NEW YORK – When Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook launched Independent five years ago, they knew they wanted the event to feel less like an art fair and more like a group exhibition. With no booths and a lot of interplay between the works installed in a building that was once a museum, the Independent managed to feel like a bridge between the commercial and the curatorial. Now with Independent Projects, the distinctions are made clear. Beginning 6 November in the former Dia building in the Chelsea gallery district is a presentation of 40 solo projects exhibited by 40 international dealers. For the first four days, Independent Projects is a selling fair; then for nearly a week, the gallerists recede and it becomes a non-commercial exhibition. The difference is not merely semantic, says Elizabeth Dee. “At fairs, the gallery usually controls the space. What we have done is recalibrate that balance by having days where the gallery is represented just by the work,” she says. “The artists are their own best curators.” The extended schedule is in part a response to demand. “People at the fair would say, ‘I would love to spend more time with the art.’ This way, they can. We are re-creating the integrity of the original museum environment.”

The event runs 6–15 November, coinciding with the big contemporary art auctions in New York. With that timing in mind, says Dee, “We wanted to bring in dealers who are not exclusive to the primary market,” like Skarstedt and Dominque Lévy. “We wanted to speak to the auction context.” Along with historical presentations, expect to see rarely shown works and new projects conceived specifically for Independent. Below is a sampling of what will be on view.

ABOVE: A RECENT EDITION OF INDEPENDENT. COURTESY INDEPENDENT, NEW YORK.


Thornton Dial at Andrew Edlin

Thornton Dial, Atlanta Messengers, Side A, mixed media.
Thornton Dial, Atlanta Messengers, Side B, mixed media.
Thornton Dial, Old Project, mixed media.
Thornton Dial, Everyday Life, mixed media.

The self-taught artist addresses social issues with an expressive realism in his mixed-media works. Edlin has Atlanta Messengers, a double-sided sculpture measuring nearly twelve feet.


Mark Barrow and Sarah Parke at Elizabeth Dee

Mark Barrow, YMC5, 2014, acrylic on hand-loomed linen textile by Sarah Parke.
Mark Barrow, YMC6, 2014, hand-dyed silk.

This is the first time the artists, husband and wife, are officially showing their work together. The pair, who frequently allude to design and also utilise textiles, will create an atmospheric installation by applying sheets of coloured and patterned vinyl to the building’s windows.


Rosy Keyser at Maccarone

Rosy Keyser, Anvil Vent, 2014, archival board, spray paint, enamel, sawdust, wire and string. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York.
Rosy Keyser, Nocturnal Do’s and Don’ts, 2014, string, cork, enamel, oil, and sawdust on board. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York.
Rosy Keyser, Candle Hat, 2014, string, rope, cardboard, straw mat, and steel street sweeper on pine. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York.
Rosy Keyser, Big Sugar Sea Wall, 2012, aluminum enamel, oil, acrylic, spray paint, wire and steel rod on steel and polycarbonate. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York.
Rosy Keyser, Speaking in Tongues, 2010, medium, house paint, metallic enamel on found paper/board. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York.

The artist affixes bits of cast-off materials like string and cork to the surfaces of her energetic paintings. She also leaves the works outdoors, where they’re subject to the elements and whatever might land on them.


Yves Klein at Dominique Lévy

YVES KLEIN, S22, SCULPTURE TACTILE, CIRCA 1957, WOOD BOX AND BASE, WHITE PAINT AND PERFORMERS. INSTALLATION VIEW FROM THE WALKER ART CENTER, 2010. COURTESY YVES KLEIN ARCHIVES © 2010.

Klein thought of art as something to be experienced, not just looked at. In that spirit, Lévy presents a sound piece, Dialogue avec moi-même (1961), featuring the artist’s own voice along with his signature blue monochromes.


Graham Collins at The Journal

Graham Collins, Shaped Painting V, 2014, spray enamel on canvas, reclaimed wood, glass and window tint. Courtesy the artist and The Journal Gallery, Photograph by Andres Ramirez.
Graham Collins, Shaped Painting VI, 2014, spray enamel on canvas, reclaimed wood, glass and window tint. Courtesy the artist and The Journal Gallery, Photograph by Andres Ramirez.
Graham Collins, Unsub IX, 2014, spray enamel on canvas, reclaimed wood, glass and window tint. Courtesy the artist and The Journal Gallery, Photograph by Andres Ramirez.
Graham Collins, Shaped Painting VII, 2014, spray enamel on canvas, reclaimed wood, glass and window tint. Courtesy the artist and The Journal Gallery, Photograph by Robert Glowarki.
Graham Collins, Event Horizon, 2014, spray enamel on canvas, reclaimed wood, glass and window tint. Courtesy the artist and The Journal Gallery.

Collins uses spray paint on canvas but nudges the flat surfaces toward sculpture by making the wood and glass of the frame integral to the final work. Wood frames assertively define the paintings whose colours are altered by the car window tint Collins applies to the glass.


For more information:
Independent Projects
548 West 22nd Street, New York, NY
independentnewyork.com

Vernissage: 6 November, 6–8 pm
Art Fair: 7–8 November, 12–7 pm and 9 November, 12–6 pm
Exhibition: 10–15 November, 12–7 pm


Meghan Dailey is a Brooklyn-based critic and editor whose writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Interview and Artforum, amongst other publications.