New York's Autumn Book Fairs

Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference
September 28 – 29, 2012
MoMA PS1 courtyard Performance Dome
22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Avenue, Long Island City
All Conference sessions are free and open to the public
Seating is first-come-first-served—seats can be reserved with purchase of a $20 ticket

Designers & Books Fair 2012
October 26 – 28, 2012
227 West 27th Street
$10 for Fair entrance; various prices for program discussions; tickets on sale now

Designers and artists alike often grapple with redefining what exactly a book is anymore. But that’s good news, since no longer is there a discussion of printed matter fading away—it might be more a discussion of whether or not “print” is an archaic term now, in the same way the word “record” now stands for a full-length music album, even if it comes in the form of a zip file of mp3s. And there will always be a longstanding love affair between both designers and artists, wanting to either exhibit their work or find new ways of presenting information and the audience of book lovers that will patronize them, whether in print or digitally.

This fall, there are two weekend-long fairs that will allow such fans to indulge themselves: the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference, being held in conjunction with the excellent Printed Matter-hosted NY Art Book Fair, now in its seventh year, and the first ever Designers & Books Fair, which is an offshoot of the website, being held at the end of October.

The Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference is put together by a committee that consists of a national group of art library professionals, almost 20 individuals from major art institutions like the Frick and the Museum of Modern Art. The focus of this conference is the emerging practices within the art book realm, and anchoring the weekend affair are two keynote speakers: art historian Lucy Lippard and artist-publisher Paul Chan. Likely to be the most popular conference session is “Focus on East Asia: Artists’ Books in Tokyo, Taipei and Seoul,” organized by the Cooper Hewitt’s Sara Rubinow as well as Paul Chan’s keynote “Publish to Perish,” regarding the masochistic nature and business of book publishing.

The new conference, Designers & Books, is less on of an artists’ tilt and more of an AIGA-like program on steroids (AIGA is a partner sponsor for the event) with their keynote being “Designing the Future of the Design Book.” Along with a roster of well-established star designers and outfits such as Pentagram, Steven Heller and Louise Fili, the fair will feature over 35 established booksellers like Rizzoli and Laurence King Publishing presenting their fall slates and signature back titles.

-Janet Kim

Image courtesy of Printed Matter, Inc



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