AA Bronson on ArtForum

by Art Fag City on October 24, 2008 Events

The Thing’s Free Map

ArtForum.com has a great interview with AA Bronson on the New York Art Book Fair.  I’ve excepted a few clips below I thought were particularly salient, but read the whole piece.  Bronson sheds light on many of the changes that have occurred over the last few years in artist’s publications, and why this fair is so important.  Although he doesn’t mention it, I believe it has to do with the free map The Thing has available at their booth.  They tell me it works wonders in every city!

…This year, there are 143 exhibitors; it was 123 last year and 70 the year before, which means it's now double the first year. A number of things have happened simultaneously to make the field more salient. One is that book and art-book designers have been influenced a great deal by artists' books, so we're getting used to seeing mainstream catalogues that are quite unusual. The format of the book has become much looser over the past five to ten years. But more than that, I think there's been a generational shift. For example, here at Printed Matter, two-thirds of the people who shop are under thirty-five. The norm at book fairs is that everyone's over fifty—when you go to a book fair and look around, it's all old people. When you come to the NY Art Book Fair, you see a huge population of young people. I think that bodes very well for the publishing and art worlds in general. But it also says something about young people themselves—they have a level of interest in books that nobody was quite aware of before.


What artists are doing today is prompting us to revise our thoughts on what's been done in the past. For example, the output of Ed Sanders's Fuck You press on the Lower East Side, which involved quite a number of artists (Andy Warhol did one of the covers; Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts is its most famous edition), has been totally overlooked as an artists' publication. Because we're used to looking at the Ed Ruschas and Bruce Naumans, there's a lot of material that hasn't received historical attention. Today, we're revising the history of artist publications; what is happening right now is extremely diverse, it's no longer a single field.

To read the full piece click here.

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