What Not to Miss at the L.A. Art Book Fair

What do skateboard-themed art, chocolate pudding, and British subcultures have in common? Find out at the L.A. Art Book Fair this weekend

The third annual Los Angeles Art Book Fair, free to the public, at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Thursday through Sunday, is a crazy packed event—and crazy cutting-edge. Presenting works by over 250 independent presses, artists, publishers, and antiquarians, the fair also plays host to a series of dialogues, artist’s talks, conversations, and panel discussions.

Here’s our guide to this art book lover’s free-for-all: 

Opening Night Preview
The L.A. Art Book Fair night preview kicks off at 6 p.m. tonight but get there early–-otherwise you might miss out on the limited edition ticket created by artist Edie Fake. Featuring the slogan “Black Lives Matter,” the ticket edition was created for the book fair, and will only be available to the first 2,000 visitors to pay the cover charge (online or at the door). Musical guests at the event include No Age and Prince Rama.

Inside the Geffen Annex, you’ll find the art book fair’s version of a trade show: over 125 books showcasing small presses, zines, and independent publishers. Titled (X)EROX &PAPER+ SCISSORS, this subsection of the fair gives you the unique opportunity to find out about what’s happening in the far corners of the publishing world.

Make sure to view original art by American-born, Berlin-based artist Dorothy Iannone, famous for her expressions of “ecstatic unity.” Known as much for being censored as she is for her depictions of her intimate life with her partner Dieter Roth, Iannone’s colorful, hand-drawn work is deeply personal. Covered in hand-writing and employing line drawing, her work contrasts the innocence of a child’s art work with the adult knowledge of sex.

Another must see is work by skater-artists Ed and Deanna Templeton. Famous for fusing art with the world of skateboarding, this exhibit reveals a chronological overview of their photographs and publications presented by publisher Boo-Hooray.

If you’re feeling hungry, pop by the Gagosian gallery booth, which will offer snacks to promote chef Mina Stone’s new book, Cooking for Artists. Creative director and artist Urs Fischer designed the gallery booth as a kitchen where selections from the cookbook will be served up. Highlights include olive oil cake, milk chocolate pudding, and lentil soup with cumin.

Feast your eyes on Iain McKell’s rare photographs. His new collection Sub Culture—which fans thought was only rumored to exist—comprises photographs of the UK’s “2 Tone” music movement, which fused ska culture with punk attitude. A cult favorite among followers, this book will go fast. Since only 150 copies are available—which come with a signed bromide print in custom folder and poly bag—these won’t last long. 

Talks and Conversations
The L.A.-based artist Frances Stark, known for her video piece My Best Thing, will deliver this year’s keynote speech. Her work investigates the strange and important ways that electronic connections have changed real world relationships, looking at how the anonymity of the Internet has impacted our face-to-face interactions. Her talk is both timely and topical.
When: Saturday, Jan 31, 5-7 p.m.

What does punk mean? Who gets to use the term? Most importantly, is punk still punk? This panel entitled,“The Evolving/Devolving Definitions of Punk, DIY, Indie, and Self Publishing,” seeks to answer this important question about the living and changing definitions of the term and the culture.
When: Friday, Jan 30, 1-3 p.m.

In an exercise in mastery and expertise, 50 artists, curators, writers and members of the art-book community will give a one-minute lecture on a single image of their choosing in 1 Image 1 Minute”. Participants include Andrea Bowers, Tacita Dean, Travis Diehl, Anne Ellegood, John Houck, Eric Kim, Kris Kuramitsu, Carolina Miranda, Sohrab Mohebbi, Dushko Petrovich, Shizu Saldamando, Asha Schechter.
When: Saturday, Jan 31, 2-4 p.m.