Anna Betbeze prepares for The Independent

March 1st, 2017

Habitat: Fair Thee Well—Visits With Artists in Their Studios Before Independent New York

Artists are famously ambivalent about showing up at art fairs. John Baldessari once likened the experience to that of a kid walking in on his parents having sex. But showing one’s art at them is de rigeur. Fairs—evolved from bazaars stocked with secondary-market material to, now, meccas for the new—are an integral part of the art ecosystem. In recent years, some have sprung up that try to improve on the trade fair model. Independent, founded by Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook in New York in 2010 and since expanded to Brussels, is one such fair. A “curated” event, it is clubbier and more intimate than most art fairs—booths tend to blur and blend together, and the art leans toward the cool and critically lauded. This year’s hometown edition, at Spring Studios in lower Manhattan in March, features some 45 international galleries and institutions. In its ideal state, as identified by co-director Alix Dana, “Independent incentivizes the creation of ambitious projects by encouraging artists and galleries to take risks.” For this installment of Habitat, ARTnews visited the studios of New York artists—all of them in Brooklyn—making new work for the fair.

Anna Betbeze

"Its important that the work has a life before and after the fair," Anna Betbeze said about a series of textile paintings and burnt-wood sculptures she has been making over the past several years. In time for a visit, she made her way to Williamsburg from Connecticut, where she teaches at Yale University. Some of her sculptures had been forged farther away -- in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia-- but they found a place with the New York dealer Jay Gorney for the fair. 

To read the full article in ArtNews, click HERE.