Art and books have always gone hand in hand, but with all the current doom-mongering about the demise of the publishing industry, there’s a sense that they’re holding on tighter than ever. A raft of independent publishing houses and print artists are steadily producing catalogues, monographs, artists’ books and zines that are crafted collectibles in their own right. They draw on a long history of collaboration, and by adopting and adapting the format to contemporary ends, they are going a long way to ensuring its future.
Art publishers today can still rely on strong support from major contemporary art institutions; not least the Whitechapel Gallery, which set up the London Art Books Fair in 2009 to bolster the market and champion the artists, writers and publishers who are behind it. The fair opens tomorrow, and features over 90 exhibitors from around the world – with a particular emphasis, this year, on Canadian publishing in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts. The gallery below gives an idea of the variety and creativity of the works on offer, but of course we advise you head over in person to judge the books, and their covers, for yourself.
The London Art Book Fair is at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, from 26–28 September.