After spending six years in Chelsea, the Independent Art Fair has found a new home in Tribeca, in the incredibly sleek Spring Studios, usually host to fashion-related events.
The Independent art fair was born out of a sprawling nonprofit project founded by dealer Elizabeth Dee. Called the X Initiative, it turned the former Chelsea home of the Dia Art Foundation into a yearlong hub of exhibitions, performance, conversations, and more, all with an alternative bent. As it was coming to a close, in early 2010, Dee announced plans for the Independent.
Wading through the crowded opening of the Independent Art Fair, held in the former Dia:Chelsea building with its ridiculously narrow stairway, I found myself doing more reading than gazing at art. While this was partly due to the inclusion of Printed Matter, the seminal alternative book and zine store that sustained massive losses from Hurricane Sandy, it was also because the galleries and nonprofit spaces in the Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook–founded art fair leaned heavily on conceptual works.