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Announcing Anniversary Exhibition 15x15: Independent 2010-2024

Ruby Neri, Taking the Deep Dive, 2024, Ceramic with glaze, 81 x 74 x 13 inches, Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery

Independent is pleased to announce a special 15th anniversary exhibition taking place at the fair, from May 9-12 at Spring Studios in Tribeca. Featuring artists and galleries who have made a significant impact on Independent’s history, 15 x15: Independent 2010-2024 is curated by the fair’s founder Elizabeth Dee and founding curatorial advisor Matthew Higgs with the generous support of the participating galleries.

Since its inception, Independent has sought to create an art fair that artists would actively want to participate in. Central to this ambition has been our emphasis on introducing the work of artists, at all stages in their careers, to a well informed and engaged public in New York City.

Each of the artists featured in 15x15: Independent 2010-2024 have played a key role in the unfolding curatorial narrative of the art fair over the past 15 years. Many made their solo debut in New York, foregrounding the fair’s status as a leading platform for emerging artistic voices in the city. Other artists reestablished their work in an entirely new context at the fair. When seen together, these artists both reflect and amplify Independent’s ongoing commitment to creating an innovative and non-hierarchical platform for contemporary art.

Featuring artists including Beau Dick (presented by Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver), Uman (presented by Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York), and Akeem Smith (presented by Heidi, Berlin), 15x15: Independent 2010-2024 presents a maverick chorus of determinedly idiosyncratic voices, many of whom have received greater recognition since their Independent debuts.

Presented with the support and collaboration of the current galleries and the galleries who originally commissioned these presentations, 15x15: Independent 2010-2024 is a unique appraisal of some of the wider trends and shifts in the art world and art market over the past 15 years. 

Preview the exhibition online until May 19. 


The participating artists are:

Tunji Adeniyi-Jones
On the occasion of Nicelle Beauchene Gallery’s first participation at Independent, and noted as one of four “sensational painters who stole the show” by Artnet News, Tunji Adeniyi-Jones debuted a series of works at the 2020 fair inspired by his time at Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock residency program in Senegal. This followed his second solo show at the gallery earlier that year. Adeniyi-Jones is one of the artists selected to exhibit in the Nigerian pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year.

Presented by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York

Margot Bergman
For over seven decades, Margot Bergman has operated as an independent force within the Chicago scene. Bergman was shown by Corbett vs. Dempsey early in the gallery’s history and subsequently reintroduced with Anton Kern Gallery to new audiences. Her debut solo exhibition in New York, with Anton Kern Gallery, took place in 2016 when the artist was in her 80s. This was followed by the two galleries’ joint presentation of her work at Independent in 2020, which emphasized “a striking balance between new and rediscovered” according to Will Heinrich of The New York Times.

Presented by Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago and Anton Kern, New York

McArthur Binion
McArthur Binion has spent 50 years developing a unique style of action painting drawing on autobiography, the African American experience, and the visual tenets of Modernism. He emerged in 1970s New York among a group of Black painters devoted to abstraction and subsequently dedicated himself to teaching after moving to Chicago in the 1990s, working as an influential art professor for more than two decades. Catalyzing his career resurgence, Binion first gained gallery representation with Chicago-based Kavi Gupta, which presented his work in a solo exhibition at Independent Projects in 2014. Binion joined Lehmann Maupin in 2018 and has since been the subject of numerous exhibitions worldwide. 

Presented by Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, London and Seoul 

Beau Dick
Following his posthumous first New York solo exhibition with White Columns, Beau Dick (1955-2017) reached collecting audiences at Independent in 2020 with the support of Fazakas Gallery in Vancouver. Chief Beau Dick, aka Walas Gwa’yam, was a Kwakwaka’wakw (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nation) artist and activist. (Dick’s name in the Kwak’wala language means: “Big whale”.) He was born in the community of Alert Bay, B.C., and lived in Kingcome Inlet and Vancouver. He began carving at an early age, studying under his father Benjamin Dick, his grandfather James Dick, and with renowned artists Henry Hunt and Doug Cranmer. 

