The 20 Best Booths at The Armory Show 2019
Installation view of Sadie Barnette’s solo presentation at Charlie James’ booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Charlie James.
The weekend’s snow and ice melted just in time for the VIP preview of The Armory Show, which is celebrating its 25th edition. Director Nicole Berry, who’s led The Armory Show since the end of 2017, called the fair “the unofficial kickoff to the New York art calendar” during the press preview. The 2019 fair presents a group of 198 galleries, hailing from 33 countries—including Tunisia, for the first time, with Selma Feriani Gallery.
The sunny weather on Wednesday morning was good fortune for the fair, particularly in light of the bad news they received in February—that Pier 92, one half of their traditional venue (along with Pier 94), was plagued with structural difficulties. As a result, some Armory exhibitors were relocated to Pier 90, where Volta was originally scheduled to take place, leading the latter fair to be canceled. In light of this, some of the galleries slated to participate in Volta are exhibiting at various other fairs, including Plan B—an initiative helmed by art-world figures including gallerist David Zwirner, and organized in just the past couple of weeks. Despite the last minute shuffle, Volta director Amanda Coulson reaffirmed her support for The Armory Show at the press preview.
As the fair got into full swing, collectors (David Mugrabi, Howard Rachofsky) mingled amongst a cross section of journalists, museum directors (Anne Pasternak), artists (Ryan Gander, Deborah Kass, Dustin Yellin), and celebrities (Sofia Coppola, Isabelle Huppert, Paul Rudd). Carts of Pommery champagne navigated crowded aisles, while on Pier 94, Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou’s hanging installation of hundreds of plastic bags served as an ideal selfie spot.
The Armory Show has certainly come a long way since 1994, when it was just a scrappy project (then known as the Gramercy International Art Fair) conceived by gallerists Colin de Land, Pat Hearn, Matthew Marks, and Paul Morris, and located in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Back then, cash purchases were advised.
Here, we share the 20 best booths from the 25th edition of The Armory Show.
Galleries Section, Booth 717
With works by Anton van Dalen, Hew Locke, Dinh Q. Lê, Betty Tompkins, Suzanne Treister, Robin F. Williams, Martin Wong, and David Wojnarowicz
Installation view of P•P•O•W’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of P•P•O•W.
The violence of the 1980s—epitomized by the AIDS crisis and the Cold War—erupts in The War Comes Home (1982), a monumental oil painting by Anton van Dalen. A tank and a fighter jet unleash hell on the Lower East Side, the neighborhood in which the artist has lived and worked since the 1970s, as the silhouette of a man on fire runs from the chaos. The Dutch artist, who survived World War II, is pleased that the work is being shown in 2019, the gallery’s art fair director Trey Hollis told me; for Van Dalen, this same theoretical war has gone underground and online today. The techno-apocalypse he suggests is reiterated in “Survivor (F)” (2016–18), an elaborate series of watercolor diagrams by Suzanne Treister that illustrate “a post-human fantasy about Earth being repopulated by algorithms,” Hollis said. Hew Locke’s Ghost (2015), a flower-covered model warship that dangles from the ceiling, reminds me that the fair is upriver from the Intrepid, a sure sign that the struggles illuminated here by artists like Van Dalen, Martin Wong, and David Wojnarowicz have remained relevant for the generations that follow them.
Galleries Section, Booth 514
With works by Leo Villareal
Upon entering Pier 94, fairgoers are treated to Leo Villareal’s Star Ceiling (2019), a 75-foot-long installation overhead that recalls the cosmos (walking through it is not unlike watching the opening sequence of Star Wars). In addition to the installation, Pace Gallery presents a boothful of shimmering new work by the artist, who is known for his innovative manipulations of LED lights. Inside the pier, the 12 featured LED pieces together make up a single work called Instance (2019). The works (each priced at $48,000) are all governed by a code the artist developed himself, but emit different sequences. If you watch long enough, you’ll notice similar patterns and streaks of light that appear to jump from one square panel to another. The presentation offers a glimpse of what we can expect from Villareal’s major public installation Illuminated River, which will activate up to 15 bridges over the Thames in London, beginning this summer.
Galleries Section, Booth 824
With works by Moffat Takadiwa
Installation view of Nicodim’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Nicodim.
