The fair that’s breaking the art world rules
Future Fair returns to New York this week – here are the exhibits you won’t want to miss
Wednesday 4 May 2022 By Carolina Wheat and Liz Nielsen
From Thursday 5 to Saturday 7 May, Future Fair returns to Chelsea with its refreshing take on the concept of the ‘art fair’ and an antidote to how the art industry could liven up the repetitive grind. As stated in its mission, ‘pushing culture forward’ is precisely what the femme-powered team of cofounders, Rachel Mijares Fick and Rebecca Laliberte, is activating. Demographically, ‘26% of the fair’s exhibitors are BIPOC-owned businesses, and more than half of the exhibitors are women-owned.’ Further, Future Fair’s gallery/ fair profit-sharing model is one of empowerment, generosity, and gratitude.
Carolina Wheat and Liz Nielsen, founders of Elijah Wheat Showroom, a New York-based artist-run gallery and nomadic curatorial experience, cited Future Fair’s inaugural showing in September of last year as the most uniquely diverse and democratised art event they’ve witnessed in all their 20 plus years in the industry. Below, the art-world powerhouses highlight what to look out for at the upcoming fair.
1. Paradice Palase, the ambitious duo of Lauren Hirshfield and Kat Ryals, established their Bushwick storefront a few years ago, yet this is their first art fair. They host plentiful group shows exhibiting a vast network of artist members both in person and online. Their collective benefits from professional practice programming, group critiques, retail merchandising opportunities, and then some. We’re big fans of their vision, energy, and all-around winning personalities. The two ladies are presenting the mystical diagram drawings/ paintings of Sadia Fakih, whose work we believe will surely manifest sales.
2. We’ve been eyeing up the work of Nevena Prijic that will be in the booth of LA-based Bozo Mag. We also saw her amorphous organic forms and brilliant colour combinations folding into and out of the canvas at EXPO Chicago. We can’t wait to get our eyes closer to these detailed and immersive paintings. They leave us thinking that the mystery in her skillful illustrations need not actually be representing something we know, or is at least recognisable in this reality.
3. Last year, we were grouped together with two NADA members that we continue to feel super-power energy from: Dominique Gallery and Superposition Gallery. We were blown away by the activist street artwork of Khidr Joseph and queenly sculptures by Layo Bright. They’re returning this year and we’re keeping our eyes on their artists again, too. We’re especially interested in the work of Muna Malik showing with Storm Ascher of Superposition.
4. We were impressed to meet the good people of the Bahamas’ Tern Gallery last year, and we’re equally excited to witness the ceramic woven vessels and objects d’art of Anina Major this year in their three-person booth. She’ll be showing alongside April Bey and Cydne Jasmin Coleby, both painters who have been getting a lot of positive attention in the larger art market recently.
5. Cob Gallery is coming in from London and it’s their first time exhibiting at Future Fair. We already share an artist, Frances Waite (whom we presented last year at our booth), but we get to join forces and collaborate on our FF booth this year, too. We respect their curatorial vision, which is subtle, forward thinking (yet grounded in art historical references), and sophisticated. Their stunning gallery space mostly exhibits painted works by female artists. The small oil paintings on linen of Arisa Yoshioka shall not disappoint alongside the photorealistic woven textiles of Hope Wang.
6. Other New York-based dealers that we encourage you to check out, all with consistently solid programmes pushing anti-status-quo artist and curator methodologies are: New Discretions, Hesse Flatow, Morgan Lehman Gallery, and Rubber Factory.
Check out Future Fair at Chelsea Industrial, 535 W 28th St. New York City.