LA Art Book Fair 2019 – About the Show

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LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

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by Gerhard Clausing

After an absence in 2018, Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair was back, and even stronger than before. This time the majority of the PhotoBook Journal team was able to meet together since launching the new magazine. Below you can see a photo of the group at the fair. We are very pleased they all are part of this growing publication.

As we reported previously, the show is an overwhelming array of photographer-authors, designers, publishers and booksellers from all over the globe, and draws huge crowds. The organizational support we observed is substantial to make the event enjoyable. An interactive map was on the website, with which you could prepare yourself for favorite places and people to meet. Lectures, discussions, and other events were scheduled throughout the several days. Activities for young children were provided so their parents could enjoy the offerings. And, very significant: attendance was free.

The section featuring photography-related publications again was located on the mezzanine (Section O), and it was more spacious this time and therefore very pleasant. As in the past, it was a great opportunity to catch up with photographers, publishers and designers and to discuss their recent publications and projects. The large printed map of the grounds that was provided, as well as the guidebook, were of great help in finding particular stands. A suggestion for next time would be to place posts at strategic corners on the main floor that indicate with arrows the way to the next letter section, as one can get disoriented in such a vast maze.

Suffice it to say that we were very pleased to see many dozens of representatives from many of the countries where our readers reside, besides the numerous ones from the United States, of course. Particularly well represented were the UK, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Japan. Even Lithuania, Slovenia, and the Russian Federation of Independent Book Publishers came. We had many stimulating visits with them.

One of the benefits of attending this Fair is looking at the broad and diverse publications, especially publications combining photography with other kinds of art, providing us with ideas of how and in what direction the pulse of published art is evolving.

Below are some of the places we lingered to discuss photobook news, among many others. We also acquired a number of new books, to be reviewed on these pages soon. (The first one was by Isaac Gibbs, Middle Distance or The Anxiety of Influence, published by Kris Graves Projects, reviewed on April 17). The photo of the Templetons also points to one of their books previously reviewed by Stockdale.

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Crowds at the entrance

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PhotoBook Journal staff at the Fair: Melanie Chapman, Gerhard Clausing, Debe Arlook, Deborah Davis, Douglas Stockdale

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Clint Woodside (Deadbeat Club Press) with his wife, discussing their new publications with Gerhard Clausing

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Lola Paprocka (Palm Studio) and friend

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Mike Stack (The Ice Plant), with Debe Arlook

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Andrew Fedynack (Zatara Press) with photographer-author John Sanderson (on the right)

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Ed and Deanna Templeton signing their book Contemporary Suburbium, published by Nazraeli Press and reviewed here

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Delighted book enthusiasts: Sandra Klein, Douglas Stockdale at the Kris Graves book signings with Aline Smithson and Isaac Diggs

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One of the many interesting discoveries (Jiazazhi Press)

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The more spacious “Focus: Photography” section on the Mezzanine

Picture Credits and ©: Douglas Stockdale (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8); Gerhard Clausing (Nos. 9, 11); Debe Arlook (No. 10); Mike Slack (No. 3)

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