NY Art Book Fair | Everything You Need to Know

Photo: NYABF15. Photo courtesy Desilu Muñoz.

Perhaps there is nothing so intoxicating as the art book, the smell of fresh ink rising off the page and invading your brain while images dance before your eyes like sugarplum fairies on a wild high. Think about it: our very first books were picture books. Long before we could read we could look. We could see and recognize the world in which we live through sight. There were words, of course, words that someone else read to give us context. And this helped, most assuredly, to make sense of what we saw so that it meant something.

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And then one day, we, too, learned to read. We took in the words and evaluated them against the images. But those words, those words were work. It was the pictures that we understood without effort. It was the pictures that spoke to us in the language of our mothers. And it is to the pictures that we return, invariably, with the eleventh annual NY Art Book Fair.

Yale School of Architecture (2013)

Free and open to the public, NYABF16 returns to MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens, running September 16–18, 2016. Hosted by Printed Matter, Inc., the fair is one of the greatest art and publishing events on the Fall calendar.

Last year’s fair features 370 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, institutions, and independent publishers from 28 countries—and was attended by more than 35,000 people. As vast as PS1 is, the crowd is intense. So if you’re the more introverted bookish type, get there early. If you enjoy rubbing shoulders, get there late. But no matter what you do, get there with a tote bag because it’s a shopping delight.

This year’s exhibitors include faves Hamburger Eyes, Trolley Books, SPBH Editions, Edition Patrick Frey, Sean Maung, Princeton Architectural Press, Harper’s Books, The Hole, David Zwirner Books, CarnageNYC, Aperture Foundation, Yale University Press, and East of Borneo, among others.

Lubok Verlag (2011)

NYABF will also host an array of programming and special events in The Classroom, including:

  • The Third Rail #8 (Thursday, September 15, 6:00-9:00pm): A temporary exhibition of posters from issue # 8 of the nonprofit quarterly publication, The Third Rail, with posters by Aaron Anderson & Eric Timothy Carlson, Judith Bernstein, A.K. Burns, Alfredo Jaar, Chris Kasper, Jordan Nassar & Brendan Fowler, Christine Wang, and C. Spencer Yeh, among others. Posters are free to take home.
  • Available to everyone: Robert Jacks and Printed Matter with Peter Anderson (Saturday, September 17, 3:00-4:00pm): Australian artist Robert Jacks (1943 – 2014) began working with artists books in the late 1960s and was among the first group of artists to sell their books through Printed Matter. Writer and curator Peter Anderson introduces Printed Matter’s current exhibition, which features a selection of key book works by Jacks, as well as other significant early artist’s books from his collection. Presented by Printed Matter on the occasion of the organization’s 40th Anniversary.
  • Scrapbook of the Sixties by Jonas Mekas (Sunday, September 18, 12:00-1:00pm): Filmmaker, writer, poet, and co-founder of the Anthology Film Archives Jonas Mekas discusses Scrapbook of the Sixties, a collection of published and unpublished texts. His legendary “Movie Journal” column in The Village Voice went far beyond the realm of film, as he interviewed the no less than the likes of Andy Warhol, Susan Sontag, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono, among others. His comprehensive collection of his writings covers everything from dance, cinema, and art to music, philosophy and poetry from the 1950s to the present. Presented by Spector Books.
  • Tarot Readings for the Future of Artists’ Books by Zebadiah Keneally (Sunday, September 18, 6:00-7:00pm): Interactive performance, artist Zebadiah Keneally will publicly divine THE answers to YOUR questions using his patented “Tarot” deck: Lunch Is Very Important: All the Secrets to Life You Didn’t Know You Already Knew. Keneally will use his unique system of archetypes and icons to channel the future and reveal all you need to know about what’s to come for artists’ books.

Ryan Foerster zine trade (2012)


Preview Thursday, September 15, 6-9 pm ($10, proceeds go to support NYABF16)

Friday, September 16, 1-7pm

Saturday, September 17, 11am-9pm

Sunday, September 18, 11-am-7pm

MoMA PS1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue on 46th Avenue, Long Island City, NY

Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.


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