Nicodim turned over its booth to the undulating, sculptural tapestries of Zimbabwean artist Moffat Takadiwa, who will have his first U.S. solo show at the Los Angeles gallery this September. The intricate, large-scale assemblages of toothbrush heads, bottle caps, and computer keys might recall the work of El Anatsui, but the artist started working with such discarded materials out of necessity. While he was studying at Harare Polytechnic College, funding to public education was halted, and Takadiwa didn’t have money for art supplies—so he went to the dump, which amassed trash from European countries. “He recycled the refuse of the West into the cultural language of his own Shona people, who are known for their textiles,” explained gallery director Ben Lee Ritchie Handler. The works reference colonialism and the country’s oppressive military practices, and also hint at art history. One piece filled with rivets, Handler said, echoes Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. The pieces range from $8,000 to $35,000 for the larger works, two of which had sold only hours into the fair.
Laurence Miller Gallery
Insights Section, Booth 313
With works by Gary Brotmeyer
Gary Brotmeyer, Air Circulating through a Leonardo Da Vinci Drawing with Bonus Picture Live from the Met, 1988. Courtesy of Laurence Miller Gallery.
In the Insights section on Pier 90, you’ll find many galleries promoting major, underrecognized figures, with printed catalogues and art-historical scholarship. Laurence Miller, in contrast, is offering a more lighthearted presentation, featuring Gary Brotmeyer’s cheeky mixed-media collages (priced at around $6,000 each). These wry delights riff on literature and art history. I Was to Be a Ham (Scout, Mockingbird book quote) (ca. 2002–03), for example, features a black-and-white photograph of a man with a sculpted ham shape affixed to his head. Miller describes another work, Rocketeers 4 (Normandie) (1995), as site-specific. The collage, which depicts a French postage stamp and a picture of a man smoking a pipe on a ledge, references an ocean liner that anchored—and sank—at Pier 88, just beyond The Armory Show’s walls.
“He’s been one of my all-time favorite artists since the day I met him,” Miller told me, noting that the artist, now 72, lives up on the Upper West Side and is still making collages, but mostly sculptures. Among his collectors, Miller added, is Elton John; he’s tried to persuade the musician to buy some of the artist’s rocket-related work (given John’s nickname: Rocket Man), but the musician hasn’t bitten yet. The Brotmeyer collages may not be major art, but they’re a lot more fun. Stop in for a chuckle.
Focus Section, Booth F19
With works by Faith Ringgold
Installation view of Faith Ringgald’s solo presentation at ACA Gallery’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of ACA Gallery.
ACA Galleries’s mini Faith Ringgold survey is a true gem—an opportunity to see the legendary artist’s work from the 1960s to the 2010s unfold in one small space. Rare activist prints from the 1970s (ranging from $40,000 to $60,000) are showcased on an exterior wall, while the interior of the booth features a plethora of works, including two large, sequined figurative sculptures from the same era (priced around $250,000). There are also several paintings from the “Black Light” series, ruminations on black skin inspired by Ad Reinhardt’s black abstractions. Two of these paintings were on hold within the first hour of the preview, but the real standout is a large, $3.5 million piece called Black Light Series #11: US America Black (1969). Sliced up into eight parts, US America Black shows a moving range of personalities and emotions in shades of black, blue, brown, and red. Among several quilts on view is a trio dedicated to black activists (Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King Jr.) from 2010, and another covered in photographs of the artist, a reckoning with an unintended 100-pound weight gain.
Galerie Nagel Draxler
Galleries Section, Booth A4
With works by Mark Dion, Andrea Fraser, and Renée Green
Gallerist Christian Nagel, who attended the first-ever edition of The Armory Show in the Gramercy Park Hotel, honors the original presentation in his commemorative booth. Back in 1994, Mark Dion’s contribution to the fair was a lemonade stand—“the symbol for every young kid to learn about capitalism and selling,” Nagel told me. Dion is once again serving the sugary drink in miniature solo cups at the 2019 exhibition, from behind the 25-year-old stand. Anyone who asks can have a cup, but if you want the whole artwork, you’ll have to shell out $60,000.
