Art Market

What Sold at The Armory Show 2022

Ayanna Dozier
Sep 12, 2022 10:53PM

Installation view of The Armory Show, 2022. Photo by Vincent Tullo. Courtesy of The Armory Show.

The 2022 edition of The Armory Show resembled a New York of a seemingly bygone era: a bustling scene of an extremely sociable, engaged, global, and exhausted art world audience. For the past two years, art fairs have responded to and transformed in response the ever-shifting social and travel restrictions related to COVID-19, which led to an increase in online selling methods and a shift towards local fairs. And while virtual tools like online viewing rooms have largely remained, The Armory Show 2022 painted a vibrant picture of the New York art world that was both lively and crowded—a vision of the city’s art scene that has been sorely missed.

This liveliness, which extended to gallery openings and parties across the city, was matched with strong sales. By Saturday evening, the exhaustion was palatable but did not deter gallerists and attendees from conversing with one another well past closing time, to the extent that the Javits Center had to abruptly shut the lights off to push out the remaining attendees (myself included). Many gallerists noted that the swift transition from the inaugural edition of Frieze Seoul to The Armory Show contributed to a particularly exhausting fair week.

Installation view of GRIMM’s booth at The Armory Show, 2022. Courtesy of GRIMM.


Hormoz Hematian, director of Tehran-based gallery Dastan, was one of the exhibitors that attended both of the back-to-back fairs and noted that at the inaugural edition of Frieze Seoul, the audience was thoroughly mixed. “There were all sorts of different people coming to see the art,” he said. Hematian attributed that diversity to the large-scale exposure of Frieze, which attracted an international crowd, in addition to Seoul’s local collector base. “The Korean crowd were super pumped for the first edition of the Korean art fair,” he added.

However, Hematian also noted the importance of enduring a marathon of travel in order to attend The Armory Show—which, while compared to Seoul, was slightly more subdued, was worthwhile for the conversations with curators and collectors that occur in New York. “When you come to a large art fair with so many great galleries exhibiting next to you, showing artists that you believe in such a great city, it’s a positive thing,” he said. “This is no exception.”

Andisheh Avini, Chrysler Building, 2018. Courtesy of Dastan.

Iman Raad, Sad Easterner, Pomegranate-headed Sweetbitter, 2022. Courtesy of Dastan.

Hematian added, “The Armory Show is known to have brought in amazing artists from around the world, hanging excellent artworks on the walls and that still remains the case with this [year’s fair].” Dastan showed a two-artist presentation of works by Iman Reed and Andisheh Avini. The gallery sold several works by both artists in the price range of $5,000–$15,000 per piece.

Artists, too, seemed excited by the fair. Nicky Nodjoumi, who attended Armory for the second time this year as just a viewer, was impressed with paintings on view. “I’m in love with [the art] of painting,” he said. “And this year, there were so many good works that it was almost impossible to see them all.”

Ching Ho Cheng, Untitled (Palmetto Series), 1981. Courtesy of BANK/Mabsociety.

Painting, unsurprisingly, sold exceptionally well at the fair. At BANK/Mabsociety, founder and director Mathieu Borysevicz was excited to present a two-artist booth of works by Michael Lin and Ching Ho Cheng—both artists from the Asian diaspora who have history with the New York art scene. Lin currently has a solo installation on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

BANK showed several of his incredibly exuberant paintings that feature a dominant pale blue background with small bouquets of red and purple flowers painted at the edge of the frame. Additionally, the gallery featured muted gouache on paper works by Cheng, an artist who passed away from complications from HIV/AIDS in 1989 and is currently having a moment on the secondary market. Borysevicz informed Artsy that the gallery sold several works by the fair’s conclusion, plus multiple institutional conversations scheduled. The works were priced in the range of $38,000–$98,000.

Installation view of Anat Ebgi’s booth at The Armory Show, 2022. Courtesy of Anat Ebgi.

Anat Ebgi sold out its booth on the opening VIP day. The booth featured an incredible selection of prints, sculptures, paintings, and textiles, and also reflected the current broader emphasis on work by emerging women artists and artists of color, as well as craft materials and techniques seen in both the primary and secondary markets. The gallery was fielding multiple institutional inquiries for its Jordan Nassar textile work, Écrasante beauté (2022), and had placed the rest of the works in the booth—including a mesmerizing painting by Tammi Campbell—with prominent collections in the U.S. and Spain.

HOUSING gallery noted that the fair helped further cement the rising status of the artist Nathaniel Oliver. Oliver’s paintings draw inspiration from the portraits of Alice Neel and Noah Davis in how they reflect and abstract their subjects’ daily experiences. The artist’s figurative style and growing profile no doubt contributed to the booth selling out by the conclusion of the vernissage, with works priced from $42,000–$65,000 each.

