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From September 7 to 10, New York City’s invitation-only art fair Independent 20th Century returns to the Battery Maritime Building for its second edition. Conceived to highlight artists and avant-garde movements from the last century that might have gone overlooked, the fair’s 2023 iteration brings together presentations of around 50 artists, nominated by founding curatorial advisor Matthew Higgs. The exhibitors elevate the work of artists from groups and demographics like self-taught artists, Black art communities, the Caribbean, women artists, Italian avant-garde, and more, as well as welcoming the debut of the nonprofit initiative, the Hauser & Wirth Institute.
“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,” said Founder Elizabeth Dee. “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.”
Of the featured presentations at this year’s fair, more than 25 percent of them look to self-taught artists. These include spaces like James Baron Art bringing work from the late Winfred Rembert, who lived and worked during Jim Crow-era Georgia; Galatea presenting the U.S. debut of the Brazilian artist Miguel Dos Santos; and work by the late Ed Baynard on view with James Fuentes. Meanwhile, highlights of women artists to look out for include presentations like Alexandre bringing paintings and works on paper by late artists Loren MacIver and Edith Schloss, Alice Baber (1928-1982) presented by Luxembourg + Co.,work by Dindga McCannon on view with Fridman Gallery, and Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel presenting the artist Wanda Pimentel.
Independent 20th Century’s second edition also highlights various schools of creativity from the Italian Avant-Garde scene looked at through key eras of development. Encompassing presentations focused on Minimalism, Spatialism, Abstraction, and Pop, this facet of the fair’s programming will include standout showcases like the work of Sergio Lombardo with 1/9unosunove, Galerie Volker Diehl, and Dep Art Gallery bringing the work of the late Turi Simeti, who is known for single-color paintings with oval motifs, and a group exhibition by Richard Saltoun Gallery of Bice Lazzari, Carla Accardi, Bertina Lopes, and Giulia Napoleone.
Concurrently, 11 presentations of BIPOC shine their focus on those hailing from the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Americas, shown by S94 Design with ceramics by Myrtle Williams, the Trinidad-based Kenwyn Crichlow on view with Diane Rosenstein Gallery, and Hauser & Wirth Institute’s presentation of archival materials from the late Zahoor ul Akhlaq, who is noted as one of Pakistan’s most influential artists of all time.
Finally, new perspectives are given to the stories of art history mainstays in exhibitions like portraits by Andy Warhol curated by Bob Colacello (former editor of Interview Magazine) and presented by Vito Schnabel, works by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró showcased by Perrotin, and photographs by Sigmar Polke presented by Sies + Höke.