Also on view are two films by Andrea Fraser ($6,000 apiece) and an installation by Renée Green—all, like Dion’s work, exemplars of institutional critique. Green’s piece, The Pigskin Library (1990), priced at $150,000, consists of a series of colored plaques that viewers may pick up with white-gloved hands; the Latin name of an animal is printed on each. Nearby, there’s an organizational key—purple plaques signify “comfort”; green, “money”; black, “see future”; grey, “hexing”; and so on. Such arbitrary designations ask the viewer to consider how we categorize information and who establishes dominant classification structures.
Galleries Section, Booth 924
With works by Dorothea Tanning
Installation view of Dorothea Tanning’s solo presentation at Alison Jacques’ booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of The Armory Show.
An armchair upholstered in snakeskin fabric with a matching tail opens Alison Jacques’s spotlight on the late Surrealist powerhouse Dorothea Tanning, who died in 2012 at the age of 101. The timely presentation coincides with the artist’s first career retrospective, which is currently on view at Tate Modern. While the booth includes paintings (Evening on Sedona, 1976—a large painting of an abstracted nude body couched between two large, furry pups—is a highlight), it’s meant to showcase the sculptural nature of Tanning’s work, gallery director Fiona McGovern explained. Works on view span from 1945 to her final piece, called Victory (2005)—a framed slice of burnt toast. (Works on paper are on offer from $10,000 to $60,000, while paintings range from $60,000 to $350,000.)
Galleries Section, Booth 817
With works by Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei, Zodiac, 2018. Photo by Adam Reich. Courtesy of Jeffrey Deitch.
Across from Tayou’s show-stopping plastic bag installation, you’ll find Jeffrey Deitch’s eye-catching presentation of Ai Weiwei’s Lego paintings. Part of the artist’s “Zodiac” series, these 12 works (all 2018) depict the animals of the Chinese zodiac. This is the second time the artist has mined this imagery (previously, it inspired a series of sculptures), which is based on famous depictions of the zodiac figures that decorated the fountain in the Chinese Old Summer Palace. During the opium wars in the 19th century, the palace was destroyed, and most of the heads were auctioned off in Europe or lost. The “Zodiac Heads” are a way for the artist to confront ideas around national patrimony. Legos, meanwhile—one of Ai’s preferred materials—represent not only fatherhood (his son plays with the blocks), but also the idea of amassing a collection. There are three versions of the series: The one on view is the smallest and is an edition of 10; two editions are on offer at $150,000 for individual pieces, or $1.2 million for the full set.
Galería Max Estrella
Insights Section, Booth 204
With works by José Val del Omar
Installation view of Galería Max Estrella’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Galería Max Estrella.
Green, amoeba-like forms writhe across the wall in Galería Max Estrella’s presentation at Pier 90. The germs are unleashed by a projector outfitted to create arresting special effects by the new-media pioneer José Val del Omar (the projectors are for sale, along with a selection of slides). If there is any one through-line that connects the late Spanish artist’s experimental films created over his four-decade career, it’s evolution. In the 1940s, Val del Omar fell in with Spanish Dadaists and Surrealists. His “film-poems” from this time mimic Salvador Dalí’s nonsensical cinematic experiments, but retain a slightly more grounded point of view. Throughout the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, Val del Omar continued to create innovative underground films, like Aguaespejo granadino (Watermirror from Granada) (1953–55), which utilizes digital effects to upgrade quotidian, black-and-white scenes of Granada landscapes and street life to thrilling experiences. As the camera shows us a still mountainscape, for instance, the sky begins to pulse with manufactured lightning. Val del Omar called himself a “cinemist”—part filmmaker, part alchemist—a name that suits him well.
David Nolan Gallery
Galleries Section, Booth 707
With works by Jorinde Voigt
Installation view of David Nolan’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of David Nolan Gallery.
The prolific Berlin-based artist Jorinde Voigt holds the title for most chromatically pleasing works at the fair. To achieve the effervescent turmeric yellow of her Immersive Integral Firm Radiance V (2018–19)—a painting-drawing hybrid that incorporates gold leaf, pastel, and graphite—Voigt submerged the entire sheet of paper in a dish of India ink. The work’s “immersive color,” as David Nolan Gallery director George Newall described it, is an effect enhanced not only by the artist’s painted frame, but also by the gallery’s decision to decorate the booth in a soothing teal color. This and similarly energetic, abstract compositions are on offer for $60,000, while a larger showstopper like Immersive Integral Zenith XVII (2018), which seems indebted to the mysterious symbolism of Hilma af Klint, goes for $105,000. These powerful colors add another compelling and strangely spiritual dimension to Voigt’s expansive explorations of drawing, which seek to “map ethereal phenomena,” Newall said. Drawings of this ilk from the early aughts round out the presentation, and seem to presage the more recent works.
