First established in TriBeCa New York by a group of individuals working in the arts (among them artist Sol LeWitt and critic Lucy Lippard), Printed Matter was developed in response to the growing interest in publications made by artists. Starting in the early 60s, many of the pioneering conceptual artists (as well as performance, process, environment, sound and other experimental media artists) began to explore the possibilities of the book form as an artistic medium.
As one of the world’s largest publicly available source for artists’ books, Printed Matter is an important voice in a vibrant and expanding field. At the heart of our mission is a longstanding open submission process, inviting artists and independent publishers to submit their books for sale at Printed Matter. We circulate over 32,000 publications annually on behalf of artists and small presses through our non-profit store in Chelsea, our online catalog and other distribution channels. With a commitment to representing and engaging a diverse community of artists, Printed Matter is in many cases one of the few outlets for artist-made publications on the peripheries of mainstream distribution networks.
In addition to maintaining an expansive inventory of 15,000 titles by over 6,000 artists, Printed Matter is a dynamic center of non-profit services and activities offered in support of artists who make books. We maintain a busy programming calendar which includes exhibitions of contemporary and historically significant artists books, artist talks, book launches and performances, a PM Window Series presenting installations in our storefront window, and a PM Publishing Program.
Printed Matter also organizes the annual NY Art Book Fair and LA Art Book Fair, the world’s largest events showcasing and celebrating the international artists’ book community, attracting a combined total of over 43,000 visitors each year. As a way to further promote the visibility of these publications, we also extend our mission offsite to a number of leading art fairs, independent zine fairs and other events worldwide.