Posts Tagged ‘Armory Show’

Armory Show 2015

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The Armory Show opens today to the public, bringing international contemporary and modern art to Piers 92 and 94 along the Hudson River.  As you trudge from the nearest subway, be sure to size up a new Maserati at the nearby dealer, or gaze upward to Bjarke Ingel’s luxurious tetrahedron, still under construction. 


Folkert de Jong sculpture at James Cohan Gallery

For that class of consumers, and the people who love them, the Armory Show is one of the most important annual art events in New York, a rite of spring-to-be.  If you can somehow swing the $45 ticket ($30 for students), then visiting is an enjoyable opportunity to see the global art market in action and under one roof (er, two).    


Jim Shaw painting detail at Metro Pictures

This year’s Armory Show steps up its partnership with Artsy.  On Artsy’s iPhone app, users can view artworks, contact galleries, and navigate the fair.  Artsy’s Armory website, updates each day and The Digital Daily briefing will be available to users.  Through Instagram, Artsy will disseminate and display Armory Show photos on freestanding digital screens, and Armory and Artsy will co-host a meetup for Instagrammas and grampas.  (Will there also be a Grindr meetup?)   

Predictably, most of the art includes painting and sculpture, but look for many 3D printed/sourced sculptures, Frankensteinian assemblage by Alan Vega at Galerie Laurent Godin, snappy abstract paintings by Cary White at Fredericks & Freiser, a briar patch of ceramics by Jessica Jackson Hutchins at Marianne Boesky, New Orleans denizens in photos by George Dureau, and a conceptual, collaborative installation by Michael Müller and Vlado Martek exhibited jointly by Aanant & Zoo and Galerie Thomas Schulte.  See photos here and on our Instagram.


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Friday, March 7th, 2014

If you have a solution to the seemingly deterrent 40-dollar admission fee, the sixteenth edition of the Armory Show offers 205 galleries from 29 countries, including shows-within-a-show.  “Armory Presents,” the renewed version of the former “Solo Projects,” highlights solo- or duo-artist booths by emerging galleries.  It looks excellent and even includes an OPEC gallery!  “Armory Focus” is the red-labeled section (seriously!  Red China) curated by Philip Tinari that features 17 galleries from our great Eastern rival Republic, many of which will be exhibiting outside of Asia for the first time.

From the highlight reel, here are some memorable works at Pier 94, the contemporary wing of the fair.

A few glimpses of power (authority), power (energy), and technology are evident, especially in an infrastructure-in-drag landscape by David Lachapelle, constructed from drinking straws, hair curlers, water jugs, and cardboard – followed by an ancestral gas-guzzler by John Wesley and a miniature control room by Roxy Paine:

Daniel Rich at Peter Blum Gallery


Detail, David Lachapelle, "Land Scape Castle Rock," 2013 at Galerie Daniel Templon
John Wesley at Fredericks & Freiser
Roxy Paine, "Maquette of Control Room Diorama," 2013 at Kavi Gupta Gallery
Joseph Kosuth at Sean Kelly

Here is a heartbreaking work by Colombian artist Miguel Angel Rojas at Houston’s Sicardi Gallery, which features a former Colombian soldier who lost part of his leg in a battle with FARC guerillas. Rojas asked the soldier to pose as “David;” the soldier didn’t know the work. Profits from sale of this work have supported the soldier and his family, where they own a farm in Colombia. Meanwhile, art insiders can pose for a full-body 3-D scan portrait by Karin Sander.

Miguel Angel Rojas at Sicardi Gallery
Karin Sander at Galerie Nachtst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwalder

Whitney Biennial co-curator Michelle Grabner has tons of work at James Cohan Gallery and women artists are a vital force in this fair.

Whitney Biennial curator Michelle Grabner, "Oyster #5" at James Cohan Gallery
Shingle rhymes with Stingel: Marianne Vitale, "Shingle Painting 7," 2013, at Zach Feuer
Nicole Eisenman, mostly 90s paintings, at Koenig & Clinton
Anoka Faruqee at Koenig & Clinton
Jenny Holzer enamel signs from 1981 at Spruth Magers

Some hotspots at Armory Presents include Hayal Pozanti’s pop-Stuart Davis abstract paintings, accompanied by animated gifs on iPads, some rigid retro-design abstraction by Thomas Raat, and documentation of urban growth in Saudi Arabia by Ahmad Mater.

Best gifs in show: Hayal Pozanti at Jessica Silverman

Saudi artist Ahmad Mater (also a doctor in real-life) at Athr Gallery, Jeddah

Saudi artist Ahmad Mater (also a doctor in real-life) at Athr Gallery, Jeddah
Thomas Raat at BolteLang, Zurich

William Powhida keeps subjects in perspective, while Charlie White flattens subjects against a grid.

Detail, William Powhida at Postmasters
Charlie White at Loock Gallery

Some vintage works snap us out of shiny bijoux worship.

David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (Man with Rifle)," 1983 at P.P.O.W.
Betye Saar, "Wizard," 1972, at Roberts and TIlton

Matthew Hale’s effusive collages also boast this forced-perspective frame.

Matthew Hale, "Page 9 of Miriam's Body," 2013 at Ratio 3

Sean Landers’ paintings look nicer every time I see them, especially with this plaid squirrel writing equations; hopefully, he will keep a distance from Kati Heck’s cat.

