Reading Between the Lines

Five things to see at the New York Art Book Fair.

ALBUM by Eline Mugaas and Elise Storsveen

The annual New York Art Book Fair, which runs from Friday, September 26 to Sunday, September 28, at MoMA PS1 in Queens, is an extravaganza of visual stimuli. The sheer tonnage of eye candy can be hard to parse, so we asked Printed Matter’s Shannon Michael Cane, who curates the NYABF, to steer us toward the five things he’s most looking forward to.

We Did It Norway “Every year, I focus on a country—this year it’s Norway. I was lucky enough to travel there for 10 days earlier this year on a research trip to curate this room. The ladies are stealing the show in this country. There’s an amazing exhibition in PS1’s boiler room by FRANK, and a book launch by the image-bank artists Eline Mugaas and Elise Storsveen, who are known as ALBUM.”

*The NYABF, with support from the Norwegian Consulate General in New York, presents KUNSTNERBØKER, a curated selection of 26 Norwegian booksellers, institutions, artists and independent publishers, accompanied by programming, screenings, exhibitions and interventions related to this cross-section of Norway’s artist book community.*

Queer As Film “I love these cinema nerds from Dirty Looks NYC, a platform for queer experimental film and video. I’ve have collaborated with them on a few projects, and watched them educate New York gays on their own history and identity by way of celluloid. The launch of their first publication, Check Your Vernacular, will be celebrated with performances from some of our finest, like the amazingly fabulous artist Dynasty Handbag.”

The launch of “Check Your Vernacular,” Sunday 5-6pm in the MoMA PS1 basement, features a screening and performances by Dynasty Handbag, Narcissister, Colin Self and Chris E. Vargas. An accompanying exhibition, commissioned by the Rhode Island School of Design (on view there September 30 – October 22), assembles the objects, costumes, and emphemera of contemporary queer performance.

A/V Club “Did you know that Thurston Moore used to be employed at Printed Matter? The frontman of the seminal band Sonic Youth will be performing an experimental sound set with artist James Nares to celebrate the opening of the fair. I’m excited to see Thurston play—and just weeks before his new solo album is released.”

The performance will be live on the steps of PS1, from 6-9pm during our opening night preview. Afterwards, Thurston Moore will sign copies of his new chapbook of lyrics, “The Best Day,” published by Ecstatic Peace Library.

NSFNYABF “Karma has published a new Wade Guyton artist book that is sure to raise eyebrows at the fair. Expect a full project room installed by the artist, but no spoiler alerts here—just make sure you check both out. Be prepared for some ‘explicit content.’”

Karma presents “1 Month Ago,” by Wade Guyton. All weekend at NYABF.

Storybook Ending “I was lucky enough to see a version of this exhibition by the renowned book artist Keith A. Smith at Bruce Silverstein gallery in 2011. His handmade and often very personal narrative books really impressed me with their construction and technique. In the ‘60s, Smith’s early books set the bar for the possibilities of the art form, and his influence as a teacher and author on alternative bookbinding and structure has spread wide. The works in this show—special editions, prints, and photographs from the ‘60s through today—are radical departures from traditional books.”

Smith’s installation “Book by Book: 2nd Edition” runs all weekend at NYABF.

Photos: Reading Between the Lines

Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair 2014 presents Norway Focus: Kunstnerbøker

A Marie Hoeg photograph from the FRANK exhibition.

Courtesy of Printed Matter

ALBUM by Eline Mugaas and Elise Storsveen.

Courtesy of Printed Matter

“Check Your Vernacular” by Dirty Looks NYC.

Courtesy of Printed Matter

“The Best Day” by Thurston Moore.

Courtesy of Printed Matter

“1 Month Ago,” by Wade Guyton.

Courtesy of Printed Matter

Keith A. Smith Page from Book Number 11, Up, 1969 © Keith Smith, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY