Art books? They’re not just for the coffee table.
Jerusalem’s In Print Art Book Fair puts art books front and center, from zines and hardcover volumes to out-of-print catalogs and special editions created by artists.
The fair, established by two American-Israelis with a deep love for all things artistic and textual, is now celebrating its third year. It will run February 16-18 at Jerusalem’s Hansen House, featuring a variety of work by more than 200 participants.
Directed by Jenna Romano and Danielle Gorodenzik, In Print aims to cultivate an artists’ network, promote the work of local artists and strengthen Jerusalem’s contemporary art scene. Alongside the fair are panel discussions, artist talks and book launches.
The fair, said Romano, is a reminder that “the world of print is still alive… We want to bring people to see them, to access them. A book is an art form that people are comfortable with.”
“It’s a way for people to have access to amazing materials and a way for artists’ work to travel through a book,” said Gorodenzik.
The pair curated the first fair in 2018, without requiring the artists to be present. But they realized quickly that the artists loved to be at the fair, speaking to participants, talking to one another, sharing their work and impressions.
This year’s fair will have a booth for each presenting artist, allowing them to show their works to visitors. Some artists produce books specifically for the fair, said Romano.
“It pushes them,” she said.
The fair has also grown each year, said Gorodenzik, from 200 books in the first year to 250 in the second year. This year they had to turn away artists.
There’s a range of mediums, artists and prices presented at the fair, with simple zines starting at NIS 10 and some books that cost NIS 10,000.
“Most of these can’t be found at bookstores,” said Gorodenzik. “That’s what’s really exciting. You can touch the books, it’s tangible.”
This year’s programming at In Print includes two book launches, with opening night on Wednesday, February 16, featuring the book “Ezra Orion: Intergalactic Sculptor.” Alon Orion, the designer of the book and son of Ezra Orion, will speak with Udi Edelman, director and chief curator of Holon Center for Digital Art, about working on the corpus of a deceased artist.
A photography exhibit of works by Avraham Chai currently on display at Hansen House looks at Ezra Orion’s work and sculptures. Orion was known for creating a concept of intergalactic sculpture, launching laser beams from various locations toward the Milky Way.
Other events at In Print include the launch of “Dust and Scratches,” a debut book by photographer Youval Hai; a talk with Jerusalem photographer Neil Folberg about a photo book he began decades ago and only finished recently; and a talk with artist Andi Arnovitz about the meaning and form of artists’ books.
On Friday, when the fair is open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., master bookbinder Haim Shushan will give a workshop on his craft.
Entry to In Print is free, and both Gorodenzik and Morano are pleased they waited through the pandemic to hold this year’s fair, rather than holding it online.
“The magic of the fair is that people are here, touching the works,” said Romano. “We basically just waited until we could have a fair.”