At the Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair this week, Colombian publisher Calipso Press will showcase its 2021 calendar, a 12-piece riso-printed mosaic with photographs by Valeria Giraldo (Image courtesy of Calipso Press)

Artist books, hand-sewn zines, irresistible prints in painfully limited editions – oh, my God! The Printed Matter Art Book Fair is one of the most anticipated events in New York City and, more recently, the Los Angeles art world. Like most awesome and usually densely populated things, this year’s edition will be held entirely online due to the pandemic.

The good news: Thanks in part to this virtual format, Printed Matter has merged its Los Angeles and New York shows into one, making it the largest and most international event to date. More than 400 exhibitors from over 40 countries – from rare booksellers and small presses to major museums and institutions – will unveil their virtual tables when the fair goes live at 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 24.

Starting February 24, the Virtual Printed Art Book Fair (PMVABF) will run until Sunday February 28 and is completely free. Below, discover a list of exhibitors not to be missed. Remember that they need our support more than ever.

A rendering of the Black Schoolhouse, TBS’s permanent home in New Orleans (courtesy Black School)

The Black School (TBS), the experimental institute that educates black and POC students about radical black politics through art and design, has held over 100 workshops since its founding in 2016 and has touched the lives of hundreds of people. Last year, TBS co-founders Joseph Cuillier III and Shani Peters launched a fundraiser to build a school in New Orleans’ historic Seventh Ward, Cuillier’s hometown. Proceeds from the sale of the organization’s official magazine, created in collaboration with St. Hope Leadership Academy and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum for Art and Storytelling, will be used to help TBS build their permanent home.

Some of the publications on the Calipso Press virtual table this year. (image courtesy of Calipso Press)

Founded in 2015 by Eva Parra and Camilo Otero, Calipso Press is a small risography printing studio, publishing label and artist collective based in Cali, Colombia. Its virtual table offers this year a fine selection of its resolutely fanciful publications. There are Quick crossword chaekkori (2016) by artist Martín La Roche, a series of 23 typographic posters that bring together the clues to solve a crossword puzzle he discovered more than ten years ago. that of Maria Jimena Sánchez Esquina with a view (A corner with a view) is a meditative compilation of drawings inspired by the corners of rooms. And a 2021 calendar by Colombian artist Valeria Giraldo, made up of 12 mosaic photographs of the ocean that together form the image A mar de lágrimas (A sea of ​​tears), prompts us to keep our heads above water in times of uncertainty.

Books by Alick Shiu, Lukaza Branfman-Verrisimo, Margot Terc and more at the Childish Books virtual table at PMABF this year. (image courtesy of Childish Books)

This Maine-based publisher merges two of the world’s most delicious literary genres – children’s books and artist’s books – to bring us unique publications and fanzines for a “children’s audience, however defined. “. Indeed, the titles featured at the Childish Books Virtual Table are sweet, silly and yet surprisingly deep, perfect for the children in your life or the child in you. Particularly beautiful is Slow gaze: these views are our tools by artist and social justice activist Lukaza Branfman-Verrisimo, a spiral notebook-like publication filled with interactive materials like finders and coloring pages that encourage slow, conscious, and purposeful observation of the world – a laudable effort for readers of all ages. Ten percent of the proceeds from the book’s sale will be donated to Maine Youth Justice, an organization working to end youth incarceration in Maine.

Chimurenga – named after a Shona word that loosely translates to “freedom struggle” or “liberation war” – prints a triennial magazine, a quarterly broadsheet, and a biennial publication known as the African Cities Reader. The Cape Town editorial platform and radio station also manages the Chimurenga Library, a permanent and organized online archive of independent Pan-African periodicals and publications. Selections from these countless artistic and political projects, all made possible by writers, illustrators, photographers and other creative minds from Africa and its diasporas, will be on display at the fair.

