Giving a Platform to ‘Maverick Dealers,’ the Independent Art Fair Will Celebrate Its 10th Anniversary With 21 New Exhibitors Next Year

A decade after bursting onto the scene, Independent New York will fill its 2019 edition with a total of 50 exhibitors.

Independent New York, showing the booth of Perrotin, Paris/New York. Photo: Henri Neuendorf.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in New York, the gallery-run art fair Independent will welcome 50 international galleries and nonprofits to Spring Studios in Tribeca next March.

Billing itself as a smaller, boutique alternative to the huge, convention-center-filling expositions that have dominated the art landscape in recent years, Independent has carved out a distinctive niche for itself over the last decade. By presenting elegantly curated shows, organizers have aimed to counter the popular belief that while fairs are a great place to buy art, they are a terrible place to look at it. 

“It’s a creative project that we build similarly to a project-driven biennial format, where there’s a lead curator,” Independent co-founder and gallery-owner Elizabeth Dee told artnet News. “It’s not a market-driven event where you choose your real estate and define what you want to do and you’re left alone in that decision-making process.”

Independent operates a unique selection process whereby exhibitors are picked from a pool of roughly 240 galleries, with 30 percent of participants rotating every edition. Curatorial advisor Matthew Higgs says the format ensures that the fair will showcase fresh perspectives that represent the larger art world.

“One of the key things to think about every year is, how can we bring new voices into the mix?” Higgs told artnet News. “That’s always been the most interesting thing about the fair—to create a narrative that’s very distinct and idiosyncratic.” The goal, he said, is to give a platform to “maverick dealers” who are “critical to our larger understanding of contemporary art.” 

Another part of what makes Independent different is its small scale. The fair typically features around the 50 participants with venues that offer optimal conditions for looking at art and engaging with dealers. “The goal from the beginning was to create a platform where artists would actually like to show their work,” Higgs said. “We know that, historically, artists are reluctant to have their work seen at art fairs, but we also know that art fairs are also necessary to how the current art economy functions.”

A decade after bursting onto the scene, the fair is popular enough among dealers that slots for next spring’s edition are already filled, allowing organizers to announce participants six weeks ahead of schedule. The 2019 fair will feature 21 newcomers, including both emerging galleries and established exhibitors with decades of experience. Among those who made the cut are Ortuzar Projects, Arcadia Missa, Kai Matsumiya, Take Ninagawa, Parker Gallery, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, COOPER COLE, and moniquemeloche.

See the full list of participating galleries below.

Adams and Ollman, Portland
Air de Paris, Paris
Alden Projects™, New York
Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco
The approach, London
Arcadia Missa, London
Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin
CANADA, New York
Carlos/Ishikawa, London
Chapter NY, New York
Company Gallery, New York
Delmes & Zander, Cologne
Derek Eller Gallery, New York
Emalin, London
Thomas Erben Gallery, New York
Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia
Garth Greenan Gallery, New York
The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Karma, New York
Anton Kern Gallery, New York
Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
the Landing, Los Angeles
Loevenbruck, Paris
LINN LÜHN, Düsseldorf
Marlborough Contemporary, New York/London
Kai Matsumiya, New York
moniquemeloche, Chicago
MKG127, Toronto
The Modern Institute, Glasgow
Morán Morán, Los Angeles
Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin/Cologne
Night Gallery, Los Angeles
Ortuzar Projects, New York
Maureen Paley, London
Parker Gallery, Los Angeles
Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
Peres Projects, Berlin
Reyes Projects, Metro Detroit
Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York
Rossi & Rossi, London/Hong Kong
Kerry Schuss, New York
Southard Reid, London
The Sunday Painter,London
Take Ninagawa, Tokyo
Timothy Taylor, London / New York
Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin
Tilton Gallery, New York
Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York
Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York
VIGO, London
White Columns, New York

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