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Announcing Inaugural Talks, Screenings and Public Programs for Independent 2024

Maryeytte Charlton, Loren MacIver, 1962. 16mm to digital, color, silent, 46 min. 

Independent New York is pleased to announce its inaugural live program of talks and film screenings as part of the 15th anniversary edition of the fair, which returns this May 9-12 at Spring Studios in Tribeca. The program features dynamic and thought-provoking discussions with distinguished speakers, notably the former co-chief art critic of The New York Times, Roberta Smith, who will participate in a special in-conversation event with Independent’s founding curatorial advisor Matthew Higgs. On May 10, the fair will host Dangerous Art, Endangered Artists, a day-long symposium addressing the global rise in censorship in collaboration with Art at a Time Like This and Artists at Risk Connection, the co-organizers of a year-long campaign for artistic free expression. Independent also hosts a dedicated film showcase throughout the fair’s duration in partnership with The Filmmakers' Cooperative, the first artist-run non-profit organization devoted to the dissemination of experimental film and media art.


Looking and More Looking: Matthew Higgs in Conversation with Roberta Smith
Saturday, May 11, 4 PM

Featuring Matthew Higgs, Founding Curatorial Advisor of Independent and Director & Chief Curator of White Columns, and Roberta Smith, Former Co-Chief Art Critic of the New York Times

Independent welcomes the esteemed art critic Roberta Smith for her first public talk since her retirement from The New York Times. Smith held the role of co-chief art critic at the Times for more than 32 years. She wrote 4,500 reviews and essays, never straying from what she humorously described as her mission: “to get people out of the house and in front of art.” Smith began contributing to the newspaper in 1986, having written previously for Art in America and The Village Voice. In 2003, she received the College Art Association Award for Criticism. In 2019, she was awarded the inaugural Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to art journalism.


Locus of Materials: Artists on Making and Being in Community
Sunday, May 12, 3 PM

Featuring artists Danie Cansino, Cristóbal Gracia, and Arthur Peña, moderated by Maximilíano Durón, Senior Editor, ARTnews

Arts journalist and critic Maximilíano Durón will moderate a discussion with the artists Danie Cansino (Charlie James Gallery), Cristóbal Gracia (Galería Agustina Ferreyra and Pequod Co.) and Arthur Peña (Harlesden High Street) on the importance of materiality and sense of place in their works. Cansino describes her work as a love letter to Chicanx culture and her community in Los Angeles. Building upon a legacy of Mexican magical realism, the paintings blend time periods and conflate the spiritual with the real. One of the most promising Mexican voices of his generation, Gracia is focused on Western power dynamics in the conception of history and aesthetics and on the creation of new possibilities through “systems of disbelief.” Peña, a Bronx-based artist, curator, and writer, will present new paintings at the fair from his decade-long body of work, Attempt, an exploration of the fragility of the self.

The Film-Makers' Cooperative Showcase Screenings

Thursday, May 9 – Sunday, May 12, Continuous, 6th Floor Skybox 

In partnership with Independent, The Film-Makers' Cooperative (FMC) will hold a showcase presentation of experimental film, video, and media artworks from the 1960s to the present in the fair’s 6th Floor Skybox. Curated by Tom Day, Executive Director, the screenings will offer a global snapshot of the FMC’s prestigious collection of nearly 6,000 works, with an emphasis on underseen work from the archive and emerging artists and filmmakers. The program will include, amongst dozens of works, Maryeytte Charlton’s Loren MacIver (1962), a portrait of the modernist painter, Jud Yalkut’s Kusama’s Self-Obliteration (1967), and Simon Liu’s Harbor City (2016), a view of Hong Kong’s hyperactive fish market in intense color. 

In addition, Independent presents a series of media works and films from participating exhibitors. 

Friday May 10:
11AM: Marco Godinho (Galerie Hervé Bize)
2PM: Kota Ezawa (Fraenkel Gallery and RYAN LEE)
5PM: Stan VanDerBeek (Magenta Plains)

Saturday May 11:
11AM: Kara CHIN (LINSEED + VITRINE), Virginia L. Montgomery (Fridman Gallery), and Lewis Teague Wright (Ginny on Frederick)
2PM: Kris Lemsalu and Johanna Ulfsak (Margot Samel)
5PM: Stan VanDerBeek (Magenta Plains)
6PM: Kota Ezawa (Fraenkel Gallery and RYAN LEE)

Sunday May 12
11AM: Marco Godinho (Galerie Hervé Bize)
2PM: Kara CHIN (LINSEED + VITRINE), Virginia L. Montgomery (Fridman Gallery), and Lewis Teague Wright (Ginny on Frederick)
5PM: Kris Lemsalu and Johanna Ulfsak (Margot Samel)



Dangerous Art, Endangered Artists Symposium
Friday, May 10, 11:30AM – 5:30PM

Independent is proud to host Art at a Time Like This (ATLT) and Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) for Dangerous Art, Endangered Artists, a landmark symposium highlighting the challenges of censorship faced by artists around the world and the strong links between art and human rights. Named for the current trend to deem art or artists too dangerous to be exhibited, this full day of free programming will present two panel discussions and a conversation with artists and cultural workers who have confronted censorship or authoritarian repression firsthand. The speakers will share their diverse experiences and plans for action, kicking off a year-long campaign for free expression.
Learn more and register here.

Art and the Politics of Resistance
Friday, May 10, 11:30AM – 1 PM
Featuring Lesia Khomenko, Multidisciplinary Artist, Rudy Loewe (VITRINE), Visual Artist, Dan Perjovschi (Jane Lombard Gallery), Visual Artist, Writer, and Cartoonist, and Xiaoyu Weng, Curator, Writer, Editor, and Educator, moderated by Julie Trebault, Managing Director, Artists at Risk Connection. Register here.

Compromise and Action: Participating in a Global Art World
Friday, May 10, 2PM – 3PM
Featuring Tania El Khoury, Artist and Director of the Center for Human Rights & The Arts, Bard College, and Laura Raicovich, Writer, Curator, and former President and Executive Director, Queens Museum. Register here.

Don’t Delete Art: Is Social Media Beyond Our Control?
Friday, May 10, 4PM – 5.30PM
Featuring Elizabeth Larison, Arts and Culture Advocacy Program Director, National Coalition Against Censorship; Jenin Yaseen, Palestinian-American visual artist; and Sibila Sotomayor Van Rysseghem, Performing Artist, Educator, and Member of LASTESIS, Interdisciplinary, Intersectional and Trans-inclusive Feminist Collective, moderated by Emma Shapiro, Artist and Writer. Register here.


Independent New York talks and screenings are complimentary with your booking to the fair; please purchase tickets here

Registration for the Dangerous Art, Endangered Artists Symposium is required. To learn more about the programs and register please go to


Images from Top: Photo of Roberta Smith by Jerry Saltz. Photo of Maximilíano Durón, Credit: PMC. Jud Yalkut (American, 1938-2013), Kusama’s Self Obliteration, 16mm to digital, color, sound, 24 mins. Dan Perjovschi, Courtesy of the artist and Jane Lombard Gallery.