Tucked away beneath the High Line, Chelsea’s Wolf Building opened its doors to the public last month for the Clio Art Fair. Promoting the work of international artists without exclusive gallery representation in the city, the self-described ‘anti-fair’ brought a fresh perspective to a week dominated by the Armory Show.

Clio Art Fair - Grace NuttallOccupying two floors of gallery space, the fair was an intimate affair and showcased work from the experimental – from pieces using materials created with 3D printing to glass mosaics – to the more traditional.
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Clio Art Fair - Piero Manzoni, Artist’s Shit (2014)While a number of the portfolios on display failed to stand out from the crowd, there were several pieces that captured the imagination.

Clio Art Fair - Sara Zaher, The Lost Generation (2016). Image via artist.Sydney-based artist, Sara Zaher, was a clear highlight with excerpts from her mixed-media series ‘The Lost Generation’ (pictured). The installations juxtaposed photography and illuminated social media tropes to tackle themes of identity, while conveying a sense of satire.

Clio Art Fair - Yumiko Hirokawa, The Silver Lining (2016)

Other pieces, such as Yumiko Hirokawa’s ‘The Silver Lining’ (pictured), further married traditional techniques with modern issues – a theme continued throughout the show, where attention was drawn to issues of global unrest and societal tension.

Clio Art Fair - Orit Fuchs, The Capsule (2016)

Orit Fuchs, from Tel Aviv, discussed the effects of such a focus on independent artists, noting how this was the first opportunity she’s had to show her art in the city. Her playful work included sculptures such as ‘Huge Fantasy Candy’ and ‘The Capsule’, which addresses the anxieties caused by today’s fast pace of life and our turn towards the internal world (pictured).

Clio Art Fair - Hayley Palmatier, smArt cookie (2017)

The work of Hayley Palmatier was another playful addition (pictured). Taking inspiration from a personal collection of cookie jars, she brought characters to life to create a saccharine – yet unsettling – world and deconstruct an icon of American life.

Clio Art Fair - Larry Jones, Wabbits (2016)

Without the usual constraints of the art business, the organisers claim, the artists have been able to push the boundaries of usual practises and foster a dialogue that ‘transcends prescribed geographies, hierarchies, and markets’. The freedom offered here was certainly felt, although perhaps at the cost of a sense of consistency.
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The next Clio Art Fair will take place on 19-22 October 2017 in New York. Find out more here

Photos by Grace Nuttall

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