• How the Independent Art Fair Is Changing the Game

    Date posted: March 4, 2016 Author: jolanta
    Photo: Courtesy of Spring Studios. Vogue
    Photo: Courtesy of Spring Studios. Vogue

    The Independent art fair will host its seventh iteration this weekend in a light-bathed hall at Spring Studios, the Tribeca event venue/production house/soon-to-be members club best known to the fashion world as the setting for the Calvin Klein show. It’s the first time since the fair was founded in 2010 that Independent will not occupy its original, more intimate space on West 22nd Street, which was previously home to the Dia Art Foundation (and, again for the fashion crowd, where Rodarte shows each season). But its organizers, including cofounders Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook, promise that Independent will remain true to its curated roots. The fair will still house fewer than 50 booths, with each gallery presenting thoughtfully conceived mini exhibitions. “If we accept that fairs are a necessary evil, then we should at least try to make them more interesting,” says Independent creative advisor Matthew Higgs. “Instead of a trade fair, we’re trying to approximate what artists can do in galleries.”

    The continuity between the booths at Independent and the galleries themselves is as appealing to dealers as it is for the rest of us. Mitchell-Innes & Nash, which has in the past shown at the Armory and ADAA shows and which will present at Independent for the first time this year, is showing a solo booth of sculpture and paintings  by performance artist Pope.L. “The gallery schedule is booked through at least 2017,” says Lucy Mitchell-Innes, referring to her West 26th Street space. “This is a mini show.” Taylor Trabulus, director of the understated Martos Gallery, agrees: “We think of Independent as more of a show than an art fair.” Martos will show work by artists experimenting in new mediums this weekend, including wallpaper by Michel Auder and sculptural chairs from painter Jess Fuller. Adam Lindemann’s Venus Over Manhattan gallery is bringing a solo booth of early work by California artist Peter Saul.

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