A Beehive Filled With Artists' Books and Buzz
Photo: Marko Georgiev for The New York Times
The NY Art Book Fair this weekend extends to two floors of the former Dia space on 22nd Street in Chelsea.
By HOLLAND COTTER
Published: November 18, 2006
If you're worried that independent book publishing is doing a disappearing act along with independent everything else, fret not, or at least not yet. The NY Art Book Fair, which made its debut yesterday, is evidence that alternative is still vital, sexy and free. This fair may be the only one of its size in the city that charges nothing at the door. You don't have to pay to shop. [...]
White Columns — located, like Printed Matter, in Chelsea — is an adventurous exhibition space, but takes the publishing plunge at the fair with issues of the smart, photocopied-looking magazine it recently started producing, timed to its shows. A collective enterprise called Ugly Duckling Presse has assumed the mission of rescuing yesterday's artists' publications from oblivion. This press has just reprinted the entire two-year run of 0 to 9, one of the most experimental of all the mimeographed magazines of the late 1960s. What a fabulously mad thing it was, and is.
On the commercial side, Andrew Roth Inc. is one among many examples of minimum staffing and maximum multitasking. More or less a one-person operation, it juggles publishing, dealing in rare photographic books and running a contemporary-art gallery on the Upper East Side.
But for a true taste of what alternative means in the art book business, head up to the second floor and through the large display of wares by D. A. P./Distributed Art Publishers, to a section of the fair called Friendly Fire. Here a cluster of shoestring independent publishers, many of them artists and many of them young, constitute a tight little fair of their own, a kind of mini-bazaar of homemade, handmade, self-published books, zines, buttons, T-shirts, recordings, videos and DVDs. [read full article...]