Presented by Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver

vanessa german
Kasmin's first participation in the fair in 2022 marked their representation of vanessa german with a solo commission of new works. Considered inextricable from her identity as an activist, german’s artistic practice includes sculpture, performance, communal rituals, and immersive installation. Working primarily with assemblage, she sculpts wood and plaster which she then adorns with a range of both found and sourced materials. Her work concerns questions of Black power, spirituality, mysticism, and feminism.

Presented by Kasmin, New York

Jameson Green
Jameson Green’s solo show with Derek Eller Gallery took place at Independent in 2021. Acutely aware of both the art historical canon and American history, Green engages with the legacies of Philip Guston, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Francisco de Goya, among other intuitive influences, in critical and often confrontational dialogue. Green was the first artist selected by Independent, Phaidon, and Artspace for a collaborative program of artists’ editions in 2023, in which he reunited with his professor to produce a series of hand embellished lithographs.

Presented by Derek Eller Gallery, New York

Donna Huanca
Donna Huanca’s debut solo presentation with Peres Projects at Independent in 2016 centered on the human body, creating an environment that encompassed elements of painting, sculpture, and performance. “The body paintings on the performers are the original painting. Working on the human body allows me a freedom of ephemerality because it’s washed off at the end of the day… All the materials I work with carry a history. In this case, I’m collaborating with people who bring their own personal histories and add additional layers to the artwork,” notes the artist. The show at the fair heralded Huanca’s first major museum exhibition, held at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna in 2018. 

Presented by Peres Projects, Berlin, Milan and Seoul 

Tomashi Jackson
Tomashi Jackson’s 2018 solo presentation with Tilton Gallery emerged from her research of the history of transportation in the greater region of Atlanta, Georgia, and the resistance to the desegregation of its schools and neighborhoods. Jackson presented layered, semi-abstract mixed media wall works that incorporated archival images, election ephemera, Georgia red clay, acrylic, and silkscreen onto her handmade surfaces; photographs taken from her video collages; and a performance piece she carried out with the artist Alteronce Gumby. Jackson went on to present her work at the Whitney Biennial in 2019 and is currently the subject of a major solo exhibition at the ICA Philadelphia.

Presented by Tilton Gallery, New York

Elisabeth Kley
Elisabeth Kley showed ceramics, ink drawings, and paintings all featuring her distinctive black-and-white patterns with Canada at Independent in 2018 in a memorable immersive installation. The site-specific solo installation was conceived as “a 360-degree panorama of her world,” said the gallery’s cofounder Phil Grauer. After seeing the show, the curator Karen Patterson invited Kley to experiment with screen printing fabrics as an artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. This culminated with an exhibition in 2021 of wall-sized fabric hangings as a backdrop for an array of ceramic work. The artist has prepared a new site-specific commission for this exhibition.

Presented by Canada, New York

Alice Mackler
First recognized in her 80s by the artist Joanne Greenbaum and the gallerist Kerry Schuss, Alice Mackler made a remarkable impression late in life with her paintings and ceramic sculptures before her recent passing this year at the age of 92. Mackler, who described herself as a “painter who does sculpture”, was the subject of three presentations at Independent, the first in 2014, which introduced her work to an international audience, the second in 2019, and the third in 2022. The Whitney Museum of American Art acquired one of her sculptures in 2022. For this exhibition, Kerry Schuss Gallery presents ceramic sculptures created by Mackler in 2023, during her last active year, marking a fresh take on the figurative sculptural work for which she was best known.

Presented by Kerry Schuss Gallery, New York

Fernando Marques Penteado
Often working under the gender-neutral pseudonym f.marquespenteado, the Brazilian artist focuses on the expression of gender and sexuality and on regimes of power within society. With a practice that is marked by the use of textiles, f.marquespenteado uses embroidery—a traditionally female-dominated craft—to explore these topics and voice a social critique. The artist’s New York solo debut took place at Independent, presented by Mendes Wood DM in 2015, and was selected by The New York Times art critic Holland Cotter as a highlight of the fair. Penteado’s new series, men in trouble, is composed of rackets that have been hand-embroidered with portraits of fictional male figures, evolving their backstories stitch by stitch. 

