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Canadian small presses head to the NY Art Book Fair

In a short six years, the NY Art Book Fair, which runs from Sept. 30“Oct. 2 at MOMA PS1, has established itself as the biggest event of its kind in the world.

Founded in 2006 by Printed Matter, a non-profit organization dedicated to the distribution and exhibition of artist books, the fair attracts international publishers, booksellers, dealers, and artists to discuss and exhibit books, contemporary art catalogues, periodicals, and zines. Last year’s event drew over 16,000 attendees.

Canada has a significant legacy in creating contemporary artist books. During the 1960s and ’70s, Halifax’s NSCAD Press published work from internationally recognized artists such as Michael Snow and Gerhard Richter. In 1974, art collective General Idea founded Art Metropole, a prominent Toronto artist-run centre with a focus on books and multiples. The NY Art Book Fair was also founded by a General Idea member, Vancouver-born artist AA Bronson. (If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Bronson or General Idea, there’s a fantastic retrospective exhibition currently on at the Art Gallery of Ontario.)

At this year’s fair, Art Metropole will continue the tradition, along with fellow Canadian exhibitors Drawn & Quarterly, Conundrum Press, Emily Carr University Press, and several other Canadian small presses, collectives, and artists.