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An Eclectic Lineup at This Year’s Governors Island Art Fair

Kat Ryals Homo Malacosoma 2012 Dry Plate Tintype
Kat Ryals, “Homo Malacosoma” (2012), dry plate tintype (all images courtesy 4Heads and the artists)

This is an artistically rich summer for Governors Island: next week the Hills landscape opens with a permanent sculpture by Rachel Whiteread, and organizations like the Holocenter and Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center are in-residence in former military structures. On September 3, the 9th annual Governors Island Art Fair will add over 100 artists to this cultural hub in the New York Harbor.

4Heads, the nonprofit behind the art fair, recently announced its artist list, with images from some of the participants shared in this post. The fair is presented in partnership with the Trust for Governors Island and the National Park Service, and will be open every weekend in September. It promises to be quite eclectic, and respond to the architecture of the island. In addition to inviting artists to individually take over rooms in the houses on Colonels Row, the fair will have work in the underground spaces in Fort Jay, as well as locations around the island.

Meegan Barnes Golden Bunny with the Sunnies 2016 Ceramic stoneware, underglaze, and 22 kt gold luste
Meegan Barnes, “Golden Bunny with the Sunnies” (2016), ceramic stoneware, underglaze, and 22 kt gold luste

Exhibitors include Olivia Taylor with faux-skin sculptures made from paint and silicon, puppet builder Manju Shandler with a site-specific work responding to political and social war, Kat Ryals with dry plate tintype photographs that feature animalistic characteristics in human portraits, Sam Horowitz with an organic installation of vines and branches, Coalfather Industries with a video partly filmed on Governors Island, and Meegan Barnes with ceramic sculptures of voluptuous women (and women-like rabbits wearing sunglasses).

4Heads Co-Founder Antony Zito stated in a release that this year “we are featuring artists who are exploring and commenting on such important issues as the epidemic of police violence and the impact of human progress on the natural environment, as well as personal issues, like phobias and alienation.” Timeliness was not the focus of this May’s inaugural Portal Fair from 4Heads, coinciding with Frieze Week, in Wall Street’s Federal Hall. As the Governors Island Art Fair is reliable for creative installations that respond to its historic architecture, it’s promising to see how a consideration of current events and social issues will influence this year’s presentations.

Manju Shandler Cock A Doodle 2015 Mixed media
Manju Shandler, “Cock A Doodle” (2015), mixed media
Mikkel Johnsen Anonymous Object 1 2015 Inkjet print mounted on dibond
Mikkel Johnsen, “Anonymous Object 1” (2015), inkjet print mounted on dibond
Olivia Taylor Untitled 2016 Silicone, synthetic hair, and padded panel
Olivia Taylor, “Untitled” (2016), silicone, synthetic hair, and padded panel

The 9th Annual Governors Island Art Fair begins September 3 and continues every weekend in September on Governors Island in the New York Harbor. Hyperallergic is the media sponsor.

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