Printed Matter regularly organizes exhibitions that engage in the rich history of artists’ publications and draw lines of continuity to a new generation of artists’ publishing. Exhibitions are organized by Printed Matter staff members as well as guest curators, artists and publishers, and are presented throughout the store’s wall space, vitrines, and tabletops. In line with our mission to facilitate the distribution of this material, books and other publications are often made available for purchase as part of the presentation. Exhibitions may address any number of themes or approaches, focusing on works by individuals and collectives who have been instrumental in shaping the field, as well as emerging artists engaging the medium in new and interesting ways.
As part of our annual NY Art Book Fair and LA Art Book Fair, we have staged large-scale exhibitions including Zine Masters of the Universe, Catalogs of Steven Leiber, and extensive surveys featuring the bookworks of Dorothy Iannone, Dieter Roth, Richard Prince, Sol LeWitt, Mike Kelley, Bruno Munari, and others. Printed Matter’s current traveling exhibition, Learn to Read Art: A Surviving History of Printed Matter presents an institutional history as it intersects with the broader artists’ book field by featuring material from the Printed Matter Archive. Former iterations of this exhibition have been presented at Art Basel (Switzerland), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland), Badischer Kunstverein (Germany), Artspeak (Vancouver) and MUSAC (Spain). The current version of the show is now touring various institutions and educational forums around the world.
Historic exhibitions at Printed Matter have featured the work of Fiona Banner, Destroy All Monsters, Ian Hamilton Finlay, The Fugs, General Idea, Guerilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Allan Kaprow, Sol LeWitt, Ligorano/Reese, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Dieter Roth and many others. More recently, exhibitions have featured the work of Robert Jacks, Colab (Collaborative Projects), Gary Panter, Miranda Maher, Sam Falls, Eve Fowler/Sam Gordon, Jesse Hlebo, Warja Lavater, Micah Lexier, Garry Neill Kennedy, Tom Sachs, Josh Smith, Sonic Youth, among many others.