Printed Matter’s fourth annual LA Art Book Fair is juuust around the corner, and we’re here compiling 10 exhibitors you should peep while at the event. For context, this is LA’s highly attended and highly anticipated book fair, bringing together a very sizeable portion of Los Angeles’ literary-intrigued art and culture buffs. Scroll below for recommendations on top notch distributors pushing art books, monographs, magazine and zines.
Nestled in Culver City, Arcana Books is a basically the local holy grail for historic, rare and out of print art books and monographs focusing on fashion, art and photography. Their database of over 100,000 art books is broken down into super helpful categories, covering everything from dada and surrealism, surf and skate culture, art and technology to tatooing and performance art. If you’re on the hunt for a title, Arcana will also happily track that mofo down for you and make it available for purchase.
Crucial indie magazines plus various zines and art book releases are what you can expect from And Pens Press. This former Culver City-based subsidiary of San Francisco’s Needle & Pens is actually accessible in multiple locations across LA. Currently, you can find And Pens titles strategically displayed at Eightfold Coffee, Quiet Life, Unis and Kaldi Coffee, but of course, you’ll want to check them out at the LAABF with their latest curated titles all in one space. Do take the time to look through and scope out some tasteful contemporary designs. Hellor Mr for instance, is slaying in all departments– visually and contextually. A definite must read for those interested in creative non-fiction essays. The magazine is geared towards men who date men, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t relate to basically every divinely crafted essay in in Issue 002. Sift through and enjoy.
Deadbeat Club is composed of long-time friends and Cali-natives Clint Woodside, Ed Templeton, Deanna Templeton, Devin Briggs, Nolan Hall and Grant Hatfield. The crew is one of the most refined photo gangs, constantly releasing new titles, curating international photo exhibitions and generally making rad moves. Be sure to stop by the booth to see what the team has up for grabs and scope out Ed Templeton’s first zine, “Teenage Smokers,” which sold to one [crazy wealthy] zine-head [with a rack to spare] at last year’s LAABF for a cool grand– yes, $1,000 USD– possibly making it one of the most valuable zine sells, like, ever.
Australia’s Heavy Time books is coming through with an extensive library of standout zines. Check them out for collaborations with the likes of Peter Sutherland, Cheryll Dunn and artist Neckface. Also be sure to check out Primitive Skills, available through Heavy Time, which angles itself as the unprofessional surf magazine studying “the rituals, symbols, habits and habitats of surfers, including the misuse of funds, distaste for authority, anti-social behavior, freedom of thought and other undesirable side effects of salt water to the brain.”
If you didn’t know, Ginko Press is the plug. All major gameplayers in contemporary art have had the opportunity of releasing a book through Ginko because it’s essential, almost like a rite of passage. Into street art? You gotta flip through Ginko’s Os Gemeos book to see the talents of the Brazilian twins/gods. Music-head? Try Behind the Beat to scope out the creative spaces of the U.S.’ and UK’s top producers including DJ Premier and J Dilla. Having Ginko’s titles all in one place is a treat, so be sure to cut out a sizeable chunk of time to hang at their booth, and soak in art and images scarcely available online.
Japan’s Commune is concerned with bringing newly discovered artists to as many eyes as possible, and just by peaking at their current titles, it’s obvious they’re bringing a welcomed flavor to the zine community. It’s an all-around enjoyable experience to see a subculture lived out on the other side of the world, in a different language while capturing completely different cultural scenes and normalities. Peep “Inevitable Moment” by 江崎 愛,”Dirty” by STOMACHACHE and Det här ska jag också glömma by Sannah Kvist.
Japan’s Super Labo is pulling through with some really interesting releases– Jacob Aue Sobol’s “By the River of Kings,”for example. The release chronicles Danish photographer, and Magnum Photos Nominee Member, Jacob Aue Sobol’s time spent along Thailand’s Chao Phraya River– which is described as the lifeblood of the country. The book is 152 pages and will debut at the LAABF. Also peep Nagisa Hotel by Hajime Sawatari, Fukei by Daido Moriyama, Matatabi by Koji Onaka and Lost Home featuring work from 10 photographers worldwide.
New York-based Harper’s Books will get you access to exclusive finds, such as art books and zines from director/provocateur, Harmony Korine. At the same time, you can make your way over here for word-based literature by counter-cultural greats such as James Joyce, Jack Kerouac and Henry Thoreau.
Aperture Magazine is a mainstay publication for photo buffs, with more than 60 years in the game. The organization’s reach in the documentary and fine art photography communities is pretty undeniable looking back on the magazines tenure, having published highly influential interviews, editorials and ethnographic research of varying cultures. The non-profit focuses on preserving the craft not only through its quarterly print publication, but through expertly curated exhibitions and educational programs as well.
If Arcana is the holy grail, then Artbook is the mecca. Providing access to art books of any origin, any era and any medium — including art theory books — Art Book is just here to instill knowledge. Working with a very substantial database, there’s a lot to sift through, so start by peeping William Eggleston’s Guide, Robert Frank’s The Americans and Cy Twombly’s The Essential. Artbook can also be found as the resident bookstore/magazine shop at New York’s Museum of Modern Art PS1, and was even voted New York Magazine’s best magazine store in 2013.
Who needs a table when you can purchase zines from a duflebag boy? If you’re really about it, catch NIGHTED while the zine camp is in town from the Bay slanging archived and new releases on foot. Keep an eye peeled for NIGHTED insignia, and follow the trail so you can cop Leave Your Head by Kris Kirk, Junket by Bobby De Keyzer and the NIGHTED Life 8 group zine before they run out!
The fourth annual LA Art Book Fair takes place February 12th – February 14th at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. The event is free and open to the public. For more information and hours of operation head to, www.laartbookfair.net.