Galleries Section, Booth 912
With works by Antonio Calderara, Anna Dickinson, Terry Haggerty, Imi Knoebel, Landon Metz, László Moholy-Nagy, Karim Noureldin, and Jesús Rafael Soto
Installation view of von Bartha’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of von Bartha, Basel and S-chanf.
Von Bartha’s booth offers a dynamic mix of modern and contemporary artists whose abstract works, many in muted primary colors, create a thoughtful exchange. Contemporary figures like Landon Metz and Imi Knoebel are shrewdly paired with works by their forebears—including Jesús Rafael Soto and Antonio Calderara—to create a resonance between generations. An alcove devoted to Knoebel includes a striking large yellow wall piece, while a two-panel Metz painting with washes of olive green, priced at $35,000, commands another wall. Before it, a table is laden with glass vessels by British artist Anna Dickinson. Each sculpture is inspired by industrial spaces and machinery, and runs from $26,000 to $32,000. A rug on the floor—a piece by Karim Noureldin (priced at $22,000)—cements the booth’s cohesion.
Eric Firestone Gallery
Focus Section, Booth F3
With works by Miriam Schapiro
Installation view of Eric Firestone Gallery’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Eric Firestone Gallery.
In a tight presentation of six paintings, Eric Firestone Gallery illustrates the conceptual transformations that brought Miriam Schapiro from gestural abstraction in the early 1960s to pioneering feminist art in the 1970s. At first glance, the diverse selection of works (priced from $45,000 to $550,000) appear as though they have different authors. Yet the booth’s magic lies in the swiftness with which one comes to see Schapiro hopelessly chafing against her domestic responsibilities as a woman (paintings like Untitled, 1961, suggest a kind of housewife’s prison), and then actively exploding definitions of the female domain. Her Pattern and Decoration paintings elevate the domestic by incorporating fabric and other so-called “decorative” materials. Lady Gengi’s Maze (1972), made the same year that Schapiro co-founded the groundbreaking Womanhouse installation, is both a consciousness-raising statement and—with its mix of graphic, black-and-white lines and floral textiles—a plainly gorgeous painting.
Mariane Ibrahim Gallery
Galleries Section, Booth 720
With works by Florine Demosthene
Installation view of Mariane Ibrahim’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
A new sort of heroine features in a set of collages (all 2019) by the Haitian-American artist Florine Demosthene. The expressive figures are a kind of alter-ego for the artist, who often takes her own body as her subject. Many works show sets of twins, a manifestation of the thorny dualities between woman and witch; beautiful and obscene; angry and in love. Their titles (You Made a Mockery of My Love; I’m A Risk) reference a woman’s turmoil, yes, but also her agency, a sense of freedom that resists misogynistic chastisements of emotional women. Against the kelly-green walls of Mariane Ibrahim Gallery’s booth, the bodies’ dynamic mix of ink, mylar, pigment stick, and glitter offer a visual sorbet of sorts to cleanse the palate of standard beauty tropes. Though she is in her forties, Demosthene’s multimedia work shares an affinity with a younger peer, Tschabalala Self, who takes a similar poetic license in her tumescent depictions of the black female body. Demosthene seems poised for her breakout moment; she’ll have a solo show with Ibrahim after her gallery moves from Seattle to Chicago later this year. The larger works on offer at the fair are a relatively affordable $7,000, though Ibrahim cheerfully noted, just a couple of hours into the preview, that most had already sold.
Sorry We’re Closed
Focus Section, Booth F4
With works by Eric Croes
Installation view of Sorry We’re Closed’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Sorry We’re Closed.
The whimsical ceramics of Brussels-based artist Eric Croes make for a vibrant gateway to Pier 90. The colorful works on view—including five towering totems made from 10 to 12 different pieces—speak to the artist’s interest in reimagining Japanese masks, Aztec figures, and other ancient art and craft traditions. Many works appear as though they’re melding together distinct ideas—and they are. Croes often begins his sculptures with exquisite corpse drawings that he creates with friends, which he then translates into sculpture. This method lends the work a “surrealistic, Belgian touch,” said gallery director Emilie Pischedda.
