A view of the 2017 ADAA Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

A view of the 2017 ADAA Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

You may not be ready for art fair season, but the art fairs don’t give a damn. It’s not even Armory Week yet, and already, through some fluke of split scheduling, the Art Dealers Association of America’s (ADAA) Art Show is upon us. The most blue-chip fair of the spring, the Art Show is returning to the Park Avenue Armory for its 30th edition (February 28–March 4), with 72 members galleries — including 11 that participated in its inaugural outing back in 1989.

The work at the Art Show tends toward the canonical and is generally more tightly curated than other fairs, with a mix of solo booths, historical presentations, and thematic mini-exhibitions. Last year the fair featured an impressive lineup of major and under-recognized women artists, and this year’s program looks similarly promising: Cheim & Read will have a booth full of new large-scale sculptures by Lynda Benglis; Lehmann Maupin will debut new photographs by Catherine Opie; Anglim Gilbert Gallery will have a solo presentation by Lynn Hershman Leeson; and PPOW will showcase the compositions of Dotty Attie. Anton Kern Gallery, meanwhile, will pair early Andy Warhol drawings with the new works on paper by Nicole Eisenman that they inspired.

Though the Art Show doesn’t boast the same lineup of ancillary events and programs that many of next week’s fairs do, there will be a performance on opening night (Wednesday, February 28, at 5:30 pm) by Wang Dongling, who will paint new abstract calligraphy. And on the evening of Thursday, March 1 (at 6 pm), the CEO of art insurer AXA Art Americas Corporation (the fair’s lead sponsor), Christiane Fischer, will give a talk answering a question many of us have pondered after almost backing into a ceramic sculpture in a crowded art fair booth: what happens to damaged art that’s deemed a “total loss”?

Left: Andy Warhol, “Brandon De Wilde Smokes Camels Because They Are So Mild” (ca 1953), ink on white Riverside Bond paper, 11 x 8 1/2 in (courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, New York; © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, Inc.); right: Nicole Eisenman, “Smoker” (2017), ink on paper, 11.5 x 8.75 in (courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, New York; © Nicole Eisenman)

When: gala preview Tuesday, February 27 at 5 pm; regular hours Wednesday, February 28–Sunday, March 4 (general admission $25)
Where: Park Avenue Armory (Park Avenue at 67th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

More info at the Art Dealers Association of America.

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...