Solo Focus

Volta New York opens its doors for its 10th anniversary as a solo focused contemporary art fair this week. Returning to PIER 90, the show runs concurrent with Armory Arts Week. Its mission to present a dynamic and timely survey of innovative positions by international artists can be seen throughout Volta’s diverse programme. This year, the fair gathers 96 galleries and artist-run spaces from across five continents, 39 nations and 47 cities to its New York City fair location.

Since Volta’s debut in New York in 2008, Artistic Director Amanda Coulson reimagined the fair format as a rigorously curated, boutique event. It showcases a wide range of artists from cutting-edge trendsetters to next year’s rising stars. Coupled with its accessible solo-booth format, Volta presents a fair that is engaging to both younger art-lovers and beloved by collectors alike. By spotlighting artists through primarily solo projects, it refocuses the art fair experience back to its most fundamental point: the artists and their works.

Set alongside its extensive gallery line-up, Volta features additional programming. Your Body Is a Battleground is the second iteration of the fair’s Curated Section. Following its inaugural success in 2016, this year’s edition is overseen by writer-curator Wendy Vogel and will feature artists working in identity politics, archiving, and interventionism. The show’s title is inspired by Barbara Kruger’s photomontage Untitled (Your Body Is a Battleground), produced for the 1989 Women’s March on Washington. Kruger’s work updated the 1970s feminist mantra, “the personal is the political”, for the 1980s era of slick sloganeering and media appropriation. Considering the recent turnout for political demonstrations, her work reads as a vital precedent for contemporary art that protests the erosion of civil rights. The artists on view in 2017 continue her artistic legacy by analysing existing media representation. Their works critically address issues of gender, race, sexuality, colonialism and incarceration, positing the body as a site of political resistance across various media,

Alongside this, the fair also hosts its second iteration of the Video Wall, a daily rotation of single-channel videos across a 30-foot wall at the front of the fair. It also partners with artnet for its annual Salon programme. Here, artnet curates a series of talks and discussions on key topics within the industry. Invited professionals from all aspects of the art world engage the audience in salon-style discussions until Sunday 5 March. Topics include Picturing Identity in New York; Art Meets Tech and Improv for Artists.

Volta NY, until 5 March, Pier 90, West 50th Street, 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10019.

See more:

For the latest news in contemporary art and culture, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

1. VOLTA NY at Pier 90 in New York City Image courtesy David Willems Photography.