Presented by Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, New York, Paris and São Paulo

Joel Mesler
In 2019, Joel Mesler performed an act of radical generosity at Independent by painting portraits of visitors at the fair for $250 each, to benefit White Columns, the oldest alternative art space in the city. Mesler, who has been known to warn prospective sitters that he “doesn’t know how to paint,” has described the series as “little pieces of the people I’m painting, where I’m almost trying to be this vehicle for whoever is actually getting painted.” The artist was formerly a gallerist running the groundbreaking Rental gallery, first in Los Angeles, then on the Lower East Side.  

Presented by White Columns, New York

Peter Nadin
A key figure of the downtown New York art scene in the late 1970s and 1980s, Peter Nadin is a painter, sculptor, and poet whose work explores the practice of mark-making and image-making as fundamental, evolutionary human functions. In the early 90s, Nadin left the commercial art world while continuing to paint on a farm in an isolated part of the Catskill Mountains, working closely with the land. Nadin exhibited in 2022 at Independent under the curatorial direction of Natacha Polaert, founder of the Tribeca gallery Off Paradise. The gallery also presented a solo booth of Nadin’s historic works at the second edition of Independent 20th Century in 2023. Two major paintings—one from each presentation—were acquired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and are now in the permanent collection of the museum. 

Presented by Off Paradise, New York

Ruby Neri
The Los Angeles-based artist Ruby Neri had an extensive New York solo exhibition at Independent in 2018, commissioned by David Kordansky Gallery. In an interview with Independent, she described the “mash-up” of influences behind the ceramic vessels she debuted that year, from Paleolithic Venus figurines to Bay Area Funk. Centered on the nude female body, the presentation highlighted Neri’s ongoing development as a maker of daring and ecstatic forms. Ruby Neri will present a solo exhibition in Los Angeles this fall with David Kordansky Gallery.

Presented by David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles and New York

Kent O’Connor
Kent O’Connor made his New York debut with Matthew Brown at Independent in 2022. O’Connor makes paintings that evoke both serious attention to detail as well as comical exaggerations in absurdity. By juxtaposing his technical and emotive skills, O’Connor offers a fresh take on the traditional subjects of portraiture, landscape, and still life. 

Presented by Matthew Brown, Los Angeles

Martín Ramírez
Exhibited by Ricco/Maresca for the gallery’s debut participation in Independent in 2018, Martín Ramírez has been described by The New York Times art critic Roberta Smith as “simply one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.” Born in Jalisco, Mexico, Ramírez was self-taught and lived for much of his life in psychiatric hospitals, where he discovered art and created the intricate and captivating drawings and collages that brought him acclaim. 

Presented by Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York

Akeem Smith
The multidisciplinary artist Akeem Smith made his Independent debut in 2020 in a special project with the nonprofit Red Bull Arts. The video installation he presented, Dovecote, forms part of a larger body of work capturing the dancehall scene in 1990s Kingston, Jamaica, drawing from the artist’s extensive archive of photographs and VHS tapes. His 2024 project Centerpiece (White lane), is a work consisting of salvaged building materials from Jamaica and photographs from the artist’s personal collection. Smith has a concurrent solo exhibition at Heidi in Berlin.

Presented by Heidi, Berlin

Uman’s self-taught practice explores gender and cultural fluidity through paintings hovering between abstraction and figuration. The Somalia-born, Kenya-raised artist first gained institutional recognition with a solo exhibition at White Columns in New York in 2015, and was the subject of a presentation with Nicola Vassell Gallery at Independent in 2022. Uman’s forthcoming exhibitions include Le Consortium, Dijon; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut; Hessel Museum, Bard College, New York; and Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York. Uman has been commissioned to produce a new artist edition in an ongoing collaborative initiative between Independent, Phaidon, and Artspace.

Presented by Nicola Vassell Gallery, New York