September 24, 2013

New York Art Book Fair


Tauba Auerbach explains her work to a potential customer. Behind her are some of her numerous posters.

Each year the Davids and Goliaths of the art world meet on neutral ground at the New York Art Book Fair, and for at least one weekend they put away their rocks and their swords.

Large galleries benefit from the avant-garde credibility of the event, now in its eighth year, and the small presses and publishers benefit from the huge audience that comes not just to browse, but to buy.

According to Printed Matter (the show’s organizer) the four-day event draws about “25,000 artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts.”

The entire weekend is filled with book signings, live music, DJs, performance art, and frantic networking. It’s also common to run into old friends in the cafe, which is always packed.

This year San Francisco was represented by THE THING Quarterly (Will Rogan was named one of “the cutest bookworms at the fair” by the Gothamist), Hamburger Eyes, billy ocallaghan, the enigmatic CCOOLL and former/sometimes San Francisco resident and SECA winner Tauba Auerbach, who had her very own table this time. In past years Margaret Tedesco’s 2nd floor projects and Needles & Pens attended as well.

John Herschend explains James Franco's switchblade knife to a crowd.

At THE THING Quarterly’s booth, John Herschend explained James Franco’s switchblade knife.



At the front entrance Printed Matter offered a variety of new, used, and rare books and publications.



While waiting for the subway, two men were reading through THE THING Quarterly’s newspaper edition, Moment to Moment.


Books for sale at the New York Art Book Fair

Books for sale at the New York Art Book Fair



View from the PS1 cafe. The geodesic dome is host to all kinds of events and for the book fair small presses got to use the space.



At the White Column’s space Rachel Koblyakov plays solo violin. Former CCA Wattis Institute Director Mathew Higgs listens thoughtfully.



View of the basement floor from above



The small press and zine sections were by far the most packed in the fair.

Follow Chris Cobb on Twitter or Instagram

Comments (1)

  • Hello Chris,
    Nice, many thanks!
    2nd floor was invited to participate in Miss READ, Berlin Art Book Fair (smaller) which was same exact dates. Berlin was beaming, with many roaming Bay Area friends (Berlin Art Week: abc contemporary art fair, happenings and exhibitions city-wide)…all around, 6 degrees of separation between Berlin and San Francisco. It was a lovely time…M

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