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Despite having the words “art fair” in its name, the Independent Art Fair in New York strives to go beyond the concept by embracing different art styles beyond conventional and popular genres. It traces its beginnings to the Dia Center for the Arts in Beacon, New York. The eventual success of the museum and foundation led to the Chelsea neighborhood becoming a thriving art community.
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How Did the Independent Art Fair Begin?
In 2009, a mixed group of commercial and non-profit galleries came together to bring to life the Independent Art Fair. Their idea was to bring together a big number of exhibitors that are unrestricted by genre, unlike your typical art exhibition. They worked to make their concept a reality and have since held 3 annual events between 2010 and 2013 with 40 to 60 exhibitors all in one place.
Where Is the Independent Art Fair Held?
Is New York good for art? Definitely. In fact, the Independent Art Fair has emerged as one of the most prominent art events with varied venues from museums to studios to hotels. Its first run was held at 548 West 22nd Street — the former location of the Dia Centre for Art and the home of X Initiative, a non-profit organization that has been challenging the idea of contemporary art. Since 2014, the Independent Art Fair has branched out to Brussels, Belgium before closing down in 2019.
They reopened in 2021 with an event held at the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan. The venue has not been in use for decades and had been recently remodeled as a hotel resort. It was spread across 3 adjoining spaces.
When is the next Independent Art Fair in New York?
Its next run in May 2022 will see the Independent Art Fair returning home for the first time since 2016. It will be held at the Spring Studios in Tribeca with a VIP Preview on May 5th and public viewings from May 6th to 8th.
What Is Special About the Independent Art Fair?
The Independent Art Fair distinguishes itself from other art fairs due to its hybrid model. During the event, artists from different backgrounds gather by invitation. Many of the displays remain grounded in the local city’s art scene but there are international exhibitors as well. The last event earlier this year saw a blend of old and new faces. For example, major houses like Peres Projects from Berlin, mainstays from New York like the Derek Eller Gallery, and new ones like Matthew Brown from Los Angeles participated in the exhibition.
To keep it fresh each year, the Independent Art Fair rotates at least 20% of its participating galleries. By bringing in “maverick” and “outsider” artists for the exhibitions, the fair includes artistic styles that are different from conventional and recognized styles, encouraging the evolution of art at a rapid and unprecedented pace.
If you’re planning to be part of the 2022 event, then get ready to be delighted, inspired, and come away with new insights and perspectives!
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