Printed Matter / Josiah Farris

Sand & Matter | Josiah Farris

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Printed Matter, founded in 1976 and reincorporated in 1978, is a cornerstone of the New York City art community. During hurricane Sandy, the Manhattan store suffered a devastating loss: their entire basement of archived art books was damaged.

One of the singular bookstores of its kind, Printed Matter gathers books from around the world. They maintain close relationships with developed artists in New York City, such as Lisa Anne Auerbach, Tauba Auerbach, Noah Lyons. Additionally, they have an on-going submission process which allows for emerging artists to take part in the Printed Matter community. 

Post Sandy, the store began a long process of attempting to recover lost works through outreach to Printed Matter supporters. An outpouring of support allowed the store to continue operations.

The most ambitious project, the March 9th Benefit Auction, proved how much the New York art community supports the instution. Works were donated by artists such as David Horwitz, AA Bronson, Emily Sundblad, and the proceeds went towards the recovery of the losses suffered during the hurricane.  “It was pretty amazing, “ said Keith Gray, a store programmer,  “to see how well the artwork sold—we were able to gain the money we needed to balance us again. “ 

Since 1976, Printed Matter has built deep relationships with New York City artists and residents. It ‘s this connection that has allowed the store to survive the hurricane ‘s aftermath. With the bookstore itself an imperiled institution, Printed Matter ‘s local prominence and emphasis on original representations makes for an unusual forecast in longevity. 


Josiah Farris is a student at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where hes studying Creative Writing and Literature.  Spring 2013, hes interning at Printed Matter and Roof Books.