8 Works to Collect at IFPDA Print Fair

IFPDA Print Fair opens its doors to New York this Wednesday, marking its 25th anniversary. This year, from the fair’s perennial perch at the Park Avenue Armory, 87 galleries from across the globe will bring limited edition prints of all stripes, representing a whopping 500 years of printmaking. Below, we bring you our top picks, ranging from works by up-and-comers like Toyin Ojih Odutola to conceptual art stars like John Baldessari—all for $5,000 and under.



Cornelia Parker, Articles of Glass, 2015

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Alan Cristea Gallery, Booth 401

Former Turner Prize nominee Parker’s work has been the subject of significant buzz this year, thanks to her haunting installation, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) (2016), which was perched on the roof of the Met through the end of October. Parker’s body of work, which she’s been developing for over 30 years, is driven in large part by her interest in storytelling, and the line it walks between artifice and truth. Like the recent installation at the Met (a scaled-down facade inspired in part by the Bates’ mansion in Hitchcock’s Psycho), this recent print has an eerie, cinematic quality. While there’s no clear narrative, the teetering arrangement of ghostly glasses suggests otherworldly forces at play.



Red Grooms, The Cedar Bar, 1987

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Marlborough Gallery, Booth 416

Grooms, who studied under Hans Hofmann and was a key player in the downtown New York “Happenings” of the 1960s, is best known for “New York Stories,” his series of prints and sculptural tableaux that capture the energy and humor of urban life. This crowded, lively piece comes from a facet of the series which captures moments from the rough-and-tumble downtown art scene in which Grooms participated. Here, the artist takes a nostalgic look at the Cedar Bar, a boozy watering hole where Abstract Expressionist behemoths, like Pollock and de Kooning, rubbed elbows and talked aesthetics after a long day in their studios.



John Baldessari, Double Play: Feelings, 2012

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, Booth 309

It’s not easy to access works from Baldessari’s poignant, funny, and now-canonical oeuvre, but this limited-edition print makes obtaining a piece of the conceptual artist’s brilliant mind a little bit simpler. This piece shows Baldessari’s penchant for mischievous image-text combinations. Here, the word “feelings” joins an cropped painting of a panting dog’s tongue. The humorous mashup brings to the light the close connection between mind and body, emotion and carnal desire.



James Rosenquist, Water Spout, 1971

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Graphicstudio USF, Booth 312

This small work manages to embody the dynamism of Pop Art pioneer Rosenquist’s practice in a single form. Inspired by the impact of advertising and consumerism on contemporary culture, Rosenquist’s paintings are often populated by a high-energy mishmash of symbols, characters, and graphic forms. Here, his keen interest in everyday objects is made clear. An abstracted water spout, pared down to its essence (a spiral), is decorated with bright colors and given prominent placement as the sole subject of the work.



Toyin Ojih Odutola, Birmingham (right), 2014

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Tamarind Institute, Booth 112

On-the-rise Nigerian, New York-based artist Ojih Odutola, who opened a solo show at San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora last week, is being recognized for her meticulous pen-and-ink drawings and prints that probe identity politics through portraiture. This work comes from a series of prints titled “Birmingham,” a possible reference to the location of her subject, or, poignantly, the historic 1963 race riots in the Alabama city. In the piece, the subject’s back is turned to the viewer, making powerful, if unintentional, reference to the recent controversial killings of unarmed black men by police.



Shirana Shahbazi, Composition with Mountain, For Parkett 94, 2014

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Parkett, Booth 115

Iranian, Zürich-based Shahbazi has made a successful career (she’s shown at the likes of MoMA and Kunsthalle Bern) of augmenting and subverting traditional art-historical tropes—portrait, landscape, and still-life among them. Here, she fractures a traditional photographic landscape, the kind you might see on National Geographic’s Instagram feed, by covering it with a neon-hued, prismatic pattern. With the filter, she transforms a terrestrial environment into an otherworldly, Narnia-esque environment where nothing is as it seems.



Tomma Abts, Untitled (Gap), 2015

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Crown Point Press, Booth 300

Turner Prize-winning artist Abts has been pushing the mind-bending power of geometric composition since the late 1990s. Here, she skillfully employs shadow to create depth in a field of bending lines and levitating circles. Abts’s edges are so smooth, they resemble computer-generated images. But this is not the painter’s point. She is more interested in exploring how idiosyncratic, spontaneous (she does not work from drawings) arrangements of forms can inspire not just optical illusion, but feelings of imbalance and uncertainty.



Mary Lee Bendolph (Gee’s Bend), Fourteen, 2014

On view at IFPDA Print Fair:

Paulson Fontaine Press, Booth 225

Bendolph hails from a long line of storied quiltmakers from Gee’s Bend, a small African-American community nestled along the Alabama River, known for its rich history of craftsmanship. Bendolph is one of 16 children who made ends meet throughout her life by working in factories that employed seamstresses; for one long-hold job, she made army uniforms. Despite the grueling work, she has quilted all the while and become one of Gee’s Bend’s most celebrated artisans for her lively improvisational compositions. This print showcases her expert joining of geometry with spontaneity.


—Alexxa Gotthardt