Independent art fair 2013

All images by the author unless otherwise noted.

The stairwell smelled like gingerbread. This only added to the surreal sensation permeating last night's opening of the Independent art fair, one of many occurring during this year's Armory Arts Week in New York City. Free and open to the public, it showcases over 40 international galleries.


Holland Cotter of the New York Times declares it the most fun of the fairs; I certainly found it to be so. The energy was palpable, and I loved the warehousey tenor of the space (which happens to be the old DIA building).


My one complaint? That artists' names (as well as title, date, etc. of the work) were not always displayed. I support the notion that each gallery should have the freedom to install as it sees fit, but I don't want to be forced to inquire about such rudimentary details (especially on a crowded opening night when everyone is already involved in conversation/seeing who there is to be seen).

These were… unusual.

Amid the numerable works I'd deem headscratchers and a few, I'm sorry, that were just plain bad (sure, maybe I "just don't get it," fine), I found several of interest. A selection follows, with credit given to galleries and artists where available (some were not posted, others I neglected to record; emails or comments with identifications are welcomed.)

Maureen Paley (London)

Dove Allouche, Guadel de Stampa (Paris). These works revisit an early photographic process. Media: lavender oil and alcohol on silver plate (the first reflects colors from a painting opposite).

Broadway 1602 (New York) This did not photograph well, but believe me it was arresting. Confronted with it upon turning the corner it was effective for a) its unexpected proximity and b) it's sound. From the lightbulb to the tile floor drips what I thought was water, but have since discovered is oil.

Verena Dengler, Galerie Meyer Kainer (Vienna)

Jack Lavender, The Approach (London)

Jack Hanley Gallery (New York)

Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan, Modern Institute (Glasgow)

This, by the same artists, turns out to relate to a much larger scale installation (right)

'The indirect exchange of uncertain value', A Collective off-site project at Fettes College, Edinburgh, 2011. Image © The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd

Alex Dordoy, Modern Institute (Glasgow)

<— This 

reminds me

of this —>

Joseph Stella, The Brooklyn Bridge: Variation on an Old Theme, 1939. Courtesy the Whitney Museum of American Art

Like an ant farm, made of sand… had so much depth and topological-like detail for being so narrow!

Supportico Lopez? (Berlin)

Mark Barrow, Elizabeth Dee (New York) Acrylic on hand-loomed linen, textile by Sarah Parke.

Sculpture by Michel François Bortolami (New York)

Both images White Columns (New York)

Jason Loebs, Campoli Presti (London, Paris). This I thought cool for memorializing the process—fingerprints on the metal

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