The Independent art fair (the art fair that prefers not to be described as an art fair) opened its doors yesterday evening. To its credit, it does avoid many of the typical art fair evils. There are no square booths, exhibitors are typically friendly – even if you don’t look like you’re wielding a checkbook, and natural light streams through the windows. Located in Chelsea at what was once the Dia Art Foundation’s exhibition space, the whole Independent experience is rather palatable and pleasant.
Some things of note:
Seeing as this is the cool-kid, anti-establishment, fuck-The-Man art fair, downtown is well represented. LES gallery Ramiken Crucible’s booth (or space or display or whatever the non-fair folks at Independent would like us to call it) features a neat-o piece by art world it-girl Andra Ursuta – a green-hued sculpture stocked with peas and carrots and eggs.
At White Columns, the OG non-profit art space, John Hiltunen’s cheeky collages featuring human/animal crossbreeds are instantly loveable.
Also worth discussing is German artist Kirsten Pieroth’s “Conversation Piece” at Galleria Franco Noero’s booth – a display of jars filled with boiled New York Times newspapers (Yes, this gallery is far beyond our scope, but perhaps one of the liquid stories mentioned gentrification in Lower Manhattan?).
And when you’ve had your fill of art, make your way to the enclosed roof to peruse the selection of books by Artists Space and enjoy a bag of potato chips and a reasonably priced glass of wine. In the grand scheme of art fair experiences, Independent doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Independent, 548 West 22nd St., bet. 10th and 11th. Avenues; March 7 from noon to 7 p.m.; March 8 from noon to 7 p.m., March 9 noon to 6 p.m.; tickets $20