Despite a heat wave that made early September feel like mid-July in New York, this week, the fall art season and the promise of cooler weather has descended on The Big Apple, and New Yorkers are flocking back from their summer travels to kick off one of the busiest art seasons of the year at the Armory Show. This year, the Javits Center is home to over 225 booths, featuring selections from gallery veterans, non-profits, museums, and emerging gallerists from over 35 countries. The fair was notably divided into several sections such as Galleries, Solo, dedicated to single artists, Not-for-Profit, Focus, a section curated by Candice Hopkins, featuring solo- and dual-artist presentations that under-represented artists who draw on cultural connections, and Presents, featuring galleries that are less than 10 years old.
In addition, fair-goers can meander through The Platform, a space curated by Eva Respini, which showcases several large-scale works that delve into the historical canon. Teresita Fernández’s “Island Universe 2,” presented by Lehmann Maupin, spans a large wall, reimagining borders in the current age of political instability and reconsideration of political hegemony. The show also includes its signature program of Armory Off-Site featuring sculptures in public spaces, the Curatorial Leadership Summit, a day-long symposium tackling the latest issues in curatorial practice, Armory Talks with noted art world figures and market experts, and Armory Live featuring international art world leaders.
The VIP preview of the fair was packed with freshly-tanned and bright-eyed collectors, each with champagne in hand. The fair featured blue-chip galleries such as James Cohan, presenting works by Tuan Andrew Nguyen who’s currently exhibited at the New Museum, Victoria Miro showcasing Brooklyn-based artist María Berrío, and Peter Blum presented several marvelous works by Alex Katz. Notably, many non-New York-based galleries had the opportunity to showcase their artists to a different group of buyers. This was further highlighted in the single artist booths, which were often the second booth for many galleries. London-based Cob Gallery’s booth certainly garnered much attention with its fully mirrored exhibition space and Tahnee Lonsdale’s evocative abstract figurative works, echoed by a soft knotted sculpture. No Gallery’s booth focuses on Valentina Vaccarella’s latest group of paintings about women in power. Vaccarella’s fragmented depictions of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, evoke the convoluted and often obscured pathways to power. The presentation earned the gallery the Gramercy International Prize.
Marking another strong opening to the fall season, the fair closes Sunday.
– L. Langsner
Armory Show [Exhibition Site]