Here’s my somewhat haphazard report from the NY Art Book Fair, which took place last weekend at PS1:
1. Opening was hot. Why is it always hot? Every year, never fails, it’s just too hot.
2. The Center’s table was in a nice quiet corner, which might be something you don’t really want to be in at a fair, but for me it was better than being in the crowded crowded hallway right next to us. Panic attack level of crowded. Teeming hordes of people came to the fair, I think more than last year, and last year was big too. And even in the quiet corner the teeming hordes came to visit. I didn’t see quite as much as I had planned on, partly because the teeming crowds of people kind of got in the way of the books, and partly because every time I left the table I spent money. But much of what I saw I liked, and many people I liked came and saw and talked, and all in all I had a grand time.
This is Jen, who helped out. Thanks Jen! She’s holding a copy of the IFS, Ltd. Book Trust Prospectus, which we traded an exhibition catalog for. IFS were the best dressed of the barter-for-book-project exhibitors.
Here is a link to Susan Mills’s books, which were lovely and smart and humble all at the same time. Interior Sky is my favorite.
She was next to Women’s Studio Workshop, who had a copy of Heidi Neilson’s new book Orbital Debris Simulator. In 3-D!
Lubok Verlag: German publisher selling GREAT lino cut books; I really liked the serials they had of collected artists.
This is a book by Elisabeth Belliveau, don’t get lonely, don’t get lost, it’s surreal and feminine and funny. There’s a whole bit about famous dead women writers and their dogs. It comes with an animation, which I love!
This is a book which I looked at while the table-sitter was not there, and liked. Then I came back to buy it when the table sitter was there, and he was really annoying, so I had second thoughts, and didn’t like it as much. Then I came back again, and the annoying table sitter was quiet this time, so I liked it again. It has interesting staples and multicolored handwritten tangles of text and a theory of everything.
Otherwise, I spent too much money and made some progress on a scarf. I hands down had the best time at the event than I have in past years. It seemed like a greater range of vendors, and different kinds of vendors mixed together, which I think worked well. There’s a more official review of the event in the New Yorker here, if you’re interested.
I do think that it’s unfortunate that it was the same weekend as every other print event in NYC, the Editions/Artist Book Fair in Chelsea, as well as the biennial Book Arts Fair and Conference at Pyramid Atlantic down in Maryland. There’s plenty of other weekends that all of these things could have happened, and it overwhelms the capacity of organizations and other people involved in the field.