Independent New York announces details of the artistic program

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Independent New York announces details of the artistic program
Ken Nevadomi, Untitled, 1970, oil on canvas, 55”x44” courtesy the artist and New Canons.

NEW YORK, NY.- Independent New York announced the artistic program for this year’s edition, selected by founding curatorial advisor Matthew Higgs and co-produced in collaboration with leading galleries, non-profits and museums worldwide. Over one hundred artists, forty solo and dual artist presentations, and several activations have been commissioned especially for this year’s fair.

Embracing a hybrid model and digital opportunities for storytelling, the fair will launch its first ever OVR platform, which will run from September 9-26. Home to over 50 exclusive editorial features, half of the new content has been produced in house exclusively for the platform. Over the coming weeks, Independent will be launching the interviews, artist takeovers, videos, talks and podcasts for each of this edition’s exhibitors, along with never-before-seen performances and an inside look at artists working in their studios.

A partial list of presentations follows below.

Pat Adams and Mariel Capanna | Adams and Ollman and Alexandre Gallery*

Adams and Ollman and Alexandre Gallery will present an intergenerational, dual-artist presentation with works by Pat Adams and Mariel Capanna. With a shared interest in composition as a driving creative strategy, these two women artists communicate through their own distinct poetic languages in this landmark presentation and gallery collaboration.

Pat Adams eschews classification of the movements of her time: spanning conceptual art, color field painting and ultimately minimalism, to implement an autonomous abstract vocabulary that furthers complex metaphysical ideas in her paintings. This is a debut for Alexandre Gallery at Independent and coincides with the forthcoming opening of a new gallery space in September on the lower east side. Inspired by film and vintage photography, Mariel Capanna explores the subtleties of place and perception in her work. Exploring territories from classic films, documentaries, 35mm slideshows and home videos, Capanna employs a freestyle approach to composition and image-making.

Louise Despont | Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

Louise Despont uses architectural forms to create intricate and transformational drawings on antique ledger book pages which have newly expanded to textile wall reliefs. The artist will present her first solo show in three years with Nicelle Beauchene at Independent after a period of geographical study and research. Despont, who has been working in Bali for the past five years, draws inspiration for her work from a variety of locations and sources, most recently the architecture of traditional Balinese kites, medieval alchemical illustrations, and philosophies of Eastern medicine and herbal remedies.

Jo Nigoghossian | BROADWAY*

For their first presentation at Independent, the newly founded Tribeca gallery will exhibit a series of paintings by Jo Nigoghossian, commissioned especially for this solo presentation. Nigoghossian’s uncanny still lifes feature errant eyeballs and vases teaming with fish, in mystery and memento mori. These paintings mark the beginning of a new era for the artist, who was previously known for her large-scale steel and neon sculptures. Nigoghossian will present her first solo show at BROADWAY in the coming year.

Sedrick Chisom | Matthew Brown Los Angeles*

Matthew Brown Los Angeles will present Sedrick Chisom’s first ever solo exhibition in New York. Grounded in the Afrofuturist tradition, Chisom’s dystopian paintings depict a post-apocalyptic world marred by the legacy of present-day racial stereotyping, white supremacy, and religion. In this world, first conceptualized in the artist’s screenplay, 2200, people of color have abandoned Earth in search of a better life, whilst the white people left behind have succumbed to a disease which alters the pigmentation of their skin. Chisom’s haunting paintings are, in essence, about the racialized otherness that continues to dominate Western thought. Speaking to Josh Niland for Artforum in 2020, Chisom explained: “I want the images to feel uneasy. And I want this uneasy foreboding quality to seep into the viewer.”

Xylor Jane, Mary Manning, and RJ Messineo | CANADA

CANADA will present an exhibition of new works by Xylor Jane, Mary Manning, and RJ Messineo. Xylor Jane’s highly detailed constellations draw heavily upon the systems through which we catalog time, whilst Manning’s mundane images document the beauty of the everyday and Messineo’s paintings consider the ever-changing lighting conditions as the day wears on within the artist’s Brooklyn studio. Working across painting, film photography and collage, these artists meditate on themes of human connection, the value of a day, the measurement of time, and our evolving landscape.

