Since its inception in 2012, The Armory Show’s Solo Projects section has offered an in-depth look at an artist’s practice, allowing collectors to more deeply engage with their oeuvre. This year, the section has been expanded and rebranded to include the work of up to two artists (many of them emerging) from cutting-edge galleries under ten years old. “Emerging” and “young” are buzzwords for artists and galleries alike: “It’s a form of angel investing: a way to identify and nurture talent at its earliest stages,” artist Hilary Harkness once said of collectors who put their faith in her as she was becoming established. The new section, titled Armory Presents, puts the spotlight on galleries from Los Angeles to Saudi Arabia and a mix of established and up-and-coming artists you can connect with, at length, in the calm of these curated projects.
Francois Ghebaly Gallery: Davide Balula
One of the most exciting new tenants of the downtown Los Angeles art scene, Francois Ghebaly moved from a small gallery in Chinatown and then a former muffler shop in Culver City to an arts cooperative housed in a warehouse five times the space of his last venue. At the Armory Show, Ghebaly will present the curvilinear canvases of French artist Davide Balula from his L.A. solo debut last spring. Mimicking the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling walls at the Guggenheim Museum, Balula’s works were made with special permission to measure the curve and slope of the museum’s walls.
C L E A R I N G: Harold Ancard
Holding court on Brussels’ trendy Avenue Louise—“the Champs-Elysées of Brussels”—and in Brooklyn’s gritty Bushwick gallery district, C L E A R I N G Gallery is well known in both worlds for a sharp eye for emerging artists (Korakrit Arunanondchai, Ryan Foerster, and Sebastian Black, to name a few). Last fall, Belgian artist Harold Ancart transformed the gallery’s Brooklyn space into a faux jungle, wallpapered with forest imagery and embellished with burnt photographs of idyllic vacation spots and oil stick-based drawings recalling parrot feathers. Ancart has been named one of 25 artists to watch in 2014, and the gallery’s Armory booth, filled with these recent works, is a perfect way to begin.
Figge von Rosen Galerie: Jose Dávila and Ignacio Uriarte
First in Cologne and now with a second space in Berlin, Figge von Rosen Galerie has become an anchor of the German gallery scene. At the fair, they’ll show Guadalajara-born artist Jose Dávila’s cut-outs, featuring photographs of iconic artworks and structures where the central object has been removed, leaving only a silhouette filled with blank, white space. Sharing the booth, Berlin-based artist Ignacio Uriarte—who nixed his office day job to make artwork full-time, often from office supplies—will show amorphous, ink-on-paper abstractions.
Rotwand: Klodin Erb
Since 2007, Zurich-based gallerists Sabine Kohler and Bettina Meier-Bickel have built a strong reputation for fostering emerging Swiss artists through the diverse program of their gallery, Rotwand. Last year, in their Armory Show debut, the gallery showed work by Swiss artist Klaus Lutz; this year, it will return with a solo presentation of Swiss painter Klodin Erb and her newest body of work, “Orlando.” Inspired by the homonymous novel by Virginia Woolf, “Orlando” features a playful series of portraits loosely connected to narrative themes, and exploring the history and contemporary relevance of portraiture.
James Fuentes LLC: Jessica Dickinson
From his first 300-square-foot gallery space in New York City’s Chinatown to his current space on the Lower East Side, James Fuentes’s eponymous gallery space has made a name for promoting up-and-coming, often overlooked artists. Get to know Jessica Dickinson, an emerging New York artist known for her layered, painted abstractions that, requiring infinite scraping, erasing, sanding, and repainting, take months to a year to produce. For this reason, Dickinson completes about four paintings a year, and in the meantime, her drawing practice—evidenced in the selection of works on paper that will fill the gallery’s booth—is an extension of her paintings that helps broaden and develop her ideas.
INVISIBLE-EXPORTS: Scott Treleaven
After five years in a small space on Orchard Street, the Lower East Side gallery INVISIBLE-EXPORTS has joined the ranks of galleries upsizing within the neighborhood with a new space twice the size of their former gallery. Co-owned by Risa Needleman and Benjamin Tischer, the gallery is known for their mix of emerging artists and older but off-beat big names (think Cary Leibowitz, aka Candy Ass). At the Armory Show, it will show wall-to-wall works by Canadian artist Scott Treleaven, including blacked-out works on paper that build upon the trademark collages he began 20 years ago, and a new sculpture, the second in a series that began in 2012 at the Palais de Tokyo, featuring moving water and printed photographs.
Galerie Andreas Huber: Rita Sobral Campos
When in Vienna, Galerie Andreas Huber, located in Schleifmühlgasse at the center of the gallery district, is a place to discover emerging and established Austrian artists from the comfort of a gallery that has been likened to a typical Viennese apartment, with high ceilings and wooden floors. When at the Armory Show, the gallery is a stop to discover young artist Rita Sobral Campos and her narrative works, inspired by once-King of Prussia Friedrich II and medieval culture, including 24-karat gold leaf-on-inkjet prints and a wooden sculpture.
Jessica Silverman: Hayal Pozanti
In November, Jessica Silverman moved her San Francisco gallery in the city’s gritty Tenderloin neighborhood to a ground floor, corner spot four times the size of her previous location. A month later, the gallery’s booth was one of the most talked about highlights of NADA Miami—perhaps because of Silverman’s penchant for discovering emergent artists. At the Armory Show, the gallery will unveil a new series of paintings by Turkish-born Yale MFA grad Hayal Pozanti (who kindly opened her Queens’ studio to Artsy while making the works), derived from the artist’s unique language of bold, interlocking, and overlapping forms.
Athr Gallery: Ahmed Mater and Nassir Al Salem
Perched at the crown of a shopping mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Athr Gallery has become one of the most progressive venues of the Gulf—in fact, Esquire Magazine called it, “perhaps the most significant art space in the kingdom at present.” Known for supporting emerging and established contemporary Saudi artists, Athr Gallery will present two of the region’s rising stars at the Armory. From Ahmed Mater, it will show work from Desert of Pharan, a photographic narrative around the expansion of the Holy City, Mecca; and from Nassir Al Salem, formally trained in architecture and calligraphy, it will debut a stone sculpture whose title translates to, “they will be seen competing in constructing lofty buildings.”
Ani Molnár Gallery: Dénes Farkas
Located in the city center of Budapest, Ani Molnár Gallery is known for its strong focus on Eastern-European. Remember Dénes Farkas’ exhibition, “Evident in Advance,”at the Estonian Pavillion at the 55th Venice Biennale? The Hungarian-born, Estonia-based artist will be given a solo booth at the Armory Show, including images from his breakout exhibition at the Biennale and from his then-concurrent exhibition, “Credo,” which has been redesigned for the Armory Show.