An Incomplete History of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs

October 13 - 29, 2022

We’re pleased to announce An Incomplete History of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs, an exhibition presented alongside the return of the NY Art Book Fair this October. This project is organized by Darling Green, produced in partnership with Hauser & Wirth Publishers, and will be on view at Hauser & Wirth’s Chelsea location, October 13–29, 2022, directly next door to this year’s Fair running Oct 13–Oct 16.

Founded in 2006 by then Printed Matter Director AA Bronson, the NY Art Book Fair was initiated as a new platform for artists, publishers and artists’ book enthusiasts, not only for the distribution of publications but as a space for community building and the circulation of ideas. With the addition of a second Fair in Los Angeles in 2014, the event grew in scale to include hundreds of additional exhibitors from across the globe with audiences numbering in the tens of thousands. This year’s Fair returns to the original location of the NY event, and provides an opportunity to reflect on the evolution and impact of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs. An Incomplete History will assemble a chorus of personal anecdotes, conversations, documentation, print materials and ephemera to give a layered narrative account of the NY and LA Art Book Fairs since their founding. With materials drawn from the Printed Matter archives and gathered through an open call for submissions, the presentation will unfold as a non-linear survey and composite oral history of the ever-evolving event.

As a key piece of the project, a series of newly-conducted interviews and conversations with current and past exhibitors will shed light on the individual experiences that make up the collective history and life of the Fair. The project brings together these many voices to consider the Art Book Fairs as a site of dialogue, exchange and collaboration, while also exploring their influential role within the landscape of experimental art and artists’ book publishing.

The exhibition project will be followed by a new print publication (Spring, 2023), published by Printed Matter and edited by Darling Green, with design by Garrick Gott and the support of Contributing Editor Lillian Wilkie.

Open Call Details
We’d love the participation of our wider community in these two projects! In support of this exhibition and publication, we’re currently seeking compelling digital and physical material of all kinds that capture the spirit and history of the NY & LA Art Book Fairs.

Please share your memorable stories and experiences, special moments, or unexpected meet ups. Materials can be sent in the form of photographs, posters, anecdotes, ephemera, recordings, or videos, or other media. We are especially looking for material related to the early years of the NYABF from 2006–2013, though we also appreciate more recent material.

For questions, write to Darling Green at archive@darlinggreen.com. To submit materials for consideration, please see here.

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