Let’s not sugarcoat this: Chelsea has become a glittering straight jacket for any artist who actually wants to experiment. The collector market tethers these artists to calculated production where artistic value and cost never seem to go hand in hand. This makes it hard to get too excited about opening night in Chelsea, and in fact, but for a handful of openings, we’re not. This is what we recommend.
Get ready to recover from the art fairs. We’ve got a short but sweet events listings for you this week so that you can slowly return to normal. For the most part, the events aren’t in Manhattan: Check out Where 4: Siebren Versteeg, a shipping container gallery show around the Knickerbocker M stop on Tuesday, Ann Hirsch’s solo show of sculptures, drawings, and prints at Bed-Stuy’s American Contemporary on Friday. But be sure to save your energy for Open Engagement. Founded in Canada in 2007, the social-activist art conference will finally be running in Queens. Woot!
Earlier in the day we debated whether the Independent was anything other than a fair (it’s not). Now we discuss the art in the fair. We had a lot more to say about the Independent than we did the Armory Show, so that’s at least one good sign for its future.