For those used to the rectilinear rigidity of most contemporary art fairs, the Independent has come to represent a thoughtfully welcome alternative. The fair has a decidedly more fluid flow than its competitors – a jumbled cluster of angled walls spreads across three crowded floors, creating corners and wedges of awkward sizes. An absence of obvious hallways leaves gallery spaces transitioning into one another without barrier, making the experience more like wandering than dutiful down-the-aisle trudging. And even in this year’s extra densely packed version, it’s a venue of easy strolling and unexpected discovery for collectors.
As has become the annual pattern here, the photography on view has been smartly edited, generally tending toward the conceptual rather than the mainstream or the traditional. It’s a fair where earlier photo works by Dennis Oppenheim and Robert Grosvenor (neither normally called photographers) happily mix with more recent images by Moyra Davey, Daniel Gordon, and Wolfgang Tillmans, with intriguing resonances in both directions.
The slideshow of photography highlights below is roughly organized along my path through the fair, starting on the fourth floor and working down. For each image, a linked gallery/host name, artist/photographer name, associated description/commentary, and a price (as appropriate) are provided.