Galleries Section, Booth 600
With works by Alice Neel, Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili, Celia Paul, and Howardena Pindell
Installation view of Victoria Miro’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. © Celia Paul. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.
Celia Paul’s light-filled paintings of women and the sea never fail to stun. Victoria Miro’s spotlight on her work gives this quiet, gentle practice its due. Her nubby canvases add texture to her fragile brushstrokes, and the drips and cracks that enhance their character and imperfection. Paul’s oeuvre sooner evokes 19th-century literature than anything remotely contemporary, but the potency of Paul’s hues and gestures establish the paintings’ relevance for any age.
The gallery also dedicated space to a series of watercolors by Chris Ofili; they feature mermaids, carnival hues, curlicues, and kissing. Victoria Miro director and partner Glenn Scott Wright noted that the artist recently gave them the paintings, but the gallery intentionally held onto them in order to show them at Armory—“That way, more people would see them,” he said.
A final solo presentation in the booth is given to Alice Neel. Richard with Dog (1954) is a highlight; the painting features a mustachioed man in a red-and-green floral shirt as he rests against a tree, a pug peeping from beneath his right arm. The exemplary piece reminds us that while most of Neel’s subjects are long gone, the characters she created remain as redoubtable as ever.
Charlie James Gallery
Presents Section, Booth P16
With works by Sadie Barnette
Gallerist Charlie James groaned as a young woman entered the centerpiece of Sadie Barnette’s installation—a ring of retro, sparkly pink speaker sets and vinyl seats—to snap a selfie. Despite its inevitable Instagram draw (the carpet of James’s booth is also bubblegum pink), the installation as a whole suggests a narrative more complex than the typically shiny treats offered elsewhere at the fair. The Oakland-based artist, who gained attention for a 2017 series that presented the massive dossier the FBI had gathered on her Black Panther father, further investigates the trappings of black life in America. The domestic, Afrofuturist vision constructed here includes crushed soda cans, similarly coated in glistening metallic car paint, littered across the installation; outdated technologies like an off-the-hook landline and a handheld calculator; and photographs (showing a crumpled dollar bill, hair picks, and the artist’s car) alternately overlaid with pink bows and polka dots. In this case, the glitz functions “not as bling, but deliverance,” James said, which adds “a cosmic glint to vernacular black imagery.”
Galleries Section, Booth 614
With works by Jonathan Lyndon Chase and John Altoon
Installation view of Kohn Gallery’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Kohn Gallery.
Gallerist Josh Friedman told me that by midday, three institutions (including Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center and the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami) had already purchased the bright, large-scale paintings of young Philadelphia-based artist Jonathan Lyndon Chase. All created since November, these canvases (all 2019) debut alongside airbrush, pastel, and ink-on-board works by Los Angeles–based artist John Altoon, who died in 1969, at age 43. Friedman hopes that booth visitors will consider how two men on different coasts, working five decades apart, broke “certain conventions of how the body needs to look.”
Chase’s practice, like Altoon’s, is rooted in drawing. Though his massive canvases can feature acrylic paint, marker, chalk, pastel, glitter, and spray paint, his own wobbling line makes them feel intimate. Run away with me, for example, features a reclining, androgynous body that’s less a realist portrait than it is a tangle of limbs; cross-hatched yellow lines and green clothing melt into the painting’s background. Behind the figure, Chase lightly rendered an apparent goal post, which creates a sense of depth within the composition. Chase embraces queer love and lust (often among African-American characters) throughout his canvases—in one painting, Bad dream, a man explicitly reaches into another’s shorts. “You feel his touch in everything he does,” said Friedman.
Robert Koch Gallery
Insights Section, Booth 120
With works by Foto Ada, Ferenc Csík, Ferenc Haár, György Kepes, André Kertész, Károly Kismányoky, László Moholy-Nagy, Arthur Segal, and János Szász
Installation view of Robert Koch Gallery’s booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery.
In the first half of the 20th century, Hungarian artists living in their country and as expats abroad redefined what photography and images could do. László Moholy-Nagy, arguably the best known of the group, produced striking photograms, a term that he coined. The last-known photogram by the influential Bauhaus instructor, made in 1946, is on view here (and on offer for $75,000). It’s a gorgeous, supremely modern work that seems to foretell complex grayscale experiments by contemporary artists like Avery K. Singer.
