Still Independent, and Still Exceptional
Art Design | Still Independent, and Still Exceptional
Let your fall re-entry begin at the Independent Art Fair in Manhattan, which features painting, photography and the pioneers of net art.
Sept. 9, 2021
Coming up in the ’90s, “independent” (often shortened to “indie”) signaled culture that was maverick, authentic and relatively low budget. It meant movies that weren’t Hollywood-blockbuster types and music not released on corporate record labels. And while art didn’t necessarily follow the same ethos, or economic model, the Independent Art Fair, founded by fellow Gen-Xers Elizabeth Dee and Matthew Higgs, kind of felt like it did.
This year, its 12th, is no exception. Still keeping an eye out for overlooked and underrepresented galleries and artists, the Independent is featuring 43 galleries and approximately 100 artists, with lots of women, nonwhite and a few self-taught artists. The quality of the work is exceptional and ranges from painters right out of art school to artists long known to collectors and museums. Solo and duo booths are the norm, making the fair feel like a series of small exhibitions rather than a commercial bazaar. There is also an online component up through Sept. 26, with videos, podcasts and interviews.