The 20 Best Booths at The Armory Show
The 24th edition of The Armory Show opened to VIPs on Wednesday. This year, 198 galleries from 31 countries exhibit through Sunday on New York’s Piers 92 and 94. Forty-three of those galleries are participating in the fair for the first time; the entire affair is also being overseen by a brand new executive director, Nicole Berry.
The Armory Show has a bit of something for everyone—from a 16-foot-tall ferris wheel sculpture to rare works on paper by
Artsy’s editors scoured both piers and picked 20 presentations that stand apart from the rest.
After showing in The Armory Show’s “African Perspectives” Focus section in 2016, and in the fair’s Presents sector for young dealers last year, Seattle-based Ibrahim moves into the fair’s main sector this year with a solo presentation of new works by ongoing legal dispute between Viktor and the musicians Kendrick Lamar and SZA, along with Universal Music Group and others involved in the production of the music video for “All the Stars,” a song from the film’s soundtrack. Viktor alleges the video contains depictions of her works that violate her copyright. If Lamar and company did rip off Viktor, one can’t argue with their good taste. Viktor creates the intricate patterns on the works—which take references from African and Middle Eastern symbolism—in resin, later gilding the raised portions with 24-carat gold leaf. Ibrahim explains that the artist’s interest in gold arises from its complicated history: “It has been sacred, has been sought after, has provoked the decay of certain civilizations,” she says, “but it also has brought about the rise of other civilizations.”
The dealer said the booth as a whole—which also features black, screen-like walls perforated in the shape of nets used by fishermen in Liberia—serves as an allegory to the position of Africa both in the world and in the art market. “Certain advocates speak in the name of African artists,” she said, but aren’t qualified to speak on their behalf; she noted, for example, that discussions of African artists are still almost always fixated on their geographic origin. In the context of an art world that is still severely lacking in terms of gender and racial equality, she said, “I wanted to send a strong message.”
Galleries Section, Booth 717
With works by Ramiro Gomez, Joe Houston, Hunter Reynolds, Erin M. Riley, Betty Tompkins, Robin F. Williams, David Wojnarowicz
The hard-to-miss focal point of the gallery’s booth is
Born in France to a Guyanese father and a Dutch mother,
Tanya Leighton Gallery
Galleries Section, Booth F23
With works by Aleksandra Domanović and Oliver Laric
The gallery shows two heavy-hitters of the
back in the game again, with a solo show at the Hong Kong-based gallery later in 2018, and an inclusion in the current survey at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., “Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s.” The silkscreen-and-airbrush-based paintings here are ripe with eyeballs, mouths, and undefined circuitry. (As Empty Gallery’s director Alexander Lau puts it, Hsu’s focus tends to be on combining “an animal, organ, or body part [with] the technological.”) Larger canvases from the 1990s are on offer for around $50,000; a fantastic plywood and concrete assemblage from 1984 commands a heftier $80,000.
Participating in The Armory Show for the first time since 2013, Gagosian provides a knockout opener to Pier 94 with a solo booth of sculptures and works on paper by video art pioneer
Six works on paper by
Just days after being considered for an Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards, French photographer and visual artist 25-foot-tall monument to refugees across the fair’s main entrance, foregrounding critical issues—immigration policy and the refugee crisis—for all who enter. (The project is presented by Artsy and Jeffrey Deitch.) If you’re intrigued, head straight to Jeffrey Deitch’s solo booth for the artist, where JR debuts a new body of work also based on images from an archive of photographs picturing Ellis Island immigrants. He has printed the black-and-white images onto panes of glass that rest gently against booth walls, allowing shadow and light to enter the work in a brand new way as the photographs subtly map onto the walls behind them. (It’s a technique he’ll continue for a while, he tells me, and will be a focus of his next show.) The most powerful image—and one that the artist hints may be his favorite, too—shows an immigrant family as they gaze hopefully toward the Statue of Liberty from the dock of the Ellis Island Immigration Station.
Galleries Section, Booth 827
With works by Vanessa Baird
Over a dozen scroll-like lengths of paper constitute the single monumental drawing on view here, titled An amazing thing happened to me: I suddenly forgot which came first, 7 or 8 (2018). It’s a bright vision of hell, evoking drowned refugees, demonic SpongeBobs, and pig-like boys wearing red MAGA hats. (In one panel, Melania Trump is depicted giving her son Barron what can perhaps politely be described as a fecal shower.) The noisy chaos is interrupted, just barely, by a modest framed photograph that Baird has hung atop the drawing: a picture of herself as a young child, being held by her mother. The gallery wouldn’t divulge a price for the challenging and epic piece, but alluded to the obvious hope for a (brave) institutional collector.
Presents Section, Booth P7
With works by Ebecho Muslimova
Fresh off a show at New York’s Magenta Plains,
The beauty of New York Times, is not without a fair dose of controversy. But the images themselves—a boy dressed up in a beret, standing at attention next to his bicycle; young women staring pensively at the camera; three men dressed up as if about to hit the town—punch orders of magnitude above their humble snapshot roots.
Galleries Section, Booth 617
With works by Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Zanele Muholi, Andrew Moore, Sharon Core, Mickalene Thomas, Rachel Perry, Bryan Graf
On the heels of his inclusion in the New Museum’s buzzy “Trigger” exhibition, which looked at the role of gender and sexuality in contemporary art and culture—and just a week before his work debuts in the Museum of Modern Art’s much-acclaimed “New Photography” survey—the young L.A.-based artist Team Gallery, which will represent him along with Yancey Richardson.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
Galleries Section, Booth 912
With works by Nacho Carbonell
Carpenters Workshop is one of the two design galleries integrated into The Armory Show this year (the other being R & Company). The solo presentation of Spanish, Eindhoven-based designer
The Armory Show’s largest work is also accompanied by one of its smallest booths. Both are dedicated to
It’s hard to miss My Turn (2018), an enormous Ferris wheel-shaped contraption that’s basically a very labor-intensive way for
Galleries Section, Booth 922
With works by Roxy Paine, Milton Avery, Robert Indiana, Lee Krasner, Iván Navarro, Joel Shapiro, Bosco Sodi, Donald Sultan, Bernar Venet
The highlight here is a spectacle in miniature. More than just gee-whiz Instagram bait,
Focus Section, Booth F11
With works by Patty Chang
Fresh from being shown at the Queens Museum and ahead of an outing at L.A.’s Institute of Contemporary Art in spring 2019, the works here pull from
Chang’s project—documented here in photographs, video, and hand-blown glass sculptures modeled after improvised female urinary devices, which range in price from $7,000 to $55,000—began with the artist returning to Xinjiang province to look for Lop Nur. Over the coming years she wandered further afield, shifting her focus to the Aral Sea—which has been shrinking rapidly in recent years—and to China’s South-North Water Diversion Project, an aqueduct that holds the honor of being the world’s most expensive engineering project in history, according to the gallery. While the similarities between Hedin’s mission captured in “The Wandering Lake Project” and China’s current One Belt One Road Initiative immediately stick out, it is also an important reflection of how the earth’s landscape has been, and continues to be, shifted by human activity.
The mixed-media works in the series here, “Future People,” combine black history and space motifs. Each piece—mixing photographic collage elements with silver-painted cardboard—purports to be a cosmic view as seen through the window of a spaceship. The smaller works are on offer for $12,500, with bigger pieces at $31,500. As Vigo’s Clémence Duchon notes,
Alexander Forbes is Artsy’s Executive Editor.
Molly Gottschalk is Artsy’s Features Producer.
Scott Indrisek is Artsy’s Deputy Editor.