author Bertrand Flueret. Mike Slack and Trisha Gabriel of The Ice Plant shared a booth with A-Jump and Ron Jude was present to sign several of his books. Mike Slack's new book Pyramids is fresh off the presses and will see some coverage here soon.
When Boredon Strikes author Joachim Schmid had a whole slew of his Blurb books of appropriated photos and no one seemed to mind. In fact, most readers seemed to enjoy his work so his unneeded bodyguards and team of lawyers were left to wander the Richard Prince exhibition of art books and posters.
Winfried Heininger and Kodoji press had a few fine books with a Jules Spinatsch retrospective, Jet Master (a collaboration by Salome Schmuki, Idan Hayosh and Corina Kunzli) and title on the student movement of Mexico in 1968. The Errata Editions books distributor DAP had Steidl's new Ed Ruscha limited edition (350 copies) On the Road for perusal. At 10,000 dollars and full of original c prints, the white gloves were necessary. They couldn't spare a review copy.
One of my favorite rooms was for the Arnhem based graphic design and typography school Werkplaats Typografie (Their website is fuckin nuts!). My single purchase of the whole fair was of a fine book of silkscreen 'make ready' sheets compiled by Hans Gremmen for 20 dollars. The poster/prints were discarded sheets found in the studio of Paul Wyber. I will give this book some coverage later.
Many rooms featured self-published artist books which is the main thrust of Printed Matter's concern. Paul Schiek of TBW had a table as did representatives of NY's Center for Book Arts. Thurston Moore and Ecstatic Peace! Library, his new publishing venture had a couple books - one a book of Morre's poems and another of an extended interview with Vito Acconci. Both will be distributed by DAP.
On the ground floor, many rare book dealers had great stuff of limited affordability. Harper Levine of Harper's Books has been digging deep with the Japanese books and had many titles I haven't ever seen before. Gordon of Anartist had a full wall of goodies and his usual bins of rare ephemera and catalogs.
One seller had a 100 dollar copy of the American Bricolage catalog from the Sperone Westwater gallery. This is a handmade book (with duct tape) made by Todd Alden with Chris Burden, Tim Hawkinson, Richard Wentworth and others which I had seen a year ago and has been on my list of wants since. Even though 100 bucks is a fairly good price, I passed on it and it remains on my list.
This fair was great but for whatever reason PS1 throws off my internal compass so I kept discovering rooms of tables that I hadn't seen during the first days. Luckily, I did stumble upon the William Kentridge cut-outs pasted to the walls of a stairwell. If only the James Turrell room was open, but, that isn't a book so I guess I saw most everything else that was worthwhile. Cheers to Printed Matter until next year.