Moholy-Nagy, however, is, for the first time, outshined in an exhibition by his largely overshadowed colleague György Kepes. Among the numerous examples of Kepes’s masterful photographs and photograms, his mixed-media paintings on view are a special surprise. Untitled (Skeleton in frame with newspaper) (1938–40), composed of newspaper, gouache, ink, and a photograph, is a relative steal at $28,000. Also on offer: poignant photo collages by Foto Ada ($6,500 each) and works by subsequent generations of Hungarian artists, including János Szász, André Kertész, and Károly Kismányoky.
Galleri Bo Bjerggaard
Galleries Section, Booth 615
With works by Anna Bjerger, Jules de Balincourt. Per Bak Jensen, Peter Linde Busk, Per Kirkeby, John Kørner, Tal R, and Janaina Tschäpe
One of the most reliable ways for artists to raise awareness of their work is, unfortunately, to die. Galleri Bo Bjerggaard representative Jeanette Lindholdt Madsen affirmed that she’s seen renewed interest in Danish painter Per Kirkeby’s canvases since the Danish artist passed in 2018. “Obviously, we see a lot more going on with auctions, but also people approaching us and asking if we want to buy work,” she said, adding that the finite inventory of his work has increased collector demand. The booth features his lush gouaches and oils on canvas, in which the artist abstracted the natural landscape into moody swaths of deep greens and browns.
Alongside the Kirkeby works, the gallery shows a presentation of northern European artists. It includes a lovely pastel-hued landscape by Janaina Tschäpe (Germany); striking multimedia collages by Peter Linde Busk (Denmark); a boldly hued, blocky canvas by Tal R (Denmark and Israel); and a painting of shoes by Anna Bjerger (Sweden)—a young artist who sources pictures from magazines and other existing sources, then renders select details on canvas.
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
Galleries Section, Booth 803
With works by Nick Aguayo, Edgar Arceneaux, My Barbarian, Whitney Bedford, Sadie Benning, Ellen Berkenblit, Andrea Bowers, Jedediah Caesar, Kim Dingle, Sean Duffy, Nicole Eisenman, Charles Gaines, Liz Glynn, Karl Haendel, Stanya Kahn, Hayv Kahraman, Raffi Kalenderian, Mary Kelly, Samuel Levi Jones, Shana Lutker, Dave McKenzie, Rodney McMillian, Yunhee Min, Wangechi Mutu, Elizabeth Neel, Ruben Ochoa, Angel Otero, Pope.L, Mary Reid Kelley, Steve Roden, Arlene Shechet, Dasha Shishkin, Amy Sillman, Mickalene Thomas, Nicola Tyson, Monique Van Genderen, Tam Van Tran, and Patrick Wilson
Installation view of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects’ booth at The Armory Show, New York, 2019. Photo by Dawn Blackman. Courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
A choice wall of Susanne Vielmetter’s smart presentation hosts a fresh installation by the emerging artist Genevieve Gaignard (whose works on view are priced between $4,000 and $20,000). A yellow grandfather clock stuffed with books and thrift-store tchotchkes reminiscent of Gaignard’s childhood also includes a porcelain figure that the artist manipulated, replacing its head with one of a stereotypical “mammy” figure. In addition to one of Gaignard’s signature self-portraits—in which she’s dressed as a 1950s-era white woman in a beehive hairstyle—booth highlights include new Rorschach-esque abstract paintings by Elizabeth Neel, priced at $25,000–$40,000; a wall piece by Rodney McMillian made from a found crocheted blanket slathered with industrial house paint; a trio of Sadie Benning paintings; an Arlene Shechet ceramic that resembles a Mondrian crossed with a Rubik’s Cube; and a $9,000 painting by April Street made from vintage nylons that she dyes, stuffs, and paints to create voluminous works with hints of the quiet drama of Dutch still lifes.
Corrections: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the artist János Szász as Endre Szász; Leo Villareal’s “Illuminated River” initiative was mistakenly referred to as “The Illuminated River” and stated that 15 bridges will be illuminated, when there will be up to 15 bridges illuminated; and there were 198 galleries presenting at the fair, not 197. The text has been updated to reflect these changes.