Submit to the 2021 Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference

The Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference invites paper and panel proposals for our 2021 conference, which will focus on “The Temperature of Art Book Criticism and Scholarship.” The CABC invites approaches that draw from feminist studies, critical race studies, queer theory, activism, and non-western perspectives to broaden and deepen our understanding of artists’ publishing.

Our hope is for the conference to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of artists’ books; thus, we welcome submissions from art historians, artists, designers, critics, curators, librarians, collectors, booksellers, and practitioners in other fields. Graduate students and early-career artists and scholars are encouraged to apply. The deadline for submission is October 31, 2020

Book Arts Toward Liberation Conversation Series

We’re thrilled to announce the dates and pairings for Book Arts Toward Liberation, an initiative that aims to center Black voices in the Book Arts and Publishing field. As an effort to expand the discourse of Black book artists and Black-owned presses, the curators of the series, Jina Valentine & Heather Hart of Black Lunch Table, will moderate a four-part series over the course of the Fall 2020 season, harnessing space to discuss themes and topics within the intersection of Blackness, production, and creative placemaking.

“We consider the outer limits of what constitutes a book, or specifically an artists’ book. Artist + book. Artist = book. We determined that books contain language in many forms and invite a corporeal experience of media and speech acts. We considered the book as it is constitutive of the archive and as it is representative of the body (body of knowledge, extension of body).”
Jina Valentine & Heather Hart

Presenting our Fall Exhibitions

Brian Taylor, The West Then and Now

This Fall we’re delighted to present three exhibitions: Americans Looking In curated by Emilie Ahern & Sherri LittlefieldMorcos Key Makes/Reads by Jon Key and Wael Morcos, and Construction Site by Viviane Rombaldi Seppey. All three exhibitions will be installed in our Manhattan galleries and will be viewable online and in-person (in accordance with health and safety recommendations), October 9 through December 12. Each exhibition will be accompanied by 1-2 online talks, discussions, or workshops. Our online opening reception took place on October 8th. Reserve an in-person visit.

Announcing our 2020-21 Book Artists-in-Residence

Joining the Center as the 2020-21 Book Artists-in-Residence are three multidisciplinary makers at various stages of their careers, each bringing aspects of social engagement, participatory methodology, and practices in paper and print. We are ecstatic to welcome Lizania Cruz, Oswaldo García, and Alva Mooses to our community, and we are excited to share their work and insight with you throughout the duration of their residency.

Black Lives Matter

At the Center for Book Arts, it is constant work: the way we define community, the way we show up and hold each other accountable, and the ways we aim to leverage book arts as a tool for action. We’ve witnessed the systemic injustice against Black people in this city, and across the country, and we cannot operate neutrally. Through our residency programs, literary programs, and exhibitions, we hope to provide a space where Black artists can feel safe and empowered to make, learn, curate, and produce. We are committing to providing resources for Black artists and the work made toward liberation, where book arts are a source of possibility for political change.

The Center for Book Arts promotes active explorations of artistic practices related to the book as an art object.

Exhibitions On View

Americans Looking In

McDonalds, Ashok Sinha (2014)

The curators of this exhibition, Emilie Ahern & Sherri Littlefield, have reflected on what it means to be “American.” Having multicultural backgrounds and being raised in the States has given them both moments of confusion and frustration, and has led them to wonder what this country has to do with personal identity. When forming this exhibition, the curators presented themselves, artists, editors, leaders and everyday-people with the question – “What is American culture today, and what does an American look like?”

Morcos Key Makes/Reads

Border to Baghdad, Morcos Key

October 9 – December 12, 2020

Morcos Key Makes/Reads takes viewers through a selection of print materials designed by Wael Morcos and Jon Key: journals, books, newsprints, zines, type-specimens and more. These books are displayed alongside selections from their personal library, demonstrating the conceptual and aesthetic influence on the duo’s design process and creative practice.

Construction Site

One Stitch at the Time, Viviane Rombaldi Seppey

October 9 – December 12, 2020

Construction Site investigates the challenges faced by migrants settling in a new land, using the stories of Viviane Rombaldi Seppey’s grandfather to trace narratives of migration. At the turn of the 20th century, aged fifteen, her grandfather left Italy on foot to find work in Switzerland, working on construction sites along the way.

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