CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/22/2014
This week, the NYC culture site Fever profiles our own Todd Bradway, who recently took on the top job in David Zwirner's publishing program. There's no one better. Fever writes: "Meet Todd Bradway, after a 20-year career at ARTBOOK|D.A.P., America’s premier source for art books, Todd is now heading David Zwirner Gallery’s own publishing entity and believes print publication is on the rise once again!"
FEVER: Tell us a little about your background and how you got into the world of art and publishing.
TB: For as long as I remember I’ve loved books and I’ve loved art. My grandmother was a librarian and I went to art school. I studied fine art but I got an internship at D.A.P., my first week of college and so I went through four years of undergraduate while working there. That was key to my education in both visual and the printed page.
FEVER: How did you transition from D.A.P. to David Zwirner, specifically surrounding the launch of David Zwirner Books, the gallery’s own publishing entity?
TB: When the gallery made the decision to increase the amount of publishing they were doing and create a stand alone publishing company called David Zwirner Books that’s what really peaked my interest. I’ve always been a huge fan of the gallery’s program and artists and I’ve been a fan of the gallery for a long time. When I heard they were building this new endeavor I had to go for it.
FEVER: Why do you think publications (such as art books) stand the test of time even when print media is seemingly in decline?
TB: I don’t actually think that print is in a decline. There was this moment around 2008, when it seemed like it was unsure with the rise of the e-book, the rise of digital publishing but in the last 3-4 years it seems to have evened out. E-book sales have plateaued, you go to a fair like the NY Artbook Fair and you see 30,000 young people coming through passionate about the printed form. The people who want these kinds of books (art books, photography books, architecture books) are people who use the material and are passionate about it. A fantastically printed reproduction of a painting, photograph or drawing is the closest thing (most people) are going to get to ever having it in their own home. That is one thing we strive for at David Zwirner, the highest quality, printing in Italy with the finest printers and making books of the highest calibre.
FEVER: What is your stance on e-readers?
TB: I have no issue. I read books on my phone, I have no issue with the digital platforms, I just feel that the experience of turning a page is different. I want the physical experience. We spend so much of our time in front of computers and our phones that the book is a necessary escape. Just like going to an art gallery is an escape.
FEVER: What is your take on the recent influx of ‘pop-up’ galleries, books stores, shops, etc.?
TB: For the past several years, David Zwirner has been organizing summer pop-up stores and we’re about to launch our Holiday pop-up. So, I’m all for it, I am all for having another level of public engagement. I think the gallery is very interested in being an open place where people can experience art and I think art books are another form of engagement with the public. One more forum for reaching that audience is not a bad thing.
FEVER: What books do you have on your coffee table?
TB: Glass! Love! Perpetual Motion!: A Paul Scheerbart Reader
The Figure: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture
William Kentridge: Secondhand Reading
The Art Life: On Creativity and Career
Doug Rickard: N.A.
Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas
Jim Goldberg: Rich and Poor
The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration
FEVER: Who are some of your favorite artists?
TB: Doug Rickard, Vincent Desiderio, Kara Walker, Stephen Gill and Adrian Ghenie.
FEVER: What is the best exhibit you’ve been to recently?
TB: Not a true exhibit, but the New York Art Book Fair takes place at P.S.1 and is always a must see. In terms of museum and gallery shows here are some of my recent favorites:
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at MoMA,
Jordan Sullivan: The Young Earth & An Island in the Moon at Peter Hay Halpern Fine Art,
Chris Ofili: Night and Day at the New Museum,
Susan Te Kahurangi King: Drawings from Many Worlds at Andrew Edlin Gallery,
Egon Schiele: Portraits at the Neue Galerie,
Kara Walker: A Subtlety Creative Time at the Domino Sugar Factory.
FEVER: What do you like to do in your free time: name some restaurants/bars/activities?
TB: I usually stay local in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I also eat out a lot. My go-to spots include:
FEVER: Describe yourself in three hashtags.
TB: #theprintedpage, #thewhitecube, #americaspastime.
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