Storm and you are free: Antarah in black on white by Fatima El Hajj, published by Dongola Limited editions, 2020 (image courtesy of Dongola Limited Editions)

“It’s like propelling all of our books and publications into a new world order, combining paper and print with sci-fi flair,” Sarah Chalabi, founder of Dongola Publishing, told me in an e- mail about his enthusiasm for attending Printed Matter’s virtual fair this year. The Lebanese publishing house is a platform for contemporary voices from West Asia, North Africa and South Asia. Her first presentation for PMVABF is full of treasures – like that of Fatima El Hajj Storm and you are free, an incredibly beautiful artist’s book, hand-sewn and painted in Indian ink, made as a tribute to the pre-Islamic black poet Antarah Ibn Shaddad, whose mother was enslaved and who often addressed discrimination and bondage in his writings.

“Manual de limpieza / Clean Book”, a bilingual publication by Chilean artist Fernanda Ivanna. (image courtesy of HAMBRE)

Based in Santiago, Chile, HAMBRE describes each of its zines as “a unique recipe, cooked intimately with authors and collaborators,” and its right page will reference a dinner party, placing each publication on the bottom of the rubber tablecloth. blue that is usually found in Chilean homes. Spotlighting Latin American women and members of the LGBTQIA + community, HAMBRE is also known for its Acción Gráfica Urgente (Urgent Graphic Action) program, a series of political resistance posters launched when violent protests erupted in Chile in October 2019. Among his offers for PMVABF: Para serve o llevar, a book by Chilean artist Oni88 featuring hand-painted landscapes of love and Chinese cuisine in Santiago; and Limpieza manual / Clean Book, a bilingual publication by Chilean artist and housekeeper Fernanda Ivanna who seeks inspiration and self-awareness through daily household chores. The first edition, which has a print run of 50 numbered copies, includes “a little cleaning kit”, and whatever that means I’m excited.

QUEER MATTERS, a collaborative post from the Queer.Archive.Work community. Risography printed in Providence, RI. (image courtesy of Paul Soulellis)

Expanding access and resources for experimental editing, especially by marginalized voices, is at the heart of Queer.Archive.Work (QAW), a reading room, editor and community space in Providence, Rhode Island. On the occasion of the virtual book fair, QAW is launching Homosexual issues, a collaborative folio of 60 pages of writings, drawings, photographs and exchanges of texts produced by its members during the fall and winter of 2020. The zine is available free or in exchange for visitors queer, trans and / or BIPOC lounge (anything received in exchange will become a permanent addition to QAW’s physical library, a very cool concept); institutions, private collectors and everyone else can buy Homosexual issues for $ 45, all funds benefiting the association. For those looking to socialize, QAW will also be hosting hour-long “queer outings” Thursday through Sunday this week; more details on their home page.

Video of the 8mm stop motion film by Gi Eun (Ginny) Huo we didn’t see it as a tidal wave (Image courtesy of the artist)

Brooklyn’s beloved Small Editions book studio will showcase a selection of titles from its impressive eight-year history of producing limited edition, small-run publications for artists, architects and designers. It will also launch two new projects at the show: Darkroom drawing, an ode to photographic printing by artist Sam Margevicius that includes risograph, laserjet and traditional gelatin silver prints; and Gi Eun (Ginny) Huo all I wanted was to enter heaven, a multimedia book that tells the story of a spiritual journey while addressing the traumatic history of religious colonization, accompanied by an 8mm stop-motion film that will debut at the launch of Huo’s book, hosted on Zoom. Margevicius and Huo’s book launch events are scheduled for next weekend; register on the Small Editions trade show page as soon as it goes online.

If their punchy name hasn’t put a smile on your face yet, their colorful, artist-created books and zines are sure to blow your mind. Led by a collective of black artists and musicians, TORTILLAGURL was founded in 2016 to document and celebrate the Baltimore art scene “in a city that doesn’t prioritize its black artists.” In 2017, they started printing small zines based on submissions with local illustrations, with each edition animated by a different color as a theme. Their photo book Bites, which debuted in 2019 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, offers a glimpse into Baltimore’s cultural underground.

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