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The Editions/Artists’ Books Fair (E/AB Fair) takes place this week from October 26—29. Founded in 1998, it is currently led by director Dusica Kirjakovic, the executive director of the Lower East Side Printshop. The fair brings together over 40 exhibitors from the U.S. and Europe at the Tunnel in New York. Whitewall spoke with Kirjakovic about the ways in which artists are exploring traditional techniques of printmaking today and working with the great LaToya Ruby Frazier.
WHITEWALL: Can you tell us about what visitors can expect from this year’s edition of the fair? Are there any new exhibitors to look out for?
DUSICA KIRJAKOVIC: We have some brand-new works by Kara Walker, Carrie Moyer, and so many other notable artists, it’s very exciting. As for the new exhibitors, we have several. There’s a wonderful and very talented young woman running the only independent printshop in Vienna, Viadukt. There are similar workshops from Munich, Germany, and Glasgow. In terms of the U.S., we have the Self Publishers—quite a rowdy group, but they bring remarkable prints.
WW: Traditionally, how would you describe the role of printmaking in an artists practice?
DK: It’s an extension of an artist’s practice. From Lautrec to Picasso, Matisse to Kiki Smith, Chuck Close to James Siena, Ryan McGinness to Enoc Perez, and so many others! Printmaking is a different style of thinking about one’s work, and most artist embrace it is an extension of their work.
WW: How are artists approaching printmaking differently today?
DK: They integrate it into everything else they are working on! They combine, play, combine—there are no boundaries anymore!
WW: Who are some of the artists you’re seeing today creating standout prints and multiples?
DK: Carrie Moyer, Enoc Perez, Ryan McGinness, Sebastiaan Bremer, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Arturo Herrera, Amy Cutler, Kara Walker, I could go on…
WW: Printmaking is a collaborative process between artist and master printers. As the director of the Lower East Side Printshop, you’ve said “Our primary mission is to enable artists to make new work. And we work with artists who don’t have any experience.” Can you describe an example of a recent collaboration between artists and master printmaker?
DK: We have recently worked with LaToya Ruby Frazier, a genius award winner. She was sure what her work was going to be about. It was up to our printers to figure out how to make it into prints. After many months of experimenting with cyanotypes on denim and other fabrics, large formants and small, we decided on two editions that have been featured widely and acquired by several museum collections. In those early days, if it wasn’t for our master printers experimenting with chemistry and the artist willing to try everything, this work would have never been done.
WW: For those new to collecting prints, multiples, and art books, where should one begin?
DK: You should start with what you love! There is no substitute for that first encounter with a piece of beauty. Prints are easier on the budget. You will be able to be happy in your new apartment.