Esopus 23 launches at MoMA on May 11th

April 17, 2016

Esopus 23, the latest issue of the award-winning nonprofit arts annual, will launch on May 11, 2015, at an event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The issue hits bookstores that same week, and several other events related to its release are scheduled throughout the spring.


At 254 pages, it’s the largest, most complex Esopus ever, utilizing 15 different paper stocks; incorporating multiple die-cuts, embossing, metallic inks, and specialty varnishes; and featuring a number of removable inserts, ranging from posters to collectible artworks.

Esopus 23 includes stunning artists’ projects by Marilyn Minter (a brand-new series of work—including a removable insert—incorporating metallic and translucent specialty papers); Mickalene Thomas (a mesmerizing collection of collaged images created for the issue including die-cuts, embossing, and specialty varnishes—and another detachable insert); Karo Akpokiere (a beautiful series of drawings, perforated for easy removal by readers, by the Lagos- and Berlin-based artist dealing with the challenges related to moving between two distinctly different cultures); Jody Wood (an in-depth look at the artist’s most recent iteration of her “Beauty in Transition” project, in which she provides hair-care and therapeutic services to homeless-shelter residents and their caregivers); Chuck Kelton (the master printer for photographers such as Mary Ellen Mark and Danny Lyon creates his own series of dramatic photogram “landscapes,” including a stand-alone, frameable print); and Stefan Kürten (an exquisite series of drawings incorporating complex folds related to mirrored elements within the images themselves). 

As always, the issue presents contributions from a range of other creative disciplines. Esopus 23 begins with a brilliant new long-form essay on the value of literature by the acclaimed Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle), offered in the issue as a removable pamphlet. For our eighth subscriber invitational, “Local News,” screenwriter Hampton Fancher (Blade Runner) wrote two engrossing film treatments (inspired by readers’ submissions of local news stories) that are featured in the issue along with a conversation with Fancher about his creative process. The issue also includes an in-depth interview with Raphael van Lierop, the founder of Hinterland Studio, the independent video game developer responsible for groundbreaking survivalist game The Long Dark, along with visuals featuring a range of never-before-seen concept art for the game (as well as a 24" x 36" poster).

Esopus 23 offers new installments of several of the publication’s regular series, including “100 Frames,” showcasing stills from The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the pioneering 1926 animated feature directed by Lotte Reiniger, and introduced here by Oscar-winning filmmaker and historian John Canemaker; “Guarded Opinions,” which provides insightful commentaries on artworks from the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia by two of its guards, Joseph Klimczak Jr. and Fantasia Turner; and “Modern Artifacts,” our long-running collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art Archives that here presents a number of previously unpublished photographs and other documents related to 60 years’ worth of events, installations, concerts, and performances in MoMA’s iconic garden (introduced by Chief Archivist Michelle Elligott). The issue is rounded out by Lost in Music, a graphic novel by artist George Cochrane (produced in collaboration with his 12-year-old daughter, Fiamma Cochrane, as well as artist Richard Nonas and author William Sutton), and a poignant collection of over 100 anonymous photos from Peter Cohen, who has assembled one of the most significant archives of vernacular photography in the world. 

Finally, Esopus 23 closes with a themed audio CD compilation. For it, Esopus asked 13 musical acts—Kristin Andreassen, The Big Bright, Gabriel Birnbaum, Dollshot, Colin Gilmore, The Kickstand Band, Anthony LaMarcaJo LawryLemolo, Darren Solomon, Trees Take Ease, Grant Widmer, and YC the Cynic—to use a “close call” from their life, ranging from near-death experiences to missed romantic opportunities, as inspiration for a song.


In addition, artist Marilyn Minter has created a limited-edition artwork to be included with premium subscribers’ copies of the issue. The insert, Spray On, a 9" x 11.5” archival inkjet print on transparent film, is related to Minter’s project for the issue, and is available only to current Esopus premium subscribers.


On Wednesday, May 11th, from 6 to 8pm, Esopus 23 launches at the Museum of Modern Art Archives (4 West 54th Street, 6th Floor) on a terrace overlooking the Museum’s sculpture garden. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. RSVP to

On Monday, May 16th, and Wednesday, May 18th, Esopus and the Museum of the Moving Image co-present two nights of films by and about legendary screenwriter Hampton Fancher, including a screening of the director's cut of Blade Runner (May 16th) and a screening of Fancher’s directorial debut, Minus Man (with Owen Wilson), as well as an excerpt from Escapes, Michael Almereyda’s forthcoming documentary about Fancher (May 18th). Fancher will be in attendance for both programs. These events are open to the public and accessible with an admission fee ($12) to the museum, which is located at 36-01 35th Avenue in Queens, NY.

On Saturday, May 21st, at 7pm, Esopus will present an evening with the celebrated Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard at BookCourt (163 Court Street, Brooklyn). The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

On Wednesday, June 8th at 8pm, Esopus presents a night of “close calls” at the acclaimed Williamsburg music venue National Sawdust (80 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn). The evening will feature storytelling and musical performances by four contributors to the Esopus 23 “Close Calls” CD: The Big Bright, Gabriel Birnbaum, Jo Lawry, and Darren Solomon, as well as contributions from audience members. Open to the public; $25 admission fee.

Domestic basic subscriptions to Esopus are $30 for one year and $45 for two years; domestic premium subscriptions, which include a special edition of the annual issue as well as a stand-alone artist’s edition released each fall, are $75 for one year and $140 for two years. More information about subscribing to Esopus or purchasing single issues can be found at our online store.

For more information, please contact:

Tod Lippy
T: +1 (212) 473-0919