10 Art Book Publishers You Should Know

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On November 5, the fifth annual NY Art Book Fair opens at P.S.1 in New York. Presented by Printed Matter, the weekend-long fair brings together 200 international presses, booksellers, antiquarian dealers, artists, and publishers, and offers special project rooms, exhibitions, screenings, book signings, and performances.

Of the many presses that will be involved in the fair, we’ve compiled a list of ten exciting publishers that you have most likely not heard of, but should know about. They produce art books, limited artist editions, zines, comics, posters, chapbooks, original web books, freely accessible online archives, and exhibitions. Some focus on emerging artists and street art, while others reprint the long-lost work of established artists. And if you have the opportunity to come to the fair, you can take in some of the special projects such as the Zine-Trade-Meet-Up or Goteblüd’s exhibition of more than six hundred Riot Grrrl zines, with a working photocopy station.

1. Iconoclast Editions Iconoclast Editions is a project-based studio that provides artists with the opportunity to produce a variety of multi-media work. Since 2002, Iconoclast has produced exhibitions, publications, and artist editions. Its projects include a highly regarded touring museum exhibition, Beautiful Losers. Recent editions include works by Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe, Misaki Kawai, Dan Attoe, and Gary Lee Boas. You can also pick up limited-edition prints like Devils and Babies by Harmony Korine, Performing/Guzzling by Kim Gordon, and 25 Postcards for Writing On by David Shrigley.

2. Mörel Books London-based Mörel Books is an independent publisher that provides affordable limited-edition art books and zines by established and emerging talent. Its books are produced in close collaboration with the artists and many of its books come with the option of purchasing limited-edition prints. Some notable publications are A Season in Hell by Rimbaud, Patti Smith, and Robert Mapplethorpe, Wrong by Asger Carlson, and Terry Richardson’s latest endeavor.

3. PictureBox PictureBox is a Grammy-award-winning publishing company based in Brooklyn. Since 2002, it has been publishing books, zines, comic books, and prints, with an emphasis on documentation of contemporary visual culture. Published works include comics by Michel Gondry, Trinie Dalton, Gary Panter, and Brian Chippendale’s weekly ninja-verse webcomic Puke Force, as well as posters and prints by King Terry and Art Chantry.

4. Primary Information Primary Information is a non-profit organization that prints artists’ books and writings, and out-of-print publications and editions that are “vital to contemporary dialogues and artistic practice.” Some notable works include MIRROR/ME, a zine developed from a collaborative exhibition between writer Brandon Stosuy and artist Kai Althoff; DISBAND, a collection of long-lost recordings from a group of feminist performers from 1979-82 that included Barbara Kruger, Ingrid Sischy, and Donna Henes, among others; and Rock/Music Writings by Dan Graham.

5. Silverbridge Editions Silverbridge Editions is a French publisher devoted to “digging out the relics of tomorrow.” Its output encompasses artists’ books and exhibitions. Artists involved in Silverbridge collaborations include Jason Rhoades, Raymond Pettibon, Jonathan Meese, Charlet Kugel, Andreas Hofer, Dr. Dou, Andre Butzer, Veronique Bourgoin, and Jochen Lempert, among others.

6. Badlands Unlimited As historical distinctions between books, files, and artworks disintegrate, a new crop of publishers are emerging that are equipped to handle a variety of consumer preferences — whether it be via ebooks, books printed on demand or books published the old-fashioned way. One answer is Badlands Unlimited. Founded in 2010, Badlands publishes ebooks (for the Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle, and other e-readers), limited-edition paper books, and artist works in both digital and print — all “new works by artists and writers that embody the spirit of this emerging dissolution.” While so far the only notable artist — or just, artist — it has published is Paul Chan, the publisher, we think this is one press to watch.

7. Mark Batty Publisher Mark Batty is an independent publisher that makes books on street graphics, urban art, pop culture, and visual design. It takes stock in the unique editorial vision of each publication, as well as the high quality of its design and production values. In other words, “Every book is a special and affordable aesthetic and tactile experience.” Some notable publications include Illustrated Three-Line Novels by Joanna Neborsky, Name Tagging, a collection edited by graffiti artist Martha Cooper that presents “Hello My Name Is” stickers adorned with tags, and DIY Album Art, a book that documents the do-it-yourself movement in the North American punk movement in the early nineties as expressed through album art.

8. Ugly Duckling Presse Ugly Duckling Presse is a not-for-profit art and publishing collective that produces “small to mid-size editions of new poetry, translations, lost works, essays, and artists’ books.” It shows a penchant for emerging, international, and “forgotten” writers with “well-defined formal or conceptual projects” that may not fit easily in the output of other publishers. In addition to publishing new writers like Jen Bervin and Jon Cotner, it also offers 0 To 9: The Complete Magazine, a mimeographed magazine by artists Vito Acconci and Bernadette Mayer that collects the work of some of the most exciting writers and artists working between 1967-69. The Presse’s website also houses a very special catalog of original web books and an online chapbook archive. You can read Daniil Kharms’s The Blue Notebook in its entirety.

9. 2nd Cannons Publications A publishing project by Los Angeles-based artist Brian Kennon, 2nd Cannons Publications produces artists’ books and editions and since 2008, has curated a closet-sized project space in the Los Angeles Chinatown arts district. Some notable publications/editions include works by David Horvitz, Christopher Russell, and Meg Cranston among many others.

10. Bywater Bros. Editions Bywater Bros. Editions is an independent publisher based in Toronto that produces artists’ books and editions. Some notable artists include Josephine Meckseper, Roe Ethridge, David Shrigley, and Richard Prince.