My Highlights from The Armory Show 2014

Brett Littman
Feb 24, 2014 11:54PM

When I go to The Armory Show I find that the things that stick with me are from a variety of mediums. Sometimes I remember work that is more poetic (Marco Breuer or Thomas Fougeirol) or an image that is immediate and powerful like the William Klein photo Gun 1, New York, or the anti-Nazi posters at Andrew Edlin Gallery. 

Thomas Fougeirol, Untitled, 2013, at PRAZ-DELAVALLADE

Thomas Fougeirol’s work is all about “impressions.” These ghost-like images are the result of applying, pressing, and transferring paint from one surface to another. What the viewer is left with is a sense of the fleeting presence of the body, the hand, and light.

Marco Breuer, Drag (C-1083), 2011, at Yossi Milo Gallery

Marco Breuer’s camera-less photography has beguiled me since 1998 when I was introduced to his work. By scratching, shooting (literally with a gun), burning, and hand manipulating the emulsive photo paper surface Breuer makes images which are physical and abstract—but still act as a record of time.

Nina Papaconstantinou, Virginia Woolf, A Letter To A Young Poet, 2011, at Kalfayan Galleries 

This work Virginia Woolf, A Letter to a Young Poet, one of a larger series of transcribed texts by the Greek artist Nina Papaconstantinou, was a highlight in Claire Gilman’s excellent exhibition for The Drawing Center entitled “Drawing Time Reading Time.” Nina has hand-written the complete Virginia Woolf text on one sheet of carbon paper—and many visitors that I toured through this exhibition marveled at the focus and tenacity of the artist to create such a work and her ability to blur the line between content, meaning, and form. 

William Klein, Gun 1, New York, 1955, at Howard Greenberg Gallery

One of my all time favorite photographs. Here William Klein’s unique sense of cropping and blur create an image that once you see you will never forget. Given today’s debates on guns and their effects on kids, this work looks quite prescient for 1955.

P. Sarkisyan and O. Brik, They will not Swim out!, 1944, at Andrew Edlin Gallery 

More posters from Andrew Edlin’s excellent 2011–2012 “Die, Nazi Scum!,” an exhibition of Soviet anti-Nazi propaganda posters produced during the Second World War. These posters, which conveyed the “no surrender” mantra of the Soviets during the Nazi invasion, were created by the leading artists, poets, and writers of the time. These highly evocative and generally uncensored posters give us a real sense of how the arts can intersect with and change history.

David Reed, Color Study #12, Color Study for Painting #621, 2013, at Peter Blum Gallery 

I have been looking at these David Reed Color Study drawings for several years now at Peter Blum. I find them absolutely revelatory and informative. For anyone who collects painting and wants to see how drawing denudes the thinking behind composition and color, these are essential and important documents. 

Brett Littman