The first New York art fair week of 2023 is upon us. As various fairs opened their doors this week, our team was on the ground scoping out the highlights—from fresh, emerging discoveries, to hidden 20th-century gems, to prime works from some of the most celebrated artists working today.
Below, we share the standout booths from Future Fair, Independent, and TEFAF New York.
In a dynamic two-person booth from New York–based gallery P.P.O.W, abstract artist Grace Carney and ceramist Jessica Stoller focus on the gendered female body in society. In Carney’s pastel-colored abstractions, the artist builds and erases layers, a process she views as a metaphor for unearthing the body’s vulnerability. The vivid work lures audiences into a landscape that attends to the various histories of interpersonal and public oppression of women’s bodies.
Stoller’s ceramics more clearly engage with the history of persecution against women. In Untitled (Pry) (2022), audiences see a cloaked woman tearing open her womb, recalling the anatomical venus sculptures of the 19th-century. Those sculptures have their own sordid history, as scientists used cadavers of precious individuals without consent of the individual or next of kin.
In another sculpture, a figure’s face is surrounded by light blue scales with a large butterfly on its head, which Ella Blanchon from P.P.O.W described to Artsy as being symbolic of abortifacients and their role in witch trials. For the artist, the witch trials’ origins were a way to punish women and their relationship to alternative medicine. Blanchon added, “These artists are interested in our relationship with our bodies and nature. They consider how the police and abuse of women’s bodies parallel the abuse and destruction of nature.”