8 Artworks to See at Independent and TEFAF New York 2024
Advisory Perspective

8 Artworks to See at Independent and TEFAF New York 2024

New York, 9 May 2024 | Art Fairs

New York's art scene thrives in May as collectors and gallerists flock to the city for the spring auctions and art fairs.

Independent New York (9–12 May 2024) and TEFAF New York (10–14 May 2024) open their doors in Manhattan this week, hot on the heels of Frieze New York.

Ocula Advisors pick their top artworks from the two fairs, showcasing a selection of the art on view in New York this week. Highlights include Agnes Martin's contemplative ink drawing at Anthony Meier, Michael Ho's fiery painting at Gallery Vacancy, and Andy Warhol's still life at Galerie Chantal Crousel.


Agnes Martin, The Moment (Egg) (1963). Ink on paper. 39.4 x 33 x 3.2 cm (framed).

Agnes Martin, The Moment (Egg) (1963). Ink on paper. 39.4 x 33 x 3.2 cm (framed). Courtesy Anthony Meier, Mill Valley. Photo: Christopher Burke.

Agnes Martin's The Moment (Egg) at Anthony Meier, TEFAF

Agnes Martin's artworks tend to be characterised by grids and stripes in muted greys or soft pastel tones, and are typically sized at six-foot square. They are an ode to the late American artist's commitment to serenity and the sublime.

However, Martin would occasionally forsake her repetitive formulas to explore egg shapes. The Moment (Egg) is an example of one such experiment, where an ovoid form is filled with delicate horizontal lines reminiscent of finely woven fabric.

Minimal and harmonious, The Moment (Egg) reflects Martin's signature style. Through her careful hand and repetition, she imbues the work with rhythm and order. The title hints at Martin's intention to evoke a moment of contemplation, while viewers may notice a moment of heightened senses to observe the subtle tone and textural differences in the work.


Michael Ho, Total Eclipse (2024). Oil and acrylic on canvas. 180 x 220 cm.

Michael Ho, Total Eclipse (2024). Oil and acrylic on canvas. 180 x 220 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Vacancy, Shanghai.

Michael Ho's Total Eclipse at Gallery Vacancy, Independent

Michael Ho's distinctive palette of violet, emerald, black, grey, and white is what first drew our attention to the Netherlands-born artist. He paints on the back of canvases, creating textured compositions of fictional, fragmented spaces.

In a studio visit with Ocula last year, Ho highlighted assimilation's role in his practice. As a second-generation immigrant from China who was raised in Germany, he felt neither truly German nor Chinese growing up—a dynamic further complicated by his queerness.

He explained, 'I found a sense of belonging in this in-between space. Conceptually speaking, home for me is now within that liminal space, which is what I'm exploring and visualising.'

Total Eclipse marks a departure from Ho's usual colour palette, yet it remains just as alluring. The scene unfolds with a figure who seemingly conjures fire from their bare hands, immersing viewers in a moment of controlled chaos. The flames erupt into a spectacle of light and heat. Tendrils of fire ascend, tinged in hues of white, pink, and orange, shrouding the figure's face from view.


Andy Warhol, Still-Life (1976). Gelatin silver print. 12.7 x 20.3 cm.

Andy Warhol, Still-Life (1976). Gelatin silver print. 12.7 x 20.3 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris. Photo: Florian Kleinefenn.

Andy Warhol's Still-Life at Galerie Chantal Crousel, TEFAF

Arranged on a white shelf against a white backdrop is a row of objects—an apple, a coat hanger, an art deco pencil sharpener, and two cast-iron dumbbells. Andy Warhol's photograph captures these seemingly random objects in an arbitrary arrangement, prompting curiosity.

Still-Life emphasises the shadows each object casts against the wall behind, sparking questions about the artist's intent. Is it an exploration of light and shadow, or a study in composition? Its clinical appearance suggests little emotional connection to the subject.

One could interpret Warhol's work as an experiment born from a sense of emptiness or apathy, the motivation for which remains opaque to the observer.

Galerie Chantal Crousel will present Warhol's still life alongside works by Marcel Duchamp, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Danh Võ, among others.


Glenn Goldberg, An Other Place (6) (2023). Acrylic and pencil on canvas. 101.6 x 76.2 cm. © Glenn Goldberg.

Glenn Goldberg, An Other Place (6) (2023). Acrylic and pencil on canvas. 101.6 x 76.2 cm. © Glenn Goldberg. Courtesy The Approach, London and Chris Sharp Gallery, Los Angeles.

Glenn Goldberg's An Other Place (6) at The Approach, Independent

Glenn Goldberg's art is deeply influenced by nature. Growing up in the Bronx, he was surrounded by concrete landscapes, schoolyards, and playgrounds which lacked greenery. This environment inspired him to focus on depicting nature in his paintings.

In An Other Place (6), Goldberg's meticulous arrangement of painted dots creates images of birds, trees, and flowers, giving the work a textile-like quality. This is a fascinating use of abstract space and intricate detail.

Goldberg describes his art-making process as a ritual akin to chanting or exercising. He views his work as a form of spiritual development, driven by positivity and appreciation rather than negativity. For him, it's about striving for ideals and a degree of awe and appreciation.

