Last Sunday marked the final day of the 11th annual NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, The annual event put on by the famous Chelsea book store Printed Matter is a magnet for connoisseurs and enthusiasts of art books and print work published independently by vendors from far flung corners of the globe. It is free and open to public, making it one of the most accessible events for those looking to add books and ephemera to their collections.
Between performances, book signings, booze and snacks, visitors can explore several floors packed with display tables and bins to dig through. Photography books at NYABF get their own section, distinct from other book objects, zines and prose collections. I dove in for American Photo to find some of the standout titles you might have missed if you stayed home this weekend.
Young Ideas By Eddie O’Keefe
Young Ideas is a five-year compilation of images by the filmmakers Eddie O’keefe. Superb editing adds to the book’s cinematic feel—each frame seems locked in at its peak impact. A satisfying 88 pages is crammed in despite the book’s compact size. From: Smoke Room
Welcome to Syria Al Assad with the compliments of the Ministry of Tourism By Oliver Hartung
Each page of the award-winning Welcome to Syria Al Assad feels like another leg of a dusty road trip. Billboards dot the landscape with official propaganda of the state honoring the Assad family, whose rule has shaped modern Syria since 1971. The oversized page has a neat perforated edge, begging to be carefully torn out and framed. From: Spector Books Leipzig / Motto Books
Doctor Seek and Mister Hide By Mirka Lugosi & Gilles Berquet
Among the events at the NYABF this weekend was the official release of Doctor Seek and Mister Hide, the latest limited edition artist’s book by Mirka Lugosi and Gilles Berquet. The book has several lush centerfolds on heavyweight paper, equally appealing to erotica fans and print fetishists. From: Vasta Editions
Strangers’ Guide to Home Territories By Steve Bishop
Strangers’ Guide to Home Territories by Steve Bishop presents as photo book art object. Individual photographs are printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Paper and bound in a laminated book. Similar to sitting on your grandmother’s plastic-covered couch, the images preserve the artist’s intimate view of various interior spaces. From: Motto Books
Photographs Volume II By Cy Twombly
Photographs taken by the prolific abstract expressionist Cy Twombly show delicate natural objects like fruits and flowers taken in Italy between 1985 and 2008, and later exhibited by the Gagosian Gallery. It is an excellent find that can be revisited endlessly for its subtle twists and shadows. For a simple catalog it’s the next best thing to having actually seen the works IRL. From: Gagosian Gallery Exhibition Catalog
Got to Go By Rosalind Fox Solomon
The high contrast monochrome portrait work of artist Rosalind Fox Solomon is shown in this beautifully-wrapped hardcover book as both tragicomic biography and photographic poetry. On the last page she leaves us with the words: “All persons living and dead are purely coincidental and should not be construed.” –Kurt Vonnegut. From: MACK
Sasayama By Osamu Yokonami
Osamu Yokonami’s Sasayama is printed in a first edition of 400 numbered copies with a special edition of 25 numbered copies in cardboard clamshell that comes with a signed original C-print. The images are a study of landscapes and a group of choreographed girls in Samsayama, Hyogo Perfecture, Japan. Printed in Gothenburg, Sweden. From:Libraryman
Americana Girl By Rachel Brennecke, a.k.a. Bon Jane
Americana Girl is the first photo book from photographer Rachel Brennecke who also goes by the name Bon Jane. She uses young female characters and a super sharp lens to examine provocative themes of womanhood, objectification and vulnerability.