2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair at NGV

The 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair descends upon NGV International this weekend, transforming the gallery into an exciting marketplace of 60 book, art and design stalls, as well as a bustling program of free talks, book launches and performances by some of the world’s most creative emerging and established publishers, artists and writers. On its own, the three day schedule is exciting, but add hordes of design obsessives in passionate pursuit, and you’ve got yourself a sizzling affair.

Melbourne Art Book Fair 2015. Launched in 2015 with 16,000 in attendance, this year will be bigger, with double the number of stalls.

Highlights include over twenty book launches, limited edition publications and a variety of panel discussions, talks, workshops and pop-up events.

Space Design

Bangkok-based artist Wit Pimkanchanapong has designed a translucent canopy comprising thousands of geometric polymer folds which will be suspended from the Great Hall ceiling, under which guests can browse more than 60 stalls showcasing art books, independent zines, limited edition prints and more.


The program launches on Friday 29 April with an all-day International Symposium on the Future of Design for Publishing, followed by a ticketed evening preview which will grant visitors exclusive first access to the Fair as well as music from Melbourne-based band Leisure Suite and DJ András, and food and drinks from Tivoli Road Bakery, Biggie Smalls and Asahi.

Na Kim, designer

On Friday, The International Symposium on the Future of Design for Publishing, convened by Brad Haylock and presented in conjunction with the RMIT Design Futures Lab, will investigate new forms of publishing, featuring international guest speakers including Seoul-based Na Kim, one of Korea’s most exciting young graphic designers; David Blamey, a London-based artist and publisher of the independent imprint Open Editions; James Langdon, a UK-based independent graphic designer and director of the artist-run gallery Eastside Projects; and Freek Lomme, curator and publisher of The Netherlands-based exhibition space and publishing hour Onomatopee. Na Kim and James Langdon will also present public masterclasses on design and publishing during the Fair.


In 2016, the Melbourne Art Book Fair will host special international guests Sternberg Press from Berlin, in their Australian debut. Max Bach, editor of Sternberg Press, will participate in a keynote ‘in conversation’ event with Melbourne writer and academic Justin Clemens on Sunday 1 May.

Other highlight exhibitors include Italian publishing house and art gallery Corraini Edizioni; esteemed German art book publisher Hatje Cantz Verlag; art book publishers Open Editions; and London-based MACK, who are widely regarded as producers of some of the world’s finest contemporary art books. A number of local publishers will also exhibit including Negative Press, M.33 and Particle Books.

For a full list of exhibitors click here.

Some Books

The NGV will launch its first release in a series of limited-edition artist editions, Some Posters from the NGV. This large-format, hand-numbered publication celebrates ninety posters from the NGV’s extensive exhibition poster archive within a lavish flat- bound paperback, tracing cleverly-edited examples from 1963 to 1985.

Edited by Megan Patty, Senior Publications Coordinator, NGV, and award-winning book designer Stuart Geddes, Some Posters from the NGV is both an art object and an exploration of the exhibition poster, and will be available for $69.95. Patty, Geddes and Langdon will speak in conversation about the project on Saturday 30 April. Visitors can also enjoy special access to the NGV’s Shaw Research Library to view a selection of posters from the Gallery’s archive at twice-daily events on 30 April and 1 May.

Over Twenty Publications Will Launch During the Event

This year, over twenty publications will launch at the event including a co-publication by Melbourne based imprints Telephone Publishing and Surpllus, who will reissue the seminal magazine Lockjaw (1983), a multi-layered part book, part magazine, which arose from Sydney’s early-1980s postmodern philosophy and art scenes. New Zealand-based publisher Ilam Press will launch Head Full of Snakes: Issue Four, a motorcycle magazine that also explores crossovers between motorcycling and art, design and music.

Penny Modra and Max Olijnyk of The Good Copy Photo: Kane Daniel

On Saturday a grammar workshop, Greatest ‘its, will be hosted by the astute writing and editing duo Penny Modra and Max Olijnyk of The Good Copy. They’ll cover the most anxiety-inducing of punctuation marks: the apostrophe [‘].

On Sunday, artist and musician Jon Campbell will stage a musical performance and discuss the design process for the cover of his latest vinyl LP.
Also on Sunday, Design studio SIBLING will present Architecture: what matters?, which will see twenty architects form a circle in Federation Court and present twenty-second responses to the question, ‘What matters?’. Each response is accompanied by a designed A4 pamphlet which will be dispersed throughout the duration of the Fair and available for download online.

Souvenir Style

In conjunction with the Melbourne Art Book Fair, the NGV design store has collaborated with artist Agatha Gothe-Snape and SIBLING to produce a tote bag featuring a text work by Gothe-Snape and a sweater by SIBLING. Four posters from Some Posters from the NGV will also be available to purchase during the Fair. Other exciting editions will be available at the NGV design store.

The 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair is open from Friday 29 April to Sunday 1 May. Entry is free.


Need to Know:

  • 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair runs from Friday 29 April until Sunday 1 May.
  • To view the full program click here.

Get Social:

  • @ngvmelbourne
Pictured at top: Recent art book publications Photo: Brooke Holm

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