In late 2023, Goldberg unveiled a striking new subway mural on East 149th Street, honouring his childhood neighbourhood and celebrating the flora and fauna of the Bronx River area.


Taryn Simon, Folder: Chiaroscuro (2012). Archival pigment print. 119.4 x 157.5 cm. © Taryn Simon.

Taryn Simon, Folder: Chiaroscuro (2012). Archival pigment print. 119.4 x 157.5 cm. © Taryn Simon. Courtesy Almine Rech, New York. Photo: Dan Bradica.

Taryn Simon's Folder: Chiaroscuroat Almine Rech, TEFAF

Taryn Simon observes how archiving systems impose a false sense of order on life's uncertainties. Inspired by the New York Public Library's picture archive, she explores photography's roles in taxonomy, classification, and revelation.

For her archival pigment print Folder: Chiaroscuro (2012), Simon curated images from the library's archival category 'Chiaroscuro', which explores the interplay of light and shadow in visual art.

Two rows of overlapping images present a display of various artists' mastery of the technique. Each image partially hides another, teasing viewers with glimpses of a whole.

Simon's composition turns these interconnected images into a puzzle, suggesting hidden patterns, codes, and orders within. Her work raises questions about whether today's image-heavy culture evolves, or whether it endlessly repeats itself.

Following her presentation at TEFAF, Simon's work will be on view in the group show, THE SAME CROWD NEVER GATHERS TWICE (10 May–13 October 2024), at Buxton Contemporary in Melbourne.


Asami Shoji, 24.3.26 (2024). Oil on canvas. 97 x 162.5 cm.

Asami Shoji, 24.3.26 (2024). Oil on canvas. 97 x 162.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and LINSEED, Shanghai.

Asami Shoji's 24.3.26 at LINSEED, Independent

Following the debut of their inaugural Shanghai gallery in 2022, LINSEED presents their first international solo project by Japanese artist Asami Shoji at Independent this year.

Alongside her onsite painting performance where she interacts with readymade objects, Shoji showcases a series of her latest paintings on canvas and glass.

In 24.3.26, four elusive and ghostly figures emerge from thin layers of oil paint overlaying thick priming pigments. Their arms stretch out or wrap around each other, with their hands pointing or resting on their hips. The eyes of each figure are empty, devoid of pupils and seemingly also of humanity.

Shoji's paintings unfold fragmented narratives exploring peculiar encounters and expanding our perception of body boundaries. Within these works, her figures emerge from smudged colours, drips of paint, and expressive strokes, inhabiting ambiguous spaces that evoke feelings of both crowding and loneliness. This may reflect Shoji's own experiences of constantly moving between cities since childhood.


Richard Mayhew, Untitled (c. 2013). Watercolour on paper. 30.5 x 40.6 cm.

Richard Mayhew, Untitled (c. 2013). Watercolour on paper. 30.5 x 40.6 cm. Courtesy the artist and Venus Over Manhattan, New York.

Richard Mayhew's Untitled at Venus Over Manhattan, TEFAF

Richard Mayhew draws you in with colour. The African American and Native American painter, who celebrated his 100th birthday in April this year, paints in his garage located in Soquel, near Santa Cruz. There, he immerses himself in his painting, blasting jazz so loud his neighbours can hear it.

Since the 1950s, Mayhew has painted landscapes (he calls them 'mindscapes') characterised by an electrifying palette that ignites the mind.

One such example is Untitled (2013), where Mayhew clashes unlikely colours—such as a bright mint green beside a fiery orange—before harmonsing them with additional hues like yellow and hot pink. This painting, like much of his oeuvre, explores the interplay between colour and emotion.


Peter Hujar, John Waters (I) (1975). Pigmented ink print. 37.5 x 36.8 cm. © The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC.

Peter Hujar, John Waters (I) (1975). Pigmented ink print. 37.5 x 36.8 cm. © The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

Peter Hujar's John Waters (I) at Maureen Paley, Independent

Peter Hujar's remarkable legacy often goes unnoticed despite his portrayal of figures like Susan Sontag, Paul Thek, and Fran Lebowitz, as well as scenes of nightlife, death, and intimacy in striking black-and-white photos.

'Peter was known and notorious in the downtown scene and cut a striking figure by all accounts,' recounts Hujar's London gallerist Maureen Paley. 'But he was given to self-sabotage and was frustrated by lack of interest in his work which is now being finally and more fully recognised posthumously.'

Maureen Paley brings Hujar's intimate portrait of John Waters to New York for Independent. Waters, who was a friend of Hujar's, appears relaxed, holding a cigarette which is out of focus. His direct gaze at the viewer, coupled with his subtle smile, hints at his focus being on Hujar rather than the camera between them.

Hujar's presentation in New York coincides with The Peter Hujar Foundation's display of 41 photographs from his 1976 publication, Portraits in Life and Death—a tribute to his friends and fellow artists—on view at Santa Maria della Pietà in Venice until 24 November 2024.

Main image: Michael Ho, Total Eclipse (2024) (detail). Oil and acrylic on canvas. 180 xX 220 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Vacancy, Shanghai.

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