New York Art Book Fair Is the Art World’s ‘Coachella’

Featuring apocalyptic pickles, T-shirts, Thurston Moore, and Gang Gang Dance.

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MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach doing stretches with art patron Agnes Gund in a rehearsal for a Xavier Le Roy performance. Le Roy’s “Retrospective” is on view at MoMA PS1 October 2.
Artist Andrew Kuo’s punny T-shirt of art critics Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz was the sleeper hit of the fair. Even Lena Dunham wanted one and made this Instagram request: “If anyone is at the PS1 book fair and can score me one of these amazing @earlboykins t-shirts with my Godparents mugs on them I will pay you back with chocolate, hugs (and money).” No doubt, she got a lot of offers.
One fan, "Sophia Richter," commented on her Instagram feed: “If the art/lit world had a Coachella, this may be it.” Incidentally, the Observer's Nate Freeman also commented that the fair resembled the music festival. Something must be in the air.
The poster for Hans Ulrich Obrist’s book signing featuring a young Hans Ulrich Obrist.
The Wade Guyton project room by Karma.
Concert zine Showpaper had a great sculptural dispenser.
Guests had to remove their shoes before entering Iván Navarro's site-specific installation "The Music Room."
Thurston Moore performing on opening night of the fair.
Artist Collier Schorr dropped by Fulton Ryder’s project space, where erotic work was on view, including these by Miroslav Tichy.
The Nick Doyle book signing at Invisible-Exports.
At $100 per jar, these "war pickles" at Karma offered edible art objects with apocalyptic undertones. This unique label asked, "Since it has been established that we are at war, let's force a disjunctive opposition: Warhol or pickles?"
Artist Terence Koh was spotted, by art dealer Kathy Grayson, with his mother. Among the things he was hawking, in the dome, were "smell books" little clumps of earth in small clear boxes for $8 a pop.
Hole gallerist Kathy Grayson shared her "haul," which included a Scott Hug art zine and an issue of Toilet Paper.

As per Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1’s director, the New York Art Book Fair had over 10,000 visitors on Sunday alone. It certainly felt like it. This year’s fair, presented by Printed Matter, opened with a performance by Thurston Moore and closed with a show by Gang Gang Dance. It was an epic event that had some visitors, including the Observer’s Nate Freeman, comparing it to Coachella, replete with novelty T-shirts featuring art world royalty, loads of colorful and affordable artworks and artisanal objects that had people advertising their “haul,” and plenty of room to just hang and listen to music, whether outdoors on the steps of the museum or within the special project rooms (well, at least one). Here are some of the wacky things that we saw (or that others saw and posted on Instagram).


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