Mon-Wed, Sat, 11am-7pm; Thu-Fri, 11am-8pm; Sun, closed
1 at 28th St.; C, E at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Printed Matter, a large nonprofit dedicated to contemporary art books, was founded by Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, and other art-world characters as an alternative art venue, in 1976. In 1978, it refocused, to specialize in distributing affordable books from small, independent publishers. Located in Chelsea, the store has two floors, a gallery, carts of artist periodicals, and books by 5,000 different artists, many of them international. The collection includes works by Murakami, Vito Acconci, and John Baldessari, and makes for fantastic browsing; the easiest way to find a particular book, though, is to search Printed Matter's constantly updated online database from home. There are some rare and out-of-print books, as well as works by small presses like Chicago's Sara Ranchouse and Scotland-based Weproductions. The store has an open-submission policy and takes in about half of the approximately 300 titles it reviews each month. It also sells affordable, collectible artworks, like LP's designed by Matthew Barney and skateboards by Liam Gillick.