The fourth edition of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair opens this week (previews begin on February 11) at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Students, staff and faculty members of the BFA Fine Arts department are representing the College this year. “Participation at the Book Fair is an extension of our academic program at SVA,” Andres Janacua, director of operations for BFA Fine Arts, told SVA Close Up. “It allows us to use the school’s incredible resources to produce interesting work and give our students greater visibility.”
The Book Fair is dedicated to the promotion of artists’ books, catalogs, monographs and magazines. More than 250 international publishers, booksellers and artists participate in the fair. Last year, the LA Art Book Fair had 34,700 visitors over the course of three and a half days. SVA is one of just two schools to participate in the fair.
“It’s interesting to see how painters and sculptors define the idea of a book,” Janacua said. “Most of the students collaborate and decide to produce magazines in the DIY style, while some of them play with ideas of seriality and scaling down of artworks. So we also have fragile 3D printed objects being presented as publications.” In addition, the booth will consist of t-shirts, digital embroidery, laser cuts, engravings and more, most of which have been specially made for the fair. BFA Fine Arts Chair Suzanne Anker’s new book The Glass Veil: Seven Adventures in Wonderland is also being presented at the booth. It is this range of ideas and objects that distinguishes SVA’s presence at the fair.
“There are a number of vendors at the fair who have artists’ books but the majority of the booths are an extension of publishing houses and the books are fairly large-scale productions,” Janacua said. “Our student publications and objects are usually in editions of five. In that sense, we really represent book art.”
SVA has also been participating in the Art Book Fair’s New York iteration. Last fall, BFA Fine Arts and BFA Photography and Video together represented the school. “It’s great for us as an art school to be in dialogue with art book publishers,” Janacua said. “Also, this year the admissions department has reached out to LA-based students who have been accepted into SVA to visit the booth. It’s going to be good for them to see the work current students are producing.”
The ticketed preview to the LA Art Book Fair is on February 11 and the fair is open to the public for free from February 12 – 16. For more information, click here.