Last week was a blur. We ran around to the Armory Show, Independent, Moving Image, Spring/Break, and the ADAA Art Show, all in order to bring you a bevy of slideshows, reports, and a “We Went To.” We’re proud of our coverage, and hope you’ll like reading it, too. Enjoy.
Earlier in the day we debated whether the Independent was anything other than a fair (it’s not). Now we discuss the art in the fair. We had a lot more to say about the Independent than we did the Armory Show, so that’s at least one good sign for its future.
Art fairs can seem depressingly uniform, all of them decked out with bright lights, oppressive cubicles, and constant noise of the art-world rabble. So after a week of peeking over heads to view art, visiting Moving Image can seem downright eerie.
Even by itself, the Armory Show is overwhelming. With the Armory Show’s booths extending to the vanishing point in both directions of Pier 94, it can leave an unsettling impression of endlessness, where everything starts to look the same. And amidst the vastness of this week’s equally-momentous art events (a three-part Whitney Biennial, and the Armory’s satellites), this weekend could use a break of something more human in scale.
Earlier in the day we reported that many visitors were unable to identify standout work at the Armory, despite the buoyant atmosphere. In this post we identify why: Very few works actually stood out. Looking back at the hundreds of photographs we took during our visit, we have very little to say about the work we saw. Thus, our slideshow provides an overall impression of a relatively bland fair, with few high points or low points along the way.
Everyone attending the Armory Show at yesterday’s VIP preview has an opinion on the Armory and fairs in general. “The Armory is back!” declared Monique Meloche of Monique Meloche Gallery. After three years of handwringing over whether the New York-born fair would survive the competition brought to the table by Frieze New York, that question finally seems to be put to rest. The fair is doing just fine.
Last year there was much talk about what kind of desks and chairs dealers used at the Armory. This year, we note the use of floral arrangements at the ADAA mainly for its ubiquity. I took shots of the flower arrangements in just one aisle at the ADAA and came up with more than enough images for a slide show. I should have shot more.
Mercifully, this year’s ADAA far was absent of familiar pop art fair staples such as Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist. Many dealers brought contemporary art to the fairs, with familiar names such as Dana Schutz, Jacob Kassay, and James Turrell filling the booths. That, along with a series of in-depth solo booths, contributed to an overall sense of higher quality than in years past.