William Scott | Creative Growth

William Scott will present a solo exhibition of works with Creative Growth, an Oakland-based non-profit that serves artists with disabilities. Scott has practiced at Creative Growth since 1992. A self-taught artist, his highly imaginative practice draws upon both his personal history and wider African American culture to produce paintings featuring such pop icons as Prince, Oprah, and Janet Jackson. Elements of Afrofuturism are also present throughout Scott’s work, particularly in his idealized architectural renderings of San Francisco. The works ambitiously re-imagine the city as Praise Frisco, a peaceful and positive utopia reminiscent of Orbit City, home to The Jetsons. In playfully engaging with the social topography of his native city, Scott’s works raise questions of contemporary citizenship, community and culture.

Albert Leo Peil | Delmes & Zander **

A man who spent much of his professional life working odd jobs to get by, this self-taught artist passed away in 2019. Yet his estate, which contains hundreds of carefully cataloged ink drawings, suggests a more complex personal life. On the verso of many drawings he signals his epicurean interest in the outside world through scribbled, quasi-encyclopaedic lists of popular artists, actors, musicians, fashion designers, and cosmetics brands. At times, Peil even explicitly quotes elements from the world of fashion and luxury. The eyeglasses and headpieces donned by his male protagonists, for example, closely resemble the leather and plastic masks the French designer Pierre Cardin designed for his famous space age collections in the 1960s. Exclusive to the Independent OVR, this presentation marks the second time ever that these works have been shown.

Rute Merk | Downs & Ross

Contrasting sfumato brushwork with sharp lines to mimic the visuals of video games, Rute Merk makes disquieting portraits that explore the role of digital in contemporary painting practice. The artist’s presentation at Independent evolved from her critically acclaimed 2020 exhibition at Downs & Ross, SS20, for which she collaborated with Demna Gvasalia and fashion house Balenciaga. The works on show will consider the relationship between emerging forms of online self-presentation and traditional codes of portraiture. “Where Merk truly excels is in her negotiation of painting's appropriation of new modes of seeing.” William Corwin, The Brooklyn Rail.

Karla Knight | Andrew Edlin Gallery

Since the 1980s, Karla Knight has diligently worked to build an idiosyncratic visual language composed of imaginary objects, diagrams, and symbols. Though fictional, the shapes that make up her detailed work balance between ancient history and the future - at once familiar, yet otherworldly. Knight has recently advanced her personal language of scientific diagrams and cosmic symbols, and in her forthcoming presentation with Andrew Edlin Gallery she will showcase large-scale paintings, colored-pencil drawings and cloth tapestries. The presentation at Independent comes a month before the artist’s first institutional solo show opens at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in October.

Jameson Green | Derek Eller Gallery

Jameson Green, who emerged this year, will show a highly anticipated group of new works with Derek Eller Gallery. A recent graduate of CUNY Hunter College (MFA 2019), Green’s nuanced paintings consider the perpetuation of institutionalized racism by progressive whites and the violence throughout African American history. In expressing these ideas, Green draws upon the cartoonish evil of Phillip Guston, cyclical depictions of life, death and suffering in religious Baroque art, and the work of Jacob Lawrence.

Rande Cook, Audie Murray, Marcy Friesen and Corey Bulpitt | Fazakas Gallery

Fazakas Gallery will present a selection of works by four First Nation Canadian artists representing four indigenous tribes: Corey Bulpitt (Haida), Rande Cook (Kwakwaka’wakw), Marcy Friesen (Swampy Cree), and Audie Murray (Métis). Whilst Bulpitt and Cook, who is formally trained in traditional Kwakwaka’wakw artistic endeavors, work across painting and carving, Murray and Friesen are primarily beaders. Their practices vary widely, yet the work of all four artists is firmly rooted in their respective lineages and a shared interest in the contemporary social, political, and environmental issues that face their respective communities.

Joy Feasley, Jesse Harrod, Molly Metz, Eamon Ore-Giron and Philadelphia Wireman | Fleisher/Ollman Gallery

Spanning sculpture, painting and textiles, this presentation brings together the work of five artists from diverse backgrounds working in Philadelphia and considers variations on abstraction within their work. The show will coincide with Joy Feasely’s exhibition, in collaboration with Paul Swenbeck, at Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland and follows Molly Metz’s debut solo exhibition at the gallery.

