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:
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.
Whitney Biennial co-curator Michelle Grabner has tons of work at James Cohan Gallery and women artists are a vital force in this fair.
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.
William Powhida keeps subjects in perspective, while Charlie White flattens subjects against a grid.
Some vintage works snap us out of shiny bijoux worship.
Matthew Hale’s effusive collages also boast this forced-perspective frame.
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.
Projects in “Armory Focus: China” feature a broken Roomba and retina-bending op art.
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.