The 2016 edition of the Armory Show art fair opens to the public tomorrow, but already during today’s preview piers 92 and 94 were crawling with collectors, curators, and critics.
In 2013, artist Kelly Heaton had a vision of a magnificent bee appearing in the darkness, illuminated by an iridescent aura.
A red light blinking from a gilded security camera greets visitors to Seven’s surveillance-themed Anonymity, no longer an option.
Alone amid cacti, barbed wire, and phone lines, she is looking for something. The figure raises her rake — which seems like half claw, half witch’s broom — above her head, then returns to it to the sand.
The animals have gone missing from booth 844. Framed nature prints crowd the holly walls, but the auks, cougars, wolves, and woodpeckers that were once their subjects have been cut out, leaving blank spaces behind in a sort of artistic animal Rapture.
In recent years, the connections between architecture, art, and design have, in many cases, become inextricably bound to another in a kind of symbiotic relationship. For some observers, architecture appears relevant to the twenty-first century only when it emulates an abstract sculptural presence.
The ADAA Art Show marked its 25th anniversary this year, and the 2013 edition at the Park Avenue Armory was definitely a very mature, stately fair, with only the slightest of dark undertones to its otherwise unsurprising, but elegantly sleek, presentation.
When BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in April 2010, an estimated 172 million gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico, creating the worst petroleum-industry spill in U.S. history. The stories and images of crude oil reaching the coastlines of the Gulf States were appalling — pelicans mired in grease, local fishermen devastated, ocean water slick with oil, ecological systems threatened. But that mess is fixed now, all cleaned up by BP. The oceans are clear. Swimming is safe. And we can all happily gobble down as much Louisiana gumbo as we desire. This is what BP would have you believe.
This indie fair of seven galleries with solid programs — and some art stars among them — have created a wonderful little side fair that has a well-organized area for video works (which is both inviting and well spaced), a space for the #Rank event (which we’ve mentioned before), rooms for work by various artists to talk to one another (some better than others), but most importantly an attempt to collide gallery stables to see what they could come up with together (most notably on one wall covered salon style with pieces from the whole constellation of “Seven” artists).
Did all the artists fit perfectly together? No, but this is an art fair and not a curated exhibition. It was good to see some galleries try something that felt interesting and less commercial than the run-of-the-mill art fairs.