Independent 20th Century Returns to New York This September With an Eye-Opening Focus on Self-Taught Artists

The much anticipated, invite-only fair continues its mission of championing artists and movements from the last century.

Dindga McCannon, Four Women (1988). Courtesy of the artist, Fridman Gallery, and Independent New York.

Returning for its second edition this September 7–10, 2023, Independent 20th Century has announced a wide-ranging artistic program, complementing the fair’s presentations. Established as a bastion of 20th-century art, the fair brings to light important reevaluations, perspectives, and discussions around the century’s movements and artists. The artistic program promises to provide even more in-depth contextualization and insight into the period’s history, how it is understood, and highlight the gallery’s championing 20th-century art.

Ed Baynard, Untitled (1990). Photo: Jason Mandella. Courtesy of James Fuentes and Independent New York.

 

Like with Independent in September, participation in Independent 20th Century is by invitation only, with participants nominated by Matthew Higgs, the fair’s founding curatorial advisor, in dialogue with galleries and other fair leadership. Independent Founder Elizabeth Dee said, “Independent 20th Century is doubling down on its mission to reframe and broaden our understanding of the canon during this timeframe, and spark conversations that perhaps haven’t happened before, or are long overdue. A new public program and institutional partnerships will launch this year to support ongoing exchanges between contemporary artists and their legacies. We’ve paid special attention to our self-taught category this year, designed to expand our historical understanding across class, gender, and geographical divides. As the appetite from contemporary art audiences continues to broaden, we look forward to bringing Independent 20th Century back to New York City.”

Premiering at the forthcoming fair will be a program of discussions—with scheduling and institutional partners announced later this month—as well as a performance by American artist Allan Wexler, which will be free and open to the public. Within the fair, a number of thematic and categorical focuses will be highlighted, furthering the fair’s mission of exploring and expanding the 20th-century art historical canon.

Sigmar Polke, Potato Machine — Apparatus Whereby One Potato Can Orbit Another (1969). Courtesy of Sies + Höke and Independent New York.

Of particular importance in Independent 20th Century’s programming is the platforming of overlooked or underrepresented artists. Of the fair’s presentations this year, 25% will be comprised of self-taught artists, a significant expansion from last year’s iteration. Highlights include the U.S. debut of Brazilian artist Miguel Dos Santos by Galatea, and James Fuentes presenting the work of Ed Baynard, known largely for his still lifes—and his work as a graphic designer for The Beatles and costume designer for Jimi Hendrix.

There will also be a strong representation of artists from the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Americas, with 11 presentations by artists hailing from the regions. Corbett vs. Dempsey will present work by Cuban-American artist Emilio Cruz, an important figure in the rise of 1960s figurative expressionism in New York; Trinidadian artist Kenwyn Crichlow will have their work staged by Diane Rosenstein Gallery; and S94 Design will present for the first time in the city a series of ceramics by Myrtle Williams.

Kenwyn Crichlow, Power to the People (1974). Courtesy of the artist, Diane Rosenstein Gallery, and Independent New York.

In addition to focuses such as women artists across the century and the Italian avant-garde, as well as offering a look at lesser-known works from canonical artists such as Andy Warhol at Vito Schnabel Gallery, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró at Perrotin, and Sigmar Polke at Sies + Höke, Independent 20th Century promises something new to discover and learn.

Independent 20th Century will be held September 7–10, 2023, at Cipriani South Street, New York.


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