Heading into it’s 5th year, The New York Art Book Fair was lovingly conceived and brought to fruition by AA Bronson, Chief Executive of one of NY’s most cherished art bookstores, Printed Matter. Since its relatively recent inception, the Fair has grown exponentially to include over 280 exhibitors from around the world and has essentially revived the once floundering art book into a flourishing market. Once again, we are proud to be the official hotel partner for this years fair.
Guest blogger Johnny Misheff caught up with Mr Bronson who was communicating via email from Paris, where he is currently working on a show called General Idea: Haute Culture, a retrospective of General Idea at the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris opening in February, 2011.
(Learn to Read Art: A History of Printed Matter, curated by AA Bronson)
Johnny Misheff: Why was it important for you to start the NY Art Book Fair?
AA Bronson: When we began the NY Art Book Fair, we were very aware of the fading importance of New York City as a center for art books. Not only had we lost a number of memorable art book stores in the recent past, but even museum stores were reducing their inventory and major publishers were dumbing down their titles. At the same time we were aware of an explosion of local, often DIY activity that seemed to be just the tip of an iceberg. We wanted to bring together art book publishers of all types from around the world and create a gathering and an exchange that would have major repercussions, everyone from zinesters to artist-publishers to antiquarian dealers to non-profits to galleries to small and larger publishers.
JM: What are some of the highlights for the Fair this year?
AB: This year we have 280 exhibitors from 24 countries, a 40% increase over last year. I’m especially excited about the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference, now in its third year, which accompanies the Fair. The keynote panel is a conversation between Christopher Wool, Josh Smith, and Richard Hell… and artists Rachel Harrison, Christian Holstad, William E. Jones, and Misaki Kawai have created new fundraising editions, which help keep the NY Art Book Fair free to the public—even the preview is free! There is more going on this year than I can possibly talk about here. See New York Book Fair for hints of more to come.
JM: What will the Fair be like in 10 years?
AB: Johnny, what a question! Ten years from now is more than I can imagine! I hope that, like Printed Matter, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this coming year, the NY Art Book Fair will continue to be the cool and spunky super-event it is today.
The New York Art Book Fair runs from Nov 5-7, 2010. For more info, go to NYBF.