This winter, any typophile finding themselves in the New York City area is advised to make a trip to Chelsea Market to see the exhibition of work by Tennessee’s Yee-Haw Industries, up until January 2. I saw the show just before Halloween and was not disappointed to find the significant presence of wood type printing that I expected.
Chelsea Market has retained much of its historical brick-and-iron factory atmosphere, so it acts as a perfect backdrop for the work described as “industrial” letterpress. When I made my visit, there were all kinds of Halloween displays interrupting the show — some ghosts and cobwebs even draped over the art — but perhaps upcoming holiday decorations will be less distracting.
From Yee-Haw’s official announcement:
Yee-Haw’s work will adorn the vast and cavernous Chelsea Market, located in the Meat Packing District in Manhattan’s West Village. Over 100 letterpress pieces all hand-printed from our wood cuts & antique type in our Tennessee studio. We made over 50 sewn paper “quilt squares” specifically for this show and brought along some old favorites. Chelsea Market is an enclosed, urban food court and shopping mall in New York City. It is housed within the former Nabisco factory complex where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced. The 22-building complex fills two entire blocks bound by 9th and 11th Avenues from 15th to 16th Street.
The fact that I haven’t yet mentioned Yee-Haw on Woodtyper is surprising, since they are among the top users of wood type in the world, alongside shops like Hatch Show Print. They clearly embrace the aesthetic and charm of wood type, and even have produced an amazing poster series with specimens from their collection (probably the highlights of the show at Chelsea Market, in my biased opinion).
Below you’ll find photos I captured of the work from the show, but I’ve consciously only shown enough of the details to whet your appetite. You’ll have to visit in person to get the full experience of the pieces in this unique setting.
What: Yee-Haw Industries industrial letterpress exhibition
When: October 4, 2009–January 2, 2010
Where: Chelsea Market; 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 [map]
Admission: Free and open to the public
(These images are also gathered together as a set on Flickr)