As the New York art world continues to prepare to stage large-scale, in-person events once again, the Independent fair announced the list of 40 galleries that will exhibit at its 2021 edition, which runs from September 9–12. This iteration of the art fair will be slightly smaller than ones held in recent years—the Independent fair has usually hosted around 50 to 60 galleries.
Among those set to participate this time are major international outfits like London’s Maureen Paley, Berlin’s Peres Projects, Various Small Fires of Los Angeles and Seoul, and Lisson Gallery, which has spaces in London, New York, and Shanghai. Also present will be New York mainstays like Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, Canada, Andrew Edlin Gallery, and Derek Eller Gallery.
“We’re looking to do something that is a unique version of the fair—that’s intentionally smaller,” Independent’s founder and CEO Elizabeth Dee told ARTnews. “Independent has always had a rotation of about 20 percent of its galleries year-on-year to keep each edition fresh and unexpected.”
Additionally, just over a quarter of the galleries will be participating in Independent for the first time, including Matthew Brown Los Angeles, Mrs. in Queens, Brooklyn’s Higher Pictures Generation, and Belgium’s Axel Vervoordt Gallery.
“In the last two years, starting just before the pandemic, we’ve seen the rise of incredible new galleries, in New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere,” Dee said. “A next generation has really emerged. The list looks forward in many ways.”
In January, the fair announced that it would change venues for its upcoming edition. It will leave Spring Studios, where it has been the past several years, and take up residence in the Beaux Arts–style Battery Maritime Building, at the tip of Lower Manhattan at South Ferry. The venue has been disused for decades and has been recently restored by Thierry Despont as the new home for Cipriani South Street. Dee said that the fair has not yet decided if the gallery will stage subsequent editions here. “Once you see this building, you can’t not want to do an exhibition here,” Dee said.
The exhibitors will be split across three adjoining exhibition spaces, with 10 in the first section of the main staircase, 20 in the main hall space, and the final 10 in the final space. Additionally, the space has a 300-foot outdoor terrace where guests can socialize. Food and drinks options, offered in collaboration with Cipriani, will be also be available.
“We were in lockdown, and we were thinking about how the art world will look once we can convene again,” Dee said. “I think this is the time to rethink art fair making in terms of experience and how that can play a role in what kinds of spaces we want to be in. Over the last year, there’s been so much great material that hasn’t had enough exhibition outlets.”
The full list of participating galleries follows below. Asterisks denote first-time exhibitors.
Adams and Ollman
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery
Matthew Brown Los Angeles*
Delmes & Zander
Downs & Ross
Andrew Edlin Gallery
Derek Eller Gallery
Higher Pictures Generation*
Karma / Lisson Gallery
The Modern Institute
franklin parrasch gallery
Reyes | Finn
Vito Schnabel Gallery*
Kerry Schuss Gallery
Various Small Fires
Axel Vervoordt Gallery*
Galerie Jocelyn Wolff