Independent art fair is holding its second New York event of 2014 at its usual 22nd Street location in Chelsea from November 6 through 15. This new show, in part an appeal to collectors in town for the November auctions, has an altogether different approach. Elizabeth Dee, an art dealer and cofounder of the fair, describes it as “one holistic exhibition.” It features 40 galleries, each holding a solo show, with presentations ranging from mini-historical surveys to performances.
“Positioning Independent at a different time of year allowed us new territory to create a broader distinction between the auction house and the creative production activities of galleries,” Dee says. “These worlds are not mutually exclusive, however, and the project recognizes that overlap. We wanted to address the audiences and introduce galleries that reflect this spectrum, with minimal overlap between the March and November editions.”
And so dealers like Larry Gagosian and David Zwirner are on hand, but there are also plenty of more modest galleries bringing the kind of work one doesn’t expect to see at an art fair. In particular, works that fall into what Dee calls the “ascendent” category, almost famous, if you will.
This accounts for the inclusion of artists like Robert Moskowitz. The dealer Kerry Schuss has re-created Moskowitz’s 1962 show of so-called window-shade paintings at Leo Castelli gallery. Martos Gallery brought Aura Rosenberg’s series of porn rocks—which are basically exactly what you think they are, but have only rarely been exhibited since Rosenberg stopped making them in the 1980s. White Columns, whose director Matthew Higgs is also a cofounder of Independent, is showing work by Billy Childish’s mom.
If dealers feel less obliged to bring work that sells quickly, it’s because the fair runs through two weekends, with the usual opening sales frenzy followed by a more museum-like exhibition setting.
“This is an opportunity to return and discover things one didn’t see on the more social days, where the content can really dominate and the focus can be on the artists,” says Dee.
A version of this story originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 48 under the title “Free-Spirited.”