Yesterday evening I found myself in Chelsea for the opening of “Independent“, yet another New York art fair. This one features over 40 galleries and is located in the original Dia/X-Initiative space. I milled around taking in the crowd and very quickly started to see familiar faces. With each moment of recognition I felt my heartbeat step up as the cool subtleties of a handshake, double kiss, or polite nod became part of the landscape.
“Independent” has a commercial edge but also the fresh creative energy that arrives not only with a new fair but I believe seems to seep through the autumnal colored tiles of the Dia floor.
In surveying the art, I can’t say that I saw anything completely different or necessarily “new” (whatever that means…) but there is definitely a high caliber of work as well as some well-known participants including NYU/303 artist Maureen Gallace, who is also currently part of the Whitney Biennial and Ryan Gander who is one of my favs. Galleries worth mentioning are Winkleman (who have ongoing #class at the space on 27th), Andrew Kreps, renwick, and Gavlak a gallery based in Florida. Amongst the familiar faces (Jerry Saltz, Zach Feuer, Ylva Ogland, Benjamin Godsill, Angiola Churchill, Massimiliano Gioni…etc), names and smattering of foreign languages, cool haircuts and amazingly styled outfits, were also artists I’ve yet to encounter whose work made me pause and smile.
Shortly thereafter Cece met me on the 3rd floor and after hitting 4th and returning to the 2nd we paused for a yummy dinner break and then headed over to the National Arts Club for yet another event. I have been to the Arts Club when AFA were hosting artist lectures, but am amazed (and want to congratulate the curatorial/event planning committee) at the formative transformation in mixing 20/30 something hipster artists, graying suited old gents, and amazon drag queens successfully all under one roof.
After following the many tweets and blog posts of others who braved the opening events of this week, it felt great to step out, and get my feet wet.
— Posted from my iPhone