The first annual LA Art Book Fair on Feb 1-3rd 2013, organized by Printed Matter Inc., and hosted by The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA proved to be a huge success. Free and open to the public, the LA Art Book Fair is a unique event featuring artists’ books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from twenty-one countries. Over 16,000 visitors came out to see the work of 220 publishers and individual artists. Exhibitors of the fair created installations, hosted performances, and many presented brand new publications which debuted at the fair. Exhibitors joined the fair from around the world, from Tokyo to Athens, from Oslo to Buenos Aires. Several Warhol Initiative Organizations were invited and participated as exhibitors in the fair including: Fillip, East of Borneo, LACE, X-Tra, Cabinet, Dieu Donne Press, Primary Information and of course Printed Matter.
Beyond the amazing number of books, the fair featured 4 exhibitions, including Zine Masters of the Universe a show of artist books by Raymond Pettibon, Dash Snow, Ari Marcopolous, and Marc Gonzales. The fair also had a number of programming events which complemented the fair, including; a guerrilla art radio station KCHUNG broadcasting interviews with artists and publishers through the fair, a Mike Kelley reading room, artists talks by Ben Jones, Dan Nadel, and a lecture by Chris Boot, Executive Director of the Aperture Foundation. Fritz Haeg also offered yoga classes and book club discussions at the Sundown Schoolhouse.
The LA Art Book Fair follows suit to Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair held at MoMA PS1. 25,000 visitors attended the past year’s NY Art Book Fair which hosted 283 exhibitors. Both fairs are offered free to the public, and the project’s growing success means that Printed Matter’s organizational mission of disseminating and fostering the appreciation of artist books is being realized to a bigger extent than it ever has before!
There was a great article by Carol Cheh regarding the fair on the Art:21 Blog, Here.