Orange, 2017, courtesy of Helen Maurene Cooper and Polished.

5 things not to miss at the 2017 new york art book fair

The library is open! Printed Matter returns to MoMA PS1 for its annual New York Art Book Fair.

by Emily Manning
21 September 2017, 8:35pm

Orange, 2017, courtesy of Helen Maurene Cooper and Polished.

Sterling Ruby's special project
Earlier this month, Sterling Ruby teamed up with his frequent collaborator Raf Simons. The multimedia artist designed the set for Simons's spring/summer 18 Calvin Klein collection, inspired by American horror and Andy Warhol. At CK's 39th Street HQ, Ruby hung pom-poms and axes from the rafters, a foreboding and Carrie-ish twist. Now, Gagosian has tapped the Los Angeles-based artist to create a special project space for the NYABF. Last year, the gallery constructed a fully operational tattoo studio, which featured original designs by Kim Gordon and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. This time around, Gagosian is keeping pretty tight-lipped about the nature of Ruby's installation. All we know is that it's an "immersive environment that will include a selection of rare books." Fingers crossed Ruby continues Raf's spooky vibes (and brings some first-edition Goosebumps!).

Jim Jarmusch and Nemo Librizzi on Facebook
A 2006 New York Times profile of Nemo Librizzi dubbed the him "The Magician of Rivington Street." (At the time, Librizzi was working for The Hotel on Rivington — programming the hotel's sound system, selecting magazines for its gift shop, and curating its DVD selection. His title: "Superintendent of Luminous Detail"). A native New Yorker, Librizzi seems to be the kind of person who could only exist in this city. The son of an artist and an art dealer, "my father regularly interrupted my studies at school so I could meet Motherwell, or hang around the Warhol factory," he said. At 12, he became a graffiti writer. He attended Columbia, and remained a host on the college radio show long after graduating. Since then, he's painted, written novels, directed documentaries, and become a kind of cultural consultant, advising not only hotels but also film producers.

Librizzi will release his newest project, book to the larger reading public: an autobiographical picaresque in vignette form, at the NYABF. On September 21 (the fair's ticketed preview evening), he'll speak in conversation with longtime friend and fan Jim Jarmusch. Librizzi has consulted on the celebrated director's films, including 1999's Ghost Dog (ever one for a unique title, he's appeared in Jarmusch's credits as "Spirit Balance" and "Hanging Out Guy"). book to the larger reading public: an autobiographical picaresque in vignette form has been lifted from the annals of Facebook, so expect the conversation to touch on digital connection in the information age.

Chicago's nail artists on community and creativity
For almost a decade, photographer Helen Maurene Cooper has collaborated with a thriving network of nail artists and salon owners in northwest Chicago. Her new book Paint & Polish, Cultural Economy and Visual Culture From the West Side collects photographs that capture the intricacy, imagination, and precise technical skill each artist possesses. Paint & Polish also includes essays and oral histories exploring the entrepreneurial structures that shape this creative community. Through Jackee Blue — one of the first black women to own her own salon in Chicago — Cooper became exposed to the mentorship and support that sustains these businesses, many owned by women of color. On Friday (September 22), Paint & Polish contributing writer Roula Seikaly will moderate a conversation on nail art, design, and power. Its panel features Cooper, publisher Freek Lomme, and salon owners Blue and Glynnus Alexander.

The Starving Artists' Cookbook on food, sex, and art
In the late 80s, New York was experiencing profound transition (the AIDS epidemic decimated the city's creative class, while the experimental downtown art world shape-shifted into a sleek marketplace). Paul Lamarre and Melissa Wolf began filming a series of "video verité kitchen portraits" in the East Village during this transformative era. Artists including Marilyn Minter, John Cage, Louise Bourgeois, Gilbert & George, and Carolee Schneemann contributed original recipes and food-related artworks. The project, dubbed The Starving Artists' Cookbook, took place between 1986 and 1991 (in 1989, Anthology Film Archives screened a ten-hour video series of the cinematic portraits over multiple nights). Lamarre and Wolf will revisit the cookbook at the NYABF with a special exhibition, FOOD-SEX-ART, and a conversation on Sunday (September 24). Project participants including writer Anthony Haden-Guest and feminist trailblazer Betty Tompkins will discuss good grub and great art.

Film developing at The Fotomat
For the L.A. Art Book Fair, Slow Culture and Deadbeat Club teamed with Kodak to build a pop-up installation in the style of drive-thru photo shops of yesteryear. The fully functioning Fotomat kiosk has been resurrected in New York, and will offer 24-hour film developing services (a dream come true), as well as rolls of Kodak film and other photography accessories. Photography legends including Jim Goldberg, Cheryl Dunn, and Jill Freedman will act as special guest clerks, dropping by to slang exclusive prints and limited-edition zines.

The 2017 New York Art Book Fair is free and open to the public from Friday, September 22 to Sunday, September 24 at MoMA PS1. The fair opens with a ticketed preview on Thursday, September 21. Find more information about discussion and signing times here .

Sterling Ruby