Super Sean Landers, "Golden Section," 2013 at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen
Super Sean Landers, "Golden Section," 2013 at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen
Kati Heck, "Deal!," 2014 at Tim Van Laere Gallery

Projects in “Armory Focus: China” feature a broken Roomba and retina-bending op art.

Nadim Abbas at Gallery EXIT, Hong Kong
Li Shurui at Aike Dellarco, Shanghai

After combing this show, you’ll more than satiated, ready to exit with Derrick Adams, retire to Urs Fischer’s bed, go thrash some public art, perhaps flee to the wild unknown captured in Robert Longo’s Burning Man tableaux, or move permanently to Bali, like Ashley Bickerton did.

Derrick Adams, "Welcome Back," 2014 at Tilton Gallery
Urs Fischer from 1997 at Eva Presenhuber
Still from Raphael Zarka, "Riding Modern Art," 2005 at Michael Rein
Robert Longo, "Burning Man," 2013 at Thaddaeus Ropac
King Ashley Bickerton at Lehmann Maupin

In Arms’ Way

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Takaaki Izumi, "Notice that Could Be Good News or Bad News," 2011

At last Wednesday’s press conference for the Armory Show, Mayor Bloomberg included the avant-trade show among the City’s many “unforgiveable cultural – er, unforgettable – cultural events.”  Accept the Freudian slip as a cover for conflicting realities.  Right and right again; it is as unforgiveable as it is unforgettable.

Paul Morris, VP & HFIC of MMPI Art

Most young artists feel demoralized after seeing thousands of art objects shelved and tagged as merchandise at a trade show, even though the same objects probably felt special and transcendental while in the studio.  Those internal “studio” questions about form, content, context, and influence get fused and reduced to the “market” questions of “How much is that one?” or “Do you have one like it, but more red?”  The classic analogy is something like a Freudian primal scene: “Artists seeing art fairs is like kids watching Mommy and Daddy…”

MoMA Director Glenn Lowry: "Big. I mean, really BIG. And heavy."

Predictably, the Armory Show felt more like a circus, the Mardi Gras of trade shows.  Bleary-eyed visitors amble around from one neon sculpture to the next, like moths to lamps, pausing only to consult reflective surfaces, like Snow White’s Evil Queen nemesis.  How much do these booths cost, anyway?  I heard it was about $15,000, not counting the ‘wichcraft lunches.

Sam van Aken at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts

bloomberg. LOWRY.

Iván Navarro’s neon fence at Paul Kasmin takes the cake for most egregious abuse of electricity, while Tony Matelli’s bad words on mirrors at Leo Koenig, which make Dan Colen’s old text paintings read like literature, win for most shallow.


What I liked at the Armory was the refreshing wave of art bearing uninhibited, fluorescent palettes: solvent orange, minty greens, pomegranate crimson, and blinding yellows.

SVA alumni Phoebe Washburn, Lane Twitchell

Maybe this reflects a rise in artists feeling free, or maybe it’s just a cyclical upheaval of the black-and-white austerity that has persisted in NYC galleries since 2005 or so (Banks Violette, Adam Helms, Adam Pendleton, Wade Guyton, Erin Shirreff, Daniel Lefcourt, Karl Haendel, and more – most of whom I would collect if I had money).  Zach Feuer’s booth beckoned with day-glo work by Phoebe Washurn and Dasha Shishkin, Horton Gallery beamed with bright Keltie Ferris paintings.

Dasha Shishkin, "Risk of death is better than the risk of change," 2011

But for every violation of web-safe colors, there was at least one murky, surrealist phantasm.  Check these out:

Face Off

Kurt Hofmann, "Lunette #27," 2010 at Voges Gallery Frankfurt

(missed the name of this artist)

Rosy Keyser (at Peter Blum, right?)

That trend goes 3D in the variations on craggy, spindly, handwrought figurative sculptures hobbling around the fair.  Ibid Gallery hosted arthritic skeletal lepers by Marianne Vitale.  Chiseled Stephan Balkenhol brawny blokes popped up on both piers, along with many other freaks and geeks.

Marianne Vitale at ibid Projects

Javier Perez at Galerie Guy Bärtschi

(missed this name, too, man i suck; but I think it's Kim Jones)

Johannes VanderBeek's tie dye guy/ mesh colossus at Zach Feuer

The freak flag sagged with Marc Quinn’s Eurotrashy Michael Jackson, inexplicably presented two years too late.  And then there’s Lily van der Stokker’s gossipy mural, which looked hastily produced, recounting some kind of showdown between dealer Tanja Grunert and former Leo Koenig director Lizzy Balogh (is there a video of the fight described?).  Who cares?  Lily van der Stokker rules the school of bright palettes; something bolder at the fair would have cemented her proto-power.

Marc Quinn, "Michael Jackson," 2010 at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac

Lily van der Stokker at Leo Koenig, Inc


Who? Who? (Whom?)

Oh, and Kehinde Wiley now paints other “Others.”

Big and heavy!

SVA Armory Hey

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

At a glance, a few SVA faces at the Armory Show, which opened today:

SVA alumnus Lane Twitchell at Edward Nahem Fine Art

SVA Faculty member Mary Heilmann (on the wall) at 303 Gallery

SVA alumnus Robert Melee at Andrew Kreps Gallery

SVA alumna Phoebe Washburn at Zach Feuer Gallery

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