Though the whirlwind of the latest technologies could easily lead us to question the future of the printed book, nevertheless the most recent edition of the NY Art Book Fair provided the opportunity to observe how this subsection of the publishing world is very much alive. Indeed, it offered further proof, if indeed proof was needed, of how the combination the printed word and image provides a seductive combination in all senses.
The eighth annual NY Art Book Fair, held September 19-22 at Long Island City's MoMA PS1, was a raucous three-day party celebrating the union of word and image. The fair, organized by Printed Matter and curated by Shannon Michael Cane, featured books, catalogues, monographs, periodicals and ‘zines from more than 280 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from more than 20 countries.
It was in 2006 when Printed Matter first founded the NY Art Book Fair. Since then, it has become the most important fair in the world for printed word and image work. In 2012, the fair gathered 283 exhibitors, antiquarians, artists and publishers from more than 26 countries and was visited on just one weekend by 25,000 people.
During these days, a range of activities is programmed such as the Contemporary Artist Book Conference (CABC), which attracts a broad international spectrum of booksellers and experts in artists’ books. As a visitor to the PICE program by the independent fair of Libros Mutantes of La Casa Encendida, Max Schumann (Associate Director of Printed Matter) made a selection of Spanish publications with the idea of presenting them in New York. On this occasion, through its mobility program, AC/E supports the involvement of Commissioners of Libros Mutantes and a representative of La Casa Encendida, so they can show the selection of publications in the NY Art Book Fair framework, thus promoting the internationalization of this sector and its Spanish professionals.
It was the perfect occasion to enjoy the magical power of attraction that books exert on the public willing to marvel.