Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair (NYABF) makes a grand return to Chelsea this weekend after three years of virtual operation and more than a decade of showing at MoMA PS1 in Queens. Opening Thursday evening and continuing through Sunday, NYABF brings together small presses, rare booksellers, distributors, galleries, institutions, artists and collectives to showcase their publications – this time at the original location of the fair, just around the corner from Printed Matter’s Chelsea bookshop.
“Since the Fair’s founding in 2006, this community has come together to celebrate the history and future possibilities of artists’ book publishing,” said Sonel Breslav, Director of Fairs and Publishing at Printed Matter. , in a press release. “Despite so many recent challenges, we have witnessed the resilience of artists and publishers. Today, the work happening in artist book publishing seems more urgent than ever, and we are committed to bringing the fair back in a meaningful and safe way.
The fair will occupy all four floors as well as the roof of 548 West 22nd Street, where various publishers will showcase their works. Between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, NYABF will host a block party with food, live performances, music, a chess tournament, a “Taco Bell Drawing Club,” and readings. A series of “Classroom” programs will feature conversations with artists and publishers on topics such as launching and running artists’ magazines, visibility of artists’ books and Latin American photography.
“What’s really key about this production is the fact that it’s in Chelsea, close to the store. We’re really able to be present and close to where we are all year round, and to share the space with all the exhibitors at the show,” Breslav told Hyperallergic. Breslav also pointed out that this year’s NYABF exhibitor roster is more international than previous iterations — which she says was a real feat. given the persistent barriers to travel.
Precog, a Brooklyn-based independent magazine with a focus on art, cyberculture and feminism, will be at this year’s show with two international exhibitors, Mexico’s experimental editorial platform DiSonare and nomadic publication Dolce Stil Criollo.
Precog co-founders Florencia Escudero, Kellie Konapelsky and Gaby Collins-Fernandez told Hyperallergic that their issue printed this year is about “trolls and trolling in all its glory, from opposition to humor through the control of social activism”.
“Participating in the New York Art Book Fair is always a fun and connected experience, and especially this year, coming back in person after the pandemic,” they said. “We are delighted to share our table with our good friends diSonare and Dolce Stil Criollo. We share an experimental attitude towards publishing and thinking about art, its interconnections and how to create community.
Also new this year is the launch of the Volume Grant and a new Shannon Michael Cane Award. The Volume Grant is a funding opportunity for BIPOC artists and publishers with a demonstrated need to receive a $1,000 stipend and a table at the fair at no cost. This year’s scholarship recipients are Brown Recluse Zine Distro, a zine that highlights the work of queer and trans people of color; Further Reading Press, a cross-platform publishing group; Kwago, a Philippines-based publishing lab; and Taller California, a small press located in the San Diego-Tijuana area.
The Shannon Michael Cane Award recognizes emerging publishers presenting to NYABF for the first time. These include Revista Balam, a photobook highlighting contemporary Latin American photography based in Buenos Aires; KWY Ediciones, a Lima, Peru-based platform that publishes emerging and established Latin American writers and artists; Far Near, a publishing platform highlighting cross-cultural perspectives on Asian art; and Matarile Ediciones, a publisher focused on immigration and the diaspora.