The Publicsfear Archive

Display at Printed Matter Chelsea
May 31 - July 26, 2024

Printed Matter is pleased to present a display featuring items from, and related to, the archive of the art zine Publicsfear.

Publicsfear was founded in 1992 by Tod Lippy and art historian and writer Pamela A. Ivinski (1963–2018). Its three issues, published over the ensuing year and a half, featured artists’ projects, interviews with artists, writers, and filmmakers, and critical essays. One of a group of New York-based small-press art and culture periodicals from the early ’90s, Publicsfear’s particular editorial focus was on anxiety-provoking issues of the period, including the (first) Iraq war, the AIDS epidemic, and growing economic disparities in the US.

Publicsfear featured early contributions from a number of emerging figures who went on to prominent careers. Contributors included Rirkrit Tiravanija, whose “Eating with Publicsfear” project in Publicsfear 2 (1993) was one of the earliest iterations of Tiravanija’s meal-cooking performances/installations; Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Phillips, Douglas Coupland, Meg Cranston, and Todd Haynes. Regular contributors to the journal included artist, curator, and critic Gareth Jones and Ivinski, whose long-form essay on Madonna’s book Sex in Publicsfear was called “an academic-minded deconstruction of Madonna that tweaks academic deconstructions of Madonna” by The New York Times.

The display features production-related ephemera—including correspondence, mechanicals, mockups, to-do lists, and page layouts—as well as photographs of Publicsfear events, original artworks, and collateral material designed by Lippy over the course of the publication’s three issues. Also included are items related to a fourth issue of Publicsfear that was never produced due to a lack of funding; these include submissions by Doug Aitken, Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Adrian Piper, and David Sedaris.

Tod Lippy is the founder, editor, and designer of the nonprofit arts publication Esopus. His work for Esopus has been featured in exhibitions at the Walker Art Center; de Appel Art Center in Amsterdam; the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas; and at Colby College Museum of Art, in Waterville, Maine. From 2009 to 2012, Lippy served as curator and director of Esopus Space in New York City; he has also curated exhibitions at New York City’s White Columns and Pioneer Works. Lippy, who is also a filmmaker, musician, and artist, was awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2018. His series of photographs of the off-limits areas of commercial art galleries are the subject of the book Private (Mirrorical Books, 2024) and exhibitions at The Future Perfect, Los Angeles (2/29–4/15/24) and The Meeting, New York (4/10–5/20/24).

Pamela A. Ivinski (1963–2017) was an author, editor, and Senior Research Associate for the Mary Cassatt catalogue raisonné committee. Her articles appeared in Print, Antiques and Fine Art, and publicsfear. Ivinski was the coauthor of Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond (Hatje Cantz, 2008).