Vaughn Spann, St. Helens, 2022. Courtesy of Almine Rech.

Some other notable sales include the following:

AES+F, Inverso Mundus, Inquisition or Women’s Labor #2, 2015. Courtesy of Galeria Senda.

Ozioma Onuzulike, Royal Babariga, 2022. Courtesy of kó.

  • Nara Roesler’s top sales at the VIP opening included a Tomie Ohtake painting that sold for $240,000, in addition to strong sales of works by André Griffo—Farm management instructions 6 (2022), which sold for $30,000—and Marco A. Castillo—Wakamba 5 (2022), which sold for $110,000.
  • Galeria Senda presented a solo booth on the Russian collective AES+F, which attracted heavy-weight collector Steve Wilson (co-founder of 21c Museum-Hotels), who ultimately bought a sculpture, in the price range of $35,000–$60,000, and a painting, Inverso Mundus, Inquisition or Women’s Labor #2 (2015). The painting is extremely notable, as the collective has only produced 20 paintings in its 35-year career.
  • The major collector Beth Rudin DeWoody purchased a Kyle Staver painting for $32,000 from Half Gallery and a piece by Ozioma Onuzulike for $65,000 from the Lagos-based gallery kó. A representative from kó said the gallery was very excited to be at The Armory Show, and the team was enthusiastic about the success and attention the gallery received as first-time exhibitors for its two-artist booth, which also featured the work of Nnenna Okore.

Marc Padeu, Le dejéuner dans la plantation, 2022. Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery.

  • Jack Bell Gallery sold all of its three paintings by Marc Padeu in the range of $55,000–$65,000.
  • Sargent’s Daughters nearly sold out its solo booth dedicated to painter Emily Furr, who is also the subject of its current solo exhibition, with prices ranging from $3,500 for small works to $65,000 for large-scale paintings.
  • Galleria Lorcan O’Neill made several notable sales to U.S.-based private collectors, including a variety of Kiki Smith’s work, priced from $24,000–$165,000. Gallery director Laura Chiari said she was happy with her experience at the fair and was glad to present works from Smith—who currently has a solo show at the gallery’s space in Rome—to an enthusiastic audience.
  • Two brand-new paintings by Chris Ofili sold for $600,000 each at David Zwirner, which also had one of the top sales of the fair, with Huma Bhabha’s new sculpture I’m A Friend (2022) selling for $350,000 to a South Asian museum.

Caroline Walker, Cashing Up, 2022. Courtesy of GRIMM.

Tjebbe Beeckman, Massacre of the Innocents, 2022. Courtesy of GRIMM.

Grimm returned to The Armory Show after a three-year hiatus with strong sales. Most notable were its sales of Caroline Walker’s painting Cashing Up (2022) for $150,000 to a U.S. institution; a mixed-media piece by Michael Raedecker for $110,000; Angela Heisch’s painting Green Pond (2022) for $50,000; and Arturo Kameya’s installation Olor a gas / Gas smell II (2021) for $15,000.

Of the Kameya installation, senior director Sebastiaan Brandsen said, “We’re getting a lot of response to the work of Arturo Kameya; it is one of our showstoppers. It was a work that was originally made for the New Museum Triennial, where it was on display last year.” The gallery also sold a work by Dutch artist Tjebbe Beekman, the subject of a forthcoming show at its New York location, for roughly $35,000.

Ana Teresa Fernández, Eco and Narciso II (performance documentation, Rodeo Room at the Headlands Center for the Arts), 2008. Courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery.

Other works that received institutional placements include the following:

Jenny Morgan, The Lineage, 2022. Courtesy of Prince & Wooster.

Helina Metaferia, Headdress XLVII, 2022. Courtesy of Addis Fine Art.

While sales were strong and appeared to counter the declining economic climate, the true highlight of The Armory Show this year was the return of in-person sociality. Artist Helina Metaferia—who presented a solo booth with Addis Fine Art and sold two works from her photo collage series “By Way of Revolution” (2018–present) in the range of $12,000–$15,000—deeply appreciated the conversations she had between collectors and curators alike. “It was great to hear feedback [from new audiences] and know that the work resonated with them because my work is so political…audiences were able to see themselves in it,” she said.

“Fairs like this provide artists with a concentrated, international audience that a standard gallery show cannot provide, so I really appreciated having a physical presence here,” she added. The artist also noted that this audience was important because, to her, there was an increased visibility of women artists and artists of color whose work presented a variety of important political issues.

“Artists are influenced by their environment and what’s happening in the current situation,” Metaferia continued. “[Artists] are inspired by their lived experiences, and there is a lot of shared anger and grief that is expressed through the artworks at the fair. But thank God, we have art to help us get through this!”

Ayanna Dozier
Ayanna Dozier is Artsy’s Staff Writer.