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The San Francisco Art Book Fair Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

24 July 2017

Last weekend the 2017 San Francisco Art Book Fair was held at 1275 Minnesota St. That particular venue could hardly contain the numerous exhibitors, each limited to a small folding table, not to mention the crowds pouring in to the free event.

"The mission of the fair," organizers said, "is to foster the unique art publishing community of the Bay Area while providing a platform for national and international publishers to exhibit their work to a new audience."


Publishers from German, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Portugal joined the U.S. publishers in presenting a surprisingly varied menu of titles. And many of them were, to our surprise, photography books.

We found the fair itself nearly impossible to navigate and certainly difficult to explore the offerings. But intrigued by the popularity of the event, we revisited the Web site where the list of exhibitors links to each of their Web sites.

That beats a small folding table.


Here's our short list of some of the photobook publishers:

  • Anthology Editions uncovers and fashions cultural narratives as books, music collections, online experiences and exhibitions. Stories of every caliber and color communicate and resonate within the new canon anthology editions seeks to establish. John Ingham's photos of the London Punk scene and Tino Razo's photos of abandoned Southern California swimming pools are two of its offerings.
  • Aperture, the venerable photography publisher, is a not-for-profit foundation that connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online. They hosted a few presentations during the fair.
  • Atelier Èditions is a limited-edition publishing house in Los Angeles. Authoring archival monographs, contemporary art books, and exploratory printed matter, the company regularly curates exhibitions, envisages cultural programming, and memorable collaborations.
  • Capricious is a magazine and art book publisher in New York. Founded as a fine art photography magazine in 2004 by Swedish photographer Sophie Mörner, Capricious has since become a premier publisher of art books and publications, revered as an international platform for celebrating and supporting emerging artists.
  • Deadbeat Club is an independent publishing group in Los Angeles dedicated to the production of small run and limited edition publications rooted in contemporary photography, curated by Clint Woodside.
  • Gingko Press is a Berkeley, Calif., publisher with 35 photography books in print.
  • Houseboat Press is a small book publisher focusing on photography. Contributors include Ryan Arthurs, Dan Boardman, Dylan Nelson and Eric Ruby.
  • Illetante Collective is a creative community based in San Francisco specializing in publications, exhibitions and events. Photographers include Nils Heck, Matt Grote, Adrian Martinez, Tucker Wiedenkeller, Oliver Abate, Michelle Fernandez and more.
  • Little Big Man Books is an independent publisher of limited edition photo books. Nobuyoshi Araki's Tombeau Tokyo was just published.
  • Modlitbooks specializes in art and photography books of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
  • Motto was started by Alexis Zavialoff in 2007 as a distribution company for Switzerland specializing in magazines and fanzines. The number of available publications now comprises over 10,000 titles, many of which are photobooks.
  • Nazraeli Press publishes award-winning books on the fine and applied arts with an emphasis on contemporary photography. The current list includes works by Michael Kenna, Javier Carrillo, Gregori Maiofis, Tomoko Sawada and Gloria Katz among others.
  • Pier 24 Photography houses the permanent collection of the Pilara Foundation, dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting photography, including the publication of exhibit catalogs.
  • TBW Books was founded in 2006 as an independent photography book publishing company based in Oakland, Calif. The company produces books by some of the world's most renowned and acclaimed artists working in the field of photography, including Hiroshi Sugimoto, Eric Oglander and Paul Schiek.

No doubt we missed a few exhibitors in our list but it's a starting point.


We won't let you go, though, without pointing you to a The Aesthetic Union, a letterpress print shop run by James Tucker and Risa Culbertson that specializes in custom work and original editions.

Its video Always Play Amongst Friends is not to be missed. The photography tie-in? It was shot on a Panasonic GH4 with a Sigma 18-35mm lens in 4K.

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