At any art fair, there comes a time when fairgoers are forced to pick favorites. Yesterday’s Armory Show vernissage was no different, with a flood of art-world darlings, collectors, and curators poised to pounce on the choice selection of works on offer. Among others spotted strolling through the aisles were institutional leaders like the Brooklyn Museum’s Arnold Lehman and the Andy Warhol Museum’s Eric Shiner, artists Maurizio Cattelan, Lucien Smith, and Kadar Brock, mainstay collectors Don and Mera Rubell and Susan and Michael Hort, and a few somewhat incognito celebrities—Tobey Maguire and Neil Patrick Harris, to name a couple surprises. Over the course of the day, Artsy caught up with influencers from across the art world, who talked us through their favorite projects.
Anita Zabludowicz with Elliott Hundley’s Amaryllis (2015) at Regen