DATE: 2/1/2013 | BY JANE BROWN
The opening night of the first LOS ANGELES ART BOOK FAIR wildly surpassed expectations for both exhibitors and attendees, drawing thousands of artists, collectors and cultural figures to the Geffen Contemporary at MoCA, where more than 200 independent and visionary publishers set up shop for the weekend.
Angelinos were awed by the sheer scale and scope of the show, which features an homage to Mike Kelley, a Larry Clark pop-up shop, a John Armleder installation and dozens of booths for independent publishers and bookmakers, including our own, above. The fair unabashedly celebrates the beauty of the book as art object, and offers a wide variety of inspiring material—from one-of-a-kind artist's books, hand-made publications, ephemera and zines, to rare and out-of-print first editions. At the opening Thursday, many attendees expressed delight at the range and depth of publications on view, and adjusted their plans to see the show over the course of several days, rather than one night.
Lisa Pearson of Siglio Press remarked in the Los Angeles Times, “This is where the renegades, the contrarians, the visionaries, the idealists live...the artists who take on a more intimate, small-scale, sometimes ephemeral forms… and the publishers who are finding ways to realize those works, put them in the world, and build an audience for them.”
The fair is being held at the Frank Gehry-designed Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, located in the heart of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. It’s free and open to the public, and offers a unique opportunity to see artists' books, exhibition catalogs, monographs, periodicals and zines by 220 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from twenty-one countries.
The LA ART BOOK FAIR is the companion fair to the east coast's beloved NY ART BOOK FAIR, held every fall in Long Island City. Veteran exhibitors from the New York fair are so far pleased with the crowds, and say sales and attendance are on par with the original venue, also organized by the legendary non-profit, Printed Matter, but hosted by MoMA PS1.
The ARTBOOK | D.A.P. booth features primarily Los Angeles artists, as well as newly released titles and a selection of signed, rare and out of print editions.