Acid-Free LA Art Book Market, Blum & Poe 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale
This past weekend, May 4-6th, 2018 was the first Acid-Free LA Art Book Market held at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, near the Culver City Art District.
This is a new left coast art book event that occurred this weekend here in Southern California/Los Angeles. Regretfully this event did not get onto my radar until the last few days until various publishers and galleries announced their booth information. Fortunately for me, the location at Blum and Poe is literally across the street from the gallery that represents me, Fabrik Projects and where my exhibition was opening Saturday morning.
So a two-fer for a Saturday; check-in at Fabrik Projects to ensure everything was copacetic for my exhibition, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, and then pop across the street to quickly check out Acid-Free. Since my leporello book dummy for Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra was also being exhibited, this allowed me to Segway to my exhibition while talking self-published books and book designs. A win-win. Or at least I thought so (yuk, yuk).
Acid-Free is a three-day art book market organized by a collective of Los Angeles based independent publishers. Approximately 80 exhibitors, both local and International, with video, music, programming, and some food and drink. I am still unsure of the reason for this Art Book Market’s name of Acid-Free and no one present could explain it either. Another mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Attendance was lighter than I expected compared to the Saturday mob usually found at the alternative event hosted by Printed Matter and their LA Art Book Fair. (note: LA Art Book Fair was canceled this year due to unforeseen events). Most of my book friends were not aware of this event until the middle of last week.
Nevertheless, still in attendance were some of my local and international favorite publishers and book stores; Lucy Soto with Artbook, Clint Woodside with his Dead Beat Club, Tricia at The Ice Plant, Morel Books, Chris and his Nazraeli Press, TBW Books, Hassla, Winfried Heininger (he was putting more money in the meter and missed photographing him) and his Swiss Kodoji Press and some local galleries were present as well, such as Kopeikin Gallery (Paul giving me his stoic gallery gaze) and Peter Fetterman Gallery.
As anticipated, I left with my share of photobooks tucked in my kit-bag; Deanna Templeton’s They Should Never Touch the Ground, pub 2015 by Dead Beat Club (#31); Lucas Foglia’s Human Nature, pub 2017 Nazraeli Press; Alejandro Cartagena’s Santa Barbara Shame on US, pub 2017 Skinnerboox & distributed by Kopekin Gallery, and Mark Klett’s Traces of Eden: Travels in the Desert Southwest, pub 1986 David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc (also signed by Klett) and copies are still available from Kopekin Gallery.
And of course, just a tiny bit of book publishing gossip. Really, just a tiny bit.
“Acid-Free” refers to the pH composition of archival paper. Keep those precious pages from yellowing!
I am very aware of the archival qualities for acid-free art materials as these are a critical aspect of my artistic practice. Regretfully, if acid-free was a requirement for this book market, there would be very, very few publications exhibited. Not many books or zines were “acid-free”, just saying…..