Buy the book
Fri Nov 17 2006
Remember when the Dia was an essential stop on your Chelsea gallery crawl? Well, this weekend you can put it back at the top of your must-visit list. The NY Book Art Fair—organized by the nonprofit bookstore Printed Matter—has taken over two floors of Dia:Chelsea's old digs on the westernmost block of 22nd Street. More than 70 international exhibitors—from independent publishers and individual artists to antiquarian dealers—have assembled booths within the former museum's vibrant, modernist-designed interior. The result: an implausibly exciting bookcentric event.
At the fair's benefit preview last night, Printed Matter employees stood at the door, beaming like proud parents. Catherine Krudy, PM's programming assistant, greeted me elatedly: "Check your coat, get a drink and start shopping!" So without reservation, I began snaking my way between tables piled with pulpy, mouthwatering, image-rich books. The museum's walls and columns, checkered with avocado, cream and pastel-pink tiles, enhanced the fair's eye-candy appeal—so much so that by the time I reached the second floor, I was feeling quite ravenous. I picked up a cocktail at the impromptu bar to quell my cravings, then started perusing the upstairs offerings. Highlights: a silk-screen station manned by J.Morrison and his yellow-clad minions (for a donation, they'll custom-print a canvas bag for you in neon colors), a wall installation of posters by Josh Smith, and a DJ booth operated by Justin Lowe and Bob Nickas.
There are thousands of publications for sale at this fair, and you're likely to get reeeally excited about one or two of them. But you need not be ashamed of your book fetishes: Printed Matter proves once again that it's hip to be square.
The fair opens Friday 17 and continues through Sunday 19. For a list of participants and a schedule of related events, visit nyartbookfair.com.