As noted earlier, I had the pleasure to attend both the NY Art Book Fair and the Berlin Art Book Fair in the same weekend. Unfortunately I did not have time to adequately browse the fair in NY in a manner suitable to collecting and acquiring new titles. I did, however, pick up the Eve Fowler book (see recent post) and the three books I will discuss in this posting. In a future posting I will share and discuss books I received as gifts from Michael Lailach, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Sammlung Buch – und Medienkunst, from the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. He presented me with a publication and a large ziploc bag with ten artists’ publications by a German artist (stay tuned).
This first entry is for The New York Art Book Fair program/fair/conference guide. It is a small publication measuring 15×10.5 cm, and 1.5 cm thick. The fair is managed by Printed Matter and held at MOMA PS 1. This year the fair was September 19-23, 2013, with an opening preview on Thursday evening. This small publication is arranged as follows: two pages of front matter; descriptions of New Editions commissioned by Printed Matter for the fair; a description of the New Publication by Eve Fowler commissioned by the Conference planning committee (of which I am a part of); an overview of the Conference; an overview of the Classroom (a curated series of conversations, readings, and various other events); a schedule of Book Signings; listings of Featured Programs & Performances; (each year the NYABF focuses on a country or theme, this year …) the Focus on Photography, included a room of just photobooks and photo magzines; The Schoolyard (zinsters and innovative publications), including Friendly Fire (politically minded artists), and Flaming Creatures (queer artists and zine makers); and featured exhibitions as part of the fair; and a focus on Swiss publishing. The remainder and majority of the publication is reserved for ad listings for each of the nearly 300 publishers/vendors included in the fair.
As part of the Conference there were two Keynote presentations. The first was at 7pm Thursday night as part of the Fair preview. This keynote featured a conversation between Clive Phillpot, director of the MoMA library from 1977 to 1994, and Christophe Cherix, MoMA’s Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books, who contributed to the introduction of Phillpot’s new book published by JRP: Booktrek. This is a book of selected essays on artist’s books from 1972 to 2010, penned by Phillpot. The table of contents include the Forward, a conversation between Clive Phillpot, Lionel Bovier, and Christophe Cherix; an Introduction titled “from N.E. Thing Co. to Anything goes?”; 28 essays, starting with a short piece in 1972 through to an essay on Sol LeWitt in 2010; 246 pages in total. Back matter includes a “Bibliography: Twentysix Valued Volumes, 2002”, Index of Names, and acknowledgements. The interview is worth reading as it puts Phillpot’s essays into context. This publication measures 21 x 15 x 2.5 cm.
The Book on Books on Artists Books, is by Arnaud Desjardin and published by The Everyday Press, London, 2011. The copy I have in hand is a second edition of a book originally published as an artist’s book. In the Forward, the author encourages the reader to “get in touch” if they “notice any mistakes, mis-attributions, and mis-descriptions.” Part of the aim of this publication is to introduce new works to each reader. Following the Forward is a brief introduction about the book including information about bibliographic data, bibliographic hierarchies, and bibliographic information; the history and roles there of, and the relative importance to the entries within this volume. This is essentially a reference bibliography on the topic of artist’s books. (I encourage you to read the Introduction before reading or browsing the following entries in this book, should you decide to purchase it). The bibliography is organized into the following categories: Exhibition Catalogs, pp. 11-74; General Reference, pp. 75-120; Collection Catalogs, pp. 121-132; Artist Monographs, pp. 133-164; Publisher Monographs, pp. 165-176; Artists’ Books on Books, pp. 177-184; Periodicals, pp. 185-196; Publisher Catalogs, pp. 197-222; Yearbooks & Fair Catalogs, pp. 223-230; Dealerships, pp. 231-307. There is a “caveat” by the author explaining how this arrangement is not traditional. Also, I should mention that each of these preceding categories includes a short description, or explanation. There is also an Addendum, pp. 308-319. This includes all of the publications that were left out of the first edition and are not included in the preceding categories. The author acknowledges these omissions may be significant, but that they did the best they could to compile known titles at the time of publication. If you are interested in the literature of or about artists’ books, you should consider adding this book to your collection of reference resources. It is not exhaustive, but does include important titles, known and unknown. This publication measures 22 x 15 x 2.3 cm.