The Independent, a little younger than NADA, has matured the most while still maintaining an inscrutable hipness. It’s lost some of its punk edge since moving from the old Dia building to a fashion-shoot location. Once for young galleries only, increasingly the fair has pulled established names who prefer the cooler-than-thou vibe (Paula Cooper, Gavin Brown). The fair has always tried to avoid the traditional booth layout, with designs by different architects. This was interesting and stylish, but also irritating because everything tended to blend together. The dealers are from New York, Europe and Central and South America. You tend to see a lot of interesting, sometimes great stuff that is not yet widely known in New York. What the dealers wear: Many, many people will be in black, which makes those who don’t look, well, independent.
New York gallerists at the Independent have an excellent selection of objects by artists whose work is either familiar or has been seen here before. Jack Tilton is showing a group of collages by Derrick Adams that furthers some of the concerns around portraiture and identity in his recent, grandly scaled exhibition at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Nikki Maloof’s paintings of a nocturnal interior with insects on the windows wraps around the walls in Jack Hanley’s booth. Barbara Bloom’s installation at David Lewis — a series of posters begun in the early 1980s that juxtaposes terrorism and tourism — serves as a warm-up for an exhibition of ’80s art at the Hirshhorn next year, and Anna Betbeze presents sculptures in front of ruglike wall works at Jay Gorney.
JASON FARAGO and MARTHA SCHWENDENER