Armory week marks a major high point of the art season, as legions of dealers, collectors, art-world machers and art-curious crowds descend on New York to take in nine different fairs over two weekends in February and March. Featured are artists from around the world—including New York, of course, which is well-represented by galleries from Chelsea, the Lower East Side, Uptown, etc. That’s a lot to digest, but if you’re looking for just one fair where you can find the latest in contemporary art, the place to go is Independent Art Fair. What makes it special? Well, it’s easier to describe what the show isn’t than what it is: not exactly a fair, though dealers take out booths and not really an exhibition, though it is curated in places. What you could call the four-day affair is a hybrid showcase for contemporary art that puts a premium on risk-taking work—as you can see in our preview of what to expect at this year’s Independent.
Cary Leibowitz, Ever Ever Never (2017). Leibowitz’s existential pie chart mocks the psychic cost of personal neuroses. See it at Invisible-Exports’ booth.
Tomashi Jackson, Avocado Seed Soup (Davis, et. al. v County School Board of Prince Edward County)(Brown, et. al. v Board of Education of Topeka)
(Sweatt v Painter) (2016). The Supreme Court desegregation rulings serve as the surprising inspiration for this colorful painting. See it at Tilton Gallery’s booth.
José León Cerrillo, Echo 1 (2017). Not to be confused with jazz hands, this image by Mexican artist Cerrillo borrows poster graphics to explore the limits of abstraction. See it at Andréhn-Schiptjenko’s booth.
Dorothy Iannone, Look at Me (1970–71). Frank female sexuality is given a gloss of folk-art charm in this image that both taunts and invites the male gaze. See it at Air de Paris’ booth.
Rochelle Feinstein, Yes (2001). The veteran artist loudly affirms flower power in this mixed-media canvas. See it at Galerie Francesca Pia's booth.
Ruby Neri, Among Flowers (2017). Landscape and figure go tit-for-tat in this ceramic ode to nature's fertility. See it at David Kordansky Gallery's booth.
Aaron Birnbaum, Landscape and Lake. Birnbaum, who took up painting at age 70 and lived to be 103, was a former dress manufacturer turned folk artist who became known for bucolic scenes painted from memory. See it at Kerry Schuss Gallery's booth.
Jack Pierson, BREAKFAST, HOPE DINNER, FEAR (1982). Widely divergent feelings are on the menu in this found-object diptych. See it at Cheim & Read's booth.
Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, Flock Wipe (2015). This chaotic jumble of home improvement supplies suggests a DIY project run amok. See it at Sprüth Magers's booth.
Hans-Peter Feldmann, Two girls with Red Noses. The German conceptualist prankster clowned around with a found vintage canvas to create this double portrait that subverts nostalgia and painting tradition. See it at 303 Gallery’s booth.
Independent Art Fair is at Spring Studios Mar 8–11 (independenthq.com).