The 10th Annual New York Art Book Fair
The Fair sees thousands of attendees each year
The Conveyor Editions table
A favorite from the Conveyor table
The Light Work table at the New York Art Book Fair
Andrea Sanguinette at the Light Work table
Spaces Corners showcases indie photo books and zine
A new release at the Spaces Corners table
A selection of photo books from S_U_N_ Editions
A notable book from the S_U_N_ table, “The Family Acid”
The Art Metropole table
A noteworthy release from the Art Metropole table
Last Sunday marked the end of the 10th annual New York Art Book fair which its creators, the Chelsea-based Printed Matter Inc., call the largest fair of its type anywhere for artists’ books and similar publications. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors flock to the MoMA’s satellite PS1 museum in Queens, NY to peruse the best photo book publications from vendors hailing from over a dozen counties. The Fair hosts an impressive array of programming, from book signings to experimental performance-art events in addition to showcasing new releases from established and indie publishers alike.
Though many from New York’s famously colorful creative class attended, photographers in particular are drawn to the event. Photo books are enjoying a golden age of sorts and are growing increasingly popular as collector’s items and vectors for photographers to showcase their work. The recent proliferation of print-on-demand services has allowed photographers to make books which only a few years ago would have been prohibitively expensive for them to create. While the photographic universe has inarguably shifted into the intangible, the printed image often is given more weight and impact as a result. The best photo book collections are proving their staying power even as many other types of publications dissolve into the digital world. The New York Art Book Fair is a testament of the importance of object-hood in contemporary photography despite—or perhaps because of—the diffusion of the medium into many online spheres.