Over the course of four days, Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair offered dozens of opportunities for engagement, with free conversations, workshops, performances, and other artist-led programs.
Programs also included an Opening Night celebration, exhibitor awards, curated exhibitor projects, as well as offsite programs at partnering institutions around downtown LA.
This long-running program provides space for artists, writers, designers, and publishers to highlight new releases at LAABF and fosters dialogue around important themes in artists’ book publishing. LAABF 2023 participants included Star Feliz, Harmony Holiday, La Pocha Nostra, Anuradha Vikram, and John C. Welchman, among many others. The LAABF 2023 Classroom is organized in collaboration with David Senior, Director of Library at SFMOMA.
The Plaza Stage
All four days of music and performance were presented in partnership with Floating and dublab, with programming by Chulita Vinyl Club, International Anthem, Leaving Records, RVNG, and KCHUNG.
The Shannon Michael Cane Award
This award is granted to emerging artists (artists, artists’ book publishers, or collectives in the early stages of their career) who would be first-time exhibitors in a Printed Matter Art Book Fair. Each recipient is granted a complimentary table and an unrestricted stipend. Exhibitor applications were reviewed by a panel comprised of the founders of the Shannon Michael Cane Memorial Fund and Printed Matter staff. This year’s winners were Ediciones Concordia MX, Kobayashi Books Press, SE IMPRIME, and Speciwomen.
LAABF 2023 marked the second iteration of the Volume Grant, which offers four complimentary tables and stipends to selected artists and publishers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color. This grant supports the ongoing creative work happening in marginalized communities through assistance with production, travel, and other necessary expenses. This year’s winners are Arantza Peña Popo, Errant Press, WORK/PLAY, and x_x. The LAABF Volume Grant jury included Wendy Yao, Yuri Ogita, and gloria galvez. Support for the LAABF 2023 Volume Grant is generously provided by: Michi Matter Jigarjian, Jane Hait and Justin Beal, and Center for Art, Research, and Alliances (CARA).
Two artworks by Carolina Caycedo addressed the relationship between language, culture, and ecology. The mural in Room H reimagined the current global energy model and proposed strategies toward a just energy transition. The ticket edition was a metal stamp depicting the endangered yellow-legged mountain frog (Rana Muscosa) indigenous to Southern California.
These special publication-focused projects are presented by select Fair exhibitors, hosted by Printed Matter. This year’s projects included an exhibition by Yusuf Hassan and Kwamé Sorrell, a survey of Japanese underground photo books by KOMIYAMA TOKYO, an interactive reading group and collective mapping exercise by X-TRA and Active Cultures, and poster, performed, an exploration of the history and possibilities of the poster format, among others.
The Friendly Fire section of the Fair highlights several social justice organizations and politically-minded artist publishers. This year's participants include Arts of the Working Class, The Feminist Center for Creative Work, Gato Negro Ediciones, and Press Press, among others. The Friendly Fire section is organized in collaboration with Printed Matter’s Executive Director Max Schumann.
These included a workshop with David Horvitz, in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), a series of exhibitor-led workshops at the ICA LA, panel discussions on the topic of design, artists’ books, and collaboration with Hauser & Wirth Publishers, and two after-parties organized by Cult Classic and Dalé Zine as a part of After Dark at the Ace Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles.