The 10th Annual New York Art Book Fair

The Fair sees thousands of attendees each year

Art and photo book enthusiasts crowd the museum.

The Conveyor Editions table

Conveyor Editions is a small publisher and book maker located in Jersey City, NJ.

A favorite from the Conveyor table

Conveyor Editions’ latest title, The Outsider by Athena Torri. Through photographs, Torri—who is a self-described sculptor—investigates the connections between the spheres of her studio and the natural environment outside. The hole-punched cover is a clever nod to the peg boards used in workspaces to hold tools.

The Light Work table at the New York Art Book Fair

Light Work is an artist-run non-profit that has been supporting artists since the early 1970’s in Syracuse, NY.

Andrea Sanguinette at the Light Work table

A stand-out book from the Light Work table, a signed copy of Andrea Sanguinetti’s On the Sixth Day. This large, handsome edition plumbs the depths of human-animal interactions that, while often uncomfortable, are honest and complex.

Spaces Corners showcases indie photo books and zine

Spaces Corners is a bookstore and project space in Pittsburgh, PA.

A new release at the Spaces Corners table

A favorite from the Spaces Corners table, Hells Hollow Fallen Monarch is a collaboration by Melissa Catanese and Peter J. Cohen. Catanese, who is half of the Spaces Corners outfit, presents a curated selection of images from the archive of Peter J. Cohen, a venacular photography collector. This small and well laid-out book weaves a loose narrative about the very male tradition of deer hunting in western Pennsylvania through over 50 years of snapshots.

A selection of photo books from S_U_N_ Editions

S_U_N_ Editions, and indie photo book publisher, showcases their wares.

A notable book from the S_U_N_ table, “The Family Acid”

One of S_U_N’s recent releases, The Family Acid by Roger Steffens. Psychedelic imagery abounds in this look back at 20th century counter culture. Steffens, who is a photographer, DJ and author, showcases off-the-cuff shots of his colorful life via his son, daughter and wife who contributed to contextualizing his photographs in this book.

The Art Metropole table

Art Metropole hails from Toronto, Ontario and is a not-for-profit organization helping artists produce and disseminate publications.

A noteworthy release from the Art Metropole table

A favorite from the Art Metropole table, Observations of Foreign Objects in a Remote Town by Benjamin Freedman. The images in this book comprise a loose, investigative narrative taking place in an un-named backwater. Freedman’s pictures in this expansive and well-produced book feel out the photographic language of scientific research.

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.