Printed Matters: 5 Things with LA Art Book Fair

For the first time since 2019, New York City based Printed Matter’s beloved LA Art Book Fair has returned — gracing the opposite coast with its eclectic cohort of zine-makers, artists, collectives, and more. For those who crave full immersion in Printed Matter’s boundless galaxy of niche publications, rare books and work from international galleries, this summer’s offering is akin to an art-filled, literary state fair — where the grounds are the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

Sonel Breslav, Director of Fairs and Editions for Printed Matter Inc. shares a cheat sheet of 5 Things to know about this year’s LAABF:

Left to right: Sunny Iyer, Sonel Breslav, sgp. Photo by Casey Winkleman.

1. This is the first LA Art Book Fair since 2019, we are back in full-scale with over 300 international exhibitors traveling to LA to participate in this event.

2. Launch of new editions by video artist and cinematographer Arthur Jafa, painter and sculptor Alake Shilling, and artist Sonya Sombreuil.

Mural by Caroline Caycedo. Photo by Casey Winkleman.

3. The Fair features two new artworks by Carolina Caycedo which address the relationship between language, culture, and ecology. The mural (pictured above) in Room H reimagines the current global energy model and proposes strategies toward a just energy transition. The ticket edition is a metal stamp depicting the endangered yellow-legged mountain frog (Rana Muscosa) indigenous to Southern California. 

Yusuf Hassan and Kwamé Sorrell. Photo courtesy of Printed Matter.

4. Printed Matter presents a symphony a work in progress (pt. II, andante), building on an expansive installation-as-publication first staged by artist and publisher Yusuf Hassan in 2022. For this re-imagined presentation, Yusuf is joined by Kwamé Sorrell—co-publisher of BlackMass—to incorporate a second “slow” movement in response to the first, carrying on the performatory exchange around motifs in music, sculpture, and architecture. With an array of printed pieces, including simple folded sheets, rubber stamp prints, xeroxes, broadsides, and c-prints (as well as video work, sound work, and found objects), the exhibition assembles an improvisatory visual dialog trained on emblems, monuments, diagrams, and language, here understood through the lens of publishing and grounded in the printed form.

Courtyard performance by Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra at LAABF. Photo by Casey Winkleman.

5. Collaborating programming with LA institutions like Institute of Contemporary Art LA, Hauser & Wirth, Japanese American National Museum, as well as many LA artists and collectives including non-profit radio station Dublab and outdoor aural arts series Floating.

PS: Legendary Miami-based publisher Cult Classic  curated After Dark programming on Thursday at Ace DTLA with sounds by IdealBlackFemale, Lara Sarkissian, CHRYSALIS, DJ Warning + 8ULENTINA B2B DISASSOC8.

LAABF runs Thursday Aug 10-13 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Tickets at:

*Featured image by Dcanni1. Artwork by Draw Down Books

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