10 Things to Do and See at the New York Art Book Fair

Here's the scoop.

New York Art Book Fair (2014). Courtesy BJ Enright Photography and Printed Matter.
New York Art Book Fair (2014). Courtesy BJ Enright Photography and Printed Matter.

From September 15–18, Printed Matter will be celebrating the eleventh anniversary of their annual New York Art Book Fair—and after looking at what’s in store this weekend, it seems that they’re pulling all the stops to make it memorable.

With over 370 booksellers, artists, and publishers flocking from around the world to Long Island City’s MoMA PS1, the event promises to deliver everything a fair-goer can handle in three days. You can also expect the place to be jam-packed, as the event saw around 35,000 attendees last year.

Given the enormity of the event, the task of navigating the sprawl can be intimidating, so artnet News rounded up the 10 best things to do and see below.

Outside the New York Art Book Fair. Courtesy New York Art Book Fair.

Outside the New York Art Book Fair. Courtesy New York Art Book Fair.

1. Kick things off with the opening night dance party:
If you plan on attending Thursday’s preview, you can look forward to performances by the Beat Detectives and Liquid Assets.

Beat Detectives and Liquid Assets will be performing on the steps of MoMA PS1 from 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 15.

MSHR, Voistar~ synthesizer with microphone/instrument input. Courtesy of the artists' website.

MSHR, Voistar~ synthesizer with microphone/instrument input. Courtesy of the artists’ trippy website.

2. Experience MSHR’s light-triggered synth performance:
Keith Gray, Printed Matter’s programming coordinator, told artnet News in an email that MSHR‘s installation on Friday night is something to keep an eye out for. The group is a collaborative venture between artists Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy, and will involve “sculptural synthesizers, ritualistic performances, and installations that place the human body into a dynamic relationship with sound and light.” Sounds good to us.

MSHR’s performance will be take place on Friday, September 15 at 6:15 p.m.

3. Ask Larissa Pham and Bettina Davis for 21st-century sex, love, and dating advice:
On Saturday, authors Larissa Pham and Bettina Davis will be giving a reading of their latest short erotic fiction books, Fantasian and One Valencia Lane. The event, which is hosted by Paul Chan’s Badlands Unlimited, will be followed up with an open discussion, where guests are invited to pose questions about love and sex in the 21st century. Be sure to take notes.

“Ask New Lovers with Larissa Pham and Bettina Davis” will be held from 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17.

John Baldessari, <em>Rendering for "PLEASE" chair</em> (2016). Courtesy of OneStar Press.

John Baldessari, Rendering for PLEASE chair (2016). Courtesy of Onestar Press.

4. Take a seat on John Baldessari‘s chair:
More often than not, touching artwork is the biggest taboo in the book, but artist Sébastien de Ganay’s “4 Piece Chair” invites the opposite. At Onestar Press’s booth, John Baldessari’s chair, titled PLEASE, is the latest in a series of customized chairs by artists such as Lawrence Weiner and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

PLEASE…sit on this chair!” is an interactive installation by Sébastien de Ganay and customized by John Baldessari, and will be presented at Onestar Press’s booth.

Devandra Banhart's tattoo design for Gagosian Gallery. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.

Devandra Banhart’s tattoo design for Gagosian Gallery. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery.

5. Get inked at Gagosian Gallery’s tattoo stand:
As part of the event’s special exhibitions programming, Gagosian Gallery is setting up a tattoo stand with original designs by artists Kim Gordon, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, and Devandra Banhart, among others. Gordon’s design is already sold out, but if you plan on attending Thursday’s opening preview, you may still get a chance to meet her at her book signing at 7:30 p.m. in the magazine store.

Gagosian Gallery’s tattoos are priced at $250 a piece, and appointments can be booked on their website.

6. Watch Oscar Murillo in a multi-day drawing performance:
Over at David Zwirner‘s booth, the gallery has arranged for Oscar Murillo, along with artists Mandy El-Sayegh and Yutaka Sone, to work on a durational performance piece that runs throughout the event. According to the New York Art Book Fair’s website, “Room Services” will see the three artists collaborating on a series of graphic works “based on unbound book materials.” Those interested in catching Murillo’s recent work can also head over to Chelsea, where the artist is currently holding a solo exhibition at Zwirner titled “through patches of corn, wheat and mud.”

“Room Services” is a multi-day performance by Oscar Murillo, Mandy El-Sayegh, and Yutaka Stone.

Petra Collins, <em>24-Hour Psycho</em> (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

Petra Collins, 24 Hour Psycho (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

7. Meet Petra Collins at her 24 Hour Psycho signing:
Breakout photographer Petra Collins will be launching her zine, 24 Hour Psycho (a nod to Douglas Gordon‘s 1993 installation of the same name), with a signing on Sunday afternoon. The images are, as she tells the Huffington Post, “colorful and loud,” and are a continuation of her trademark explorations of female subjects.

Petra Collins’s 24 Hour Psycho launch signing will take place on September 18 at 1:00 p.m.

8. Swing by The Kitchen’s booth for limited edition prints and posters:
The Kitchen, Chelsea’s premiere experimental art space, is heading to the fair this year, and they’re bringing along a number of prints for collectors to pick up. The non-profit has indicated a preview of what’s available, and those hoping to bring something home can expect to pay anywhere from $20 for a Richard Prince poster, to an $8,000 limited edition print by Jacob Kassay.

The Kitchen will be selling a number of limited edition prints and posters throughout the weekend.

9. Don’t be afraid of the basement:
The Netherlands-based graphic design program Werkplaats Typographie will be taking over the basement for their weekend-long launch of WT Papier. The project, as the group describes it, is a “form of modified and self-described re-paper that reveals different degrees of its previous life.”

Werkplaats Typographie’s “EXTRA! EXTRA!” launch will take place in the basement from September 15–18.

10. See M. Lamar’s closing performance:
Composer M. Lamar, who will be releasing his book this weekend, is slated to perform “We have always risen up from the dead” to close out the fair on Sunday evening. But if that isn’t enough, there’s also Printed Matter’s after-party at the Standard in the East Village, where DJ KayGee will be delivering sets well into the night.

M. Lamar’s performance, “We have always risen up from the dead,” runs from 5:00 p.m. through 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 18.


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