Sally J. Han | Fortnight Institute

Sally J. Han’s vibrant paintings are works of introspection that draw upon uncanny personal experiences and ironic moments in time. Meticulously attentive to detail and naturalist in her approach to painting, Han debuted to critical acclaim at Fortnight Institute in 2020 during the covid lockdown. The gallery will present four of her large-scale paintings, made especially for Independent in an ambitious solo presentation by the artist marking, for many, an opportunity to encounter her work first-hand.

Katelyn Eichwald | Fortnight Institute

In a second space, Fortnight Institute will present a distinct solo exhibition of works by Katelyn Eichwald. The artist’s intimately scaled paintings play on contrast, at once delicate yet sardonic; simultaneously serene and sinister. Eichwald’s presentation at Independent will coincide with her second solo show at the gallery.

Leilah Babirye and Gerald Jackson | Gordon Robichaux

Gordon Robichaux will present a cross generational, dual-artist presentation with works by Leilah Babirye and Gerald Jackson. Working for six decades across painting, sculpture, fashion, and performance, Gerald Jackson has maintained a strong interest in social, emotional and psychological relationships with color. Jackson’s recent critically acclaimed exhibition at White Columns showcased his artistic achievements over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Leilah Babirye works with a range of materials, usually found on the streets of New York, to create sculptures that explore ideas of identity, sexuality, and community. Born and raised in Uganda, Babirye fled the country in 2015 as a result of anti-LGBTQI persecution and received asylum in the US in 2018 with support from the African Services Committee and the NYC Anti-Violence Project. Babirye will present monumental scale sculptures that anchor the central exhibition space at Independent.

Justine Kurland | Higher Pictures Generation*

After two decades shooting girls and women in safe spaces, beginning in 2014, the subject of celebrated photographer Justine Kurland’s most recent work is navigating feminist thought and queer issues with her own patriarchal artistic heritage. This highly anticipated solo show will serve as a mid-career survey, with works sourced from the artist’s personal library involving collage, painting and photography. The Independent presentation with her new gallery marks Kurland’s first solo presentation at a fair, and the first ever fair for the newly configured gallery. This visionary selection of new work marks a decisive shift in the practice of an artist best known for her contemplative photographs of women. Confronting issues of sexism within the cannon of photography head on, Kurland is “deinstitutionalizing” her artistic practice to “annihilate the influence of these [straight, white] men who were introduced to me through my schooling and reinforced by museums, galleries, and publications,” the artist explains to Avery Norman for Document Journal.

Cory Arcangel and JODI | Lisson Gallery

Lisson Gallery will stage a major presentation by digital media pioneers JODI, (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans), and Cory Arcangel, who emerged in the 2000s as innovators of their generation. Arcangel will serve as curatorial lead. Though their work differs in many ways, the artists have been in dialogue for more than two decades and share an interest in art’s potential to exist digitally, and be distributed online, rather than exclusively within public or gallery spaces. This highly anticipated presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of the similarities and differences between their respective, pioneering practices, which ultimately contributed to the new media work we see emerging today. Set within the contemporary context of recent developments in digital art, namely the introduction of NFTs to the mainstream, the works on view at Independent will take the form of sculpture, large jumbotron screen-based works, online works that require viewers to use their mobile devices and works on vintage Apple computers.

JODI have worked with digital relics and desktop culture for decades. They were first and early to do so before the distribution of the internet, creating interactive, browser-based works that could be shared on personal computers, recording their interactions with Apple's classic Mac OS 9 operating system for live audiences in what they call “desktop performances”. Their work also considers the, sometimes irrational, behavior provoked by the abundance of data available online and the rigid rationality of computer systems. This will be a rare opportunity to see first-hand the extensive range of their work, following their last New York group presentation of MoMA’s collection on the occasion of the museum’s expansion. Arcangel occupies post-digital concerns in his multi-disciplinary practice that emerged as a leading position within his generation in the early 2000s. This presentation of new and signature work narrates technology’s impact on visual culture, with the artist presenting on various interfaces: video games, web design, and software to interrogate and recontextualize the stated purposes of these technologies.

Martha Diamond | MAGENTA PLAINS

MAGENTA PLAINS will exhibit a selection of historical works by Martha Diamond. A quintessentially New York artist, Diamond has, over the course of five decades, refined the visual language through which she articulates the forms and sensations of the city. Drawing inspiration from New Image Painting, Neo-Expressionism and New York School Abstraction, her lyrical brushstrokes accumulate to form varied, but always dynamic, cityscapes.

Chase Hall | moniquemeloche

Self-taught artist Chase Hall will present a solo exhibition of new paintings with moniquemeloche. Coffee is an integral element of his work, with the artist particularly interested in the beans’ journey from Africa to America, and the labor realities of this agrarian beverage. Hall’s process involves staining raw cotton canvases and speaking to elements of the process that reflect histories of plantation labor. The artist also experiments heavily with negative space, poignantly exposing parts of his canvas to equate the color white and cotton. Together, the works on display at Independent will invite viewers to reconsider how racial dynamics are foundational to our national viewpoint and can be put forward in visual contexts.

Keltie Ferris | Morán Morán

Morán Morán will present works by Keltie Ferris (he/him). The artist is known for works described by Jerry Saltz in Vulture as “perfect crosses between hazy 1970s Color Field painting, pixelated digital space breaking up and reforming in odd-shaped plates, and painterly abstraction”. The works on view at Independent this year, however, demonstrate the artist’s return to an earlier iteration of his visual lexicon grounded in drawing.

Hana Ward | Mrs.*

Ward’s debut solo presentation will also serve as a prelude to the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York at Mrs., opening in November 2021. Ward’s paintings touch on coming into one’s power and the space between imagination, distortion and reality. Her portraits often depict Black women navigating various layers of their consciousness. Other paintings engage questions around an increasingly obsolete urban city, or cultural relics of neighborhoods in her Los Angeles hometown. The gallery, which is based in Queens, will make their debut at Independent this year.

Ken Nevadomi | New Canons*

Founded by Maxwell Wolf, New Canons is a nomadic curatorial office based in New York.New Canonswill present the long-awaited New York debut of the reclusive and prolific Cleveland Neo-expressionist, Ken Nevadomi (b. 1939). This micro survey gathers a diverse group of paintings and works on paper by the locally celebrated artist's artist and dedicated teacher of over 50 years. Vacillating between the surreal and the banal with virtuosic skill and wry wit, these works poignantly capture the hope and pessimism that permeates the lives of the working class of an industrial American city in the 20th century. Formerly Director and Chief Curator at Red Bull Arts, New York/Detroit, Wolf curated solo presentations by Gretchen Bender and Akeem Smith previously at Independent in 2019 and 2020.

Maximilian Schubert, Mitchell Charbonneau and Scott Covert | Off Paradise*

For Off Paradise’s first presentation at Independent, the gallery will show Maximilian Schubert, Mitchell Charbonneau and Scott Covert. The exhibition will explore definitions of the body, primarily in its absence.

Long under-recognized New York artist Scott Covert is best known for works inspired by his visits to the graves of cultural icons, made throughout his travels across the United States and Europe. Maximilian Schubert’s new works are duplicitous in their nature and contradictory in their intent. Mitchell Charbonneau’s new sculptures are inspired by common tools such as chairs, stepladders and shelving; objects that can be expanded and collapsed as a function of their design. The artist’s meticulous replication of the objects’ details imbues them with a level of value, not typically associated with such utilitarian forms.

Anne Hardy | Maureen Paley **

Anne Hardy rose to prominence in the early 2000’s with large-scale photographs of her studio, carefully transformed into complex environments. In the years since, her oeuvre has expanded to include sound, film, and sculptural works, as well as immersive installations (FIELDworks). The starting point for these installations is often the discovery of objects, atmospheres or sounds collected and recorded in bypassed areas of London. Curated specifically for Independent’s OVR, this presentation will showcase a selection of works alongside an introduction to the artist, recent interviews, and excerpts from a video work.

* denotes first-time exhibitors
** denotes online only presentations

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