9 Things To See at the Independent Art Fair 2020 This Weekend

Founded in 2010, Independent is an intimate, invitation-only fair that brings together emerging and established artists, commercial and nonprofit galleries, and contemporary and outsider art.


March 5 – 8, 2020

50 Varick Street
New York NY 10013


Thursday, March 5: 11 – 8 PM (by invitation)
Friday, March 6: Noon – 7 PM
Saturday, March 7: Noon – 7 PM
Sunday, March 8: Noon – 6 PM

Founded in 2010, Independent is an intimate, invitation-only fair that brings together the best of emerging and established artists, commercial and nonprofit galleries, and contemporary and outsider art.

Here are 9 highlights:

Vancouver’s Fazakas Gallery is presenting work by two Indigenous Canadians: masks by activist and carver Beau Dick (Kwakwaka’wakw, 1955–2017) and pieces incorporating materials ranging from dried beluga whale intestine to bubble wrap by contemporary artist Maureen Gruben (Inuvialuk).

Beau Dick (Kwakwaka ’Wakw), Atlakim (one of a set of three), ca. 1990, red cedar, acrylic, cedar bark. Courtesy Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver.

On view at Derek Eller, remarkable shaped paintings by Karl Wirsum—a co-founder, along with Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, Art Green, Suellen Rocca, and Jim Falconer, of Chicago’s Hairy Who art group (1966–1969)—mark a  new phase of the octogenarian artist’s career.

Karl Wirsum, Phoenix Lowering, 2020, acrylic on panel, 30 x 56 x 1 1/2 inches. Courtesy the artist and Derek Eller, New York.

Alden Projects, known for its exhaustively researched exhibitions of historical material, is showing drawings—probably studies for the artist’s extraordinary found-fabric “paintings”—by Robert Gordon, whose career spanned the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, and whose whereabouts are currently unknown.

Robert Gordon, Untitled, 1968, ballpoint pen on paper, 18 1/4 x 24 inches. Courtesy Alden Projects™.

Galerie Eva Presenhuber’s presentation pairs Wyatt Kahn’s uncompromisingly geometric wall reliefs with Lucas Blalock’s blob filled—and unexpectedly seductive—Photoshopped pictures of quotidian objects.

Lucas Blalock, Quartet, 2019, archival inkjet print, framed, unique, 62 5/8 x 78 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches. Copyright © Lucas Blalock. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / New York. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

At Night Gallery, Ethiopian-American artist Awol Erizku’s wide-ranging solo presentation includes still-life photos, sculptures, and incense drawings.

Awol Erizku, Ramadan Drawing May 20th, 2019, 2020, incense and oil on archival Stonehenge paper, 53 x 41 1/2 x 2 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Night Gallery, Los Angeles.

Among its offerings, Andrew Edlin Gallery has a group of rare 1960s drawings by self-taught artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910–1983). 

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Untitled (Design No 77, Oct. 1964), 1964, ballpoint pen on paper, 14 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches. Courtesy of Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York.

Alongside pieces by the Philadelphia Wireman, whose small-scale sculptures were found on a Philadelphia street in 1982, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery is showing diminutive but powerful wall and table-top works by sculptor Bill Walton (1931–2010).

Bill Walton, Glass Rod Wrench (#4), n.d., glass rod, wrench, string, 8 x 1 1/2 x 1 inches. Courtesy of Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia and the Estate of Bill Walton.

As they do at her family home, Cuban self-taught artist Misleidys Castillo Pedroso’s cut-out paintings of nursing mothers and male and female body builders crowd the walls at Parker Gallery.

Misleidys Castillo Pedroso, Untitled, ca. 2018, gouache on paper, 76 3/4 x 65 3/4 inches. Courtesy of Misleidys Castillo Pedroso, Parker Gallery, Los Angeles, and Christian Berst Art Brut Gallery, Paris.

In the 1960s, Bay Area artist Carlos Villa (1936–2013) turned from making Minimalist-inflected paintings to producing works—two of which are on view at Anglim Gilbert—celebrating his Filipino heritage.

Carlos Villa, Señorita II, ca. 1970s, canvas, feathers, 85 x 91 inches. Courtesy of the Carlos Villa Estate and Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco.