Marking the first entry in the busy weeks of March in New York, the ADAA Art Show opened its doors this week, putting a few days between its own fair and the mass of exhibitors opening their doors in the coming days. The first week of March is always a packed one for gallerists and artists, with the usual string of exhibitions and openings coupled with the ever-growing number of art fairs taking up space across the city during Armory Art Week. With that in mind, the ADAA’s attempts at putting some space between its event and the rest of March’s bustling pace has made it a fitting first entry, a considered, careful staging that sets the tone for the days to come.
The fair’s usual home at The Park Avenue Armory already welcomes a casual, meandering pace, with its gentle lighting and wide aisles, making for a relaxed dip into Armory Week. The result, as last year, was a packed early few days of the fair, as scores of New York collectors, dealers and art lovers came out in force. Strong sales were the mark of the day, and made for an exciting atmosphere in its cavernous Drill Hall.
Hauser & Wirth was presenting one of the more compelling booths at the show, a selection of surreal, foreign objects and animal sculptures by Roberto Cuoghi, who recently joined the gallery’s roster. The exhibition benefitted greatly from the moody lighting and subdued atmosphere of The Armory, giving his works a considerable degree of gravity and a certain unnerving quality. By contrast, Pace’s presentation of artist Alfred Jensen’s meticulous, patterned grids of paint, each dotted with numbers and vague symbols, gave a sprightly burst of energy and color to its booth. At Petzel Gallery, one could peruse Seth Price’s paintings from his most recent exhibition at the space, as well as a set of new iterations of his light-boxed pieces rendering a landscape of human skin, this time wrapping the flecked, chapped patterns around a series of large, glowing tubes. Jordan Casteel’s works at Casey Kaplan took a more classical approach to the human body, rendering energetic, nuanced portraits and images from the streets of Harlem. Classical, curated booths were also on view, like Luxembourg & Dayan’s studied exhibition of works documenting the gallery’s engagement with the history of the avant-garde, including pieces by Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni, and Yves Klein.
With the clusters of artists and works each competing for the viewer’s attention, yet drawn together by the fair’s encouragement of curatorial rigor and focused exhibitions, the fair’s presentation as a series of micro-exhibitions has long made it a draw and a consistently strong bet for those looking to see a great number of works, and to learn a bit while doing it, has maintained the ADAA’s strong position.
The fair closes March 3rd.
— D. Creahan
ADAA Art Show [Exhibition Site]