This weekend the London Art Book Fair comes to the Whitechapel Gallery. With around 100 exhibitors, it’s hard to know where to start, so we asked artist and founder of the NY Art Book Fair, AA Bronson (who’s talking over the weekend) for his five noteworthy exhibits:
1. Book Works, London
‘Book Works bring out some of the most thoughtful and engaging experimental text being published anywhere today. Kudos to them for keeping this up for so many years without any visible reduction in quality. I went for Marcus Coates’ eclectic handbook of British shamanism, “A Practical Guide to Unconscious Reasoning”, for £10.’
2. Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver
‘The CAG, as it is affectionately called in Canada, began as a city gallery and rapidly evolved into today’s lively intellectually engaging centre of exhibitions and publishing. The CAG lies at the heart of Vancouver’s vast scene of duelling theorists and conceptual collaborators. I purchased their new book of Christopher Williams with its dead-pan nostalgic cover and impossible title which I will not attempt to reproduce here. £15.’
3. Gevaert Editions, Brussels
‘Gevaert published some of the great artists’ books of the ’70s and ’80s, with titles by Stanley Brouwn, Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham and others. Now they are back again, under the stewardship of daughter Saskia Gevaert, who seems to have the same savvy publishing clarity as her legendary father. I purchased her slim volume by Rodney Graham, “Au Tatoueur”. €80.’
4. Publication Studio, Charles H. Scott/Emily Carr University Press, Vancouver
‘There must be a reason why so much of the best publishing today is coming out of Vancouver, but what? These two small publishing hot-houses collaborated to produce a special edition of artists’ letter-sized photocopy editions, and the result is a small exhibition pinned to a back wall.’
5. Nothing Else Press, Toronto
‘Named after Dick Higgins Fluxus-heavy press of the ’60s and ’70s, Something Else Press, this young publisher seemed the only ones present to have produced an entire new line of works especially for the Fair. My favourite? “Eel’s Wallet” by Dean Baldwin, an edition of 47 wallets stuffed full of drinks tickets, which bizarrely becomes some sort of “book” for which we have no name. £80.’
‘I wouldn’t be appropriately self-serving if I didn’t also list my own ‘project’, one of several enlivening The London Art Book Fair. A vitrine of books and a poster tells the history of my 1970 pornographic novel “Lena”, published again in 1972 and finally in 2011 under the altered title “Lana” with a cover by Richard Prince. This final version was destroyed as the result of a copyright case and the “Destruction of Lana” is illustrated in a video of the same name.’
The London Art Book Fair, September 26-28, Friday 11pm-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm, Whitechapel Gallery, E1 7QX.
Looking for things to do? Take a look at 45 totally terrific things to do in London this weekend.