Photography in the 2014 Independent

With even more art wedged into nooks and crannies and hidden behind angled walls in its now signature open plan gathering, this year’s version of the Independent fair felt more densely packed and overstuffed than ever. Without any formal grid to guide the visitor, it’s a loose, wandering, and easy going art experience (no cut throat elbowing and jostling here), but with the unfortunate byproduct of not really knowing whose booth you might actually be in at any given moment. The photography on view tended toward the non-traditional and experimental, often with a conceptual bent or taken with the eye of an artist who is not primarily a photographer.

The slideshow below is roughly organized along my path through the fair, starting on the second floor and moving upward. Individual works are accompanied by associated commentary, host galleries, artist names, and prices.

White Columns (here): Geometric color abstractions, with overlapped paint swatches. Matt Connors, priced at $300.

Untitled (here): A new image object from Artie Vierkant, now curved and billowed instead of rigidly straight. Priced at $17000.

Société (here): This booth was a solo show of the work of Josh Kolbo. Most of the works were large scale vinyl prints, some like this one twisted, looped, and displayed inside a white metal cage. Priced at $9500.

The Approach (here): Overlapped film still collages, intersected by spherical cutouts. John Stezaker, priced at £8000.

Wilfried Lentz (here): This booth mixed the photography and sculpture of Giorgio Andreotta Calò. Process was a common theme, from this wall-sized pinhole image of windswept treetops and another taken from the trunk of a car to instant Polaroids cut open during development. Priced at €12000.

Meyer Riegger (here): There was something enchanting about this intricately folded portfolio of photo collages, mixing the contrasts of black and white with the up and down movement of the flat surfaces. Eva Kotátková, priced at €40000.

 

Art: Concept (here): This booth was a solo show of Roman Signer’s physical conceptualism, from ping pong balls being blown across a piano, to various photographs of exploding objects. This iron melting through ice triptych exemplifies his process of step-by-step destruction. Priced at $14200.

Sprüth Magers (here): This installation by David Maljkovic combines layers of torn vinyl imagery (much of it from his own exhibitions) adhered directly to the wall with a framed photograph using the same process. The result is a peering through fragments/sediments kind of experience, with each ripped image (starting with the spy watch at the bottom) contributing a partial set of information. Priced at €25000.

Murray Guy (here): This triptych by Barbara Probst was in her last show, but the unexpected simultaneity of crossing the street (as seen here with three different architectural backgrounds) was still powerful. Priced at $38000.

BQ (here): Dappled abstractions of flowing water, with ghostly overpainted images of faces/skulls of Israeli politicians. Ruth Nemet, priced at $8200.

Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (here): We knew it would arrive eventually – the monetization of an artist’s Instagram feed. Each image by Frances Stark priced at $2500.

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Read more about: Artie Vierkant, Barbara Probst, David Maljkovic, Eva Kotátková, Frances Stark, Giorgio Andreotta Calò, John Stezaker, Josh Kolbo, Matt Connors, Roman Signer, Ruth Nemet, Art: Concept, BQ Berlin, Galerie Meyer Riegger, Gavin Brown's Enterprise, Murray Guy, Société, Sprüth Magers, The Approach, Untitled, White Columns, Wilfried Lentz, Independent

One comment

  1. Pete /

    Terrific shortlist.

    Looking on the White Columns website, apparently the $300 Matt Connors print was from an edition of 50 Xerox prints, which sold out. I like the image, the lo-fi production but also the approach to selling – comparatively affordable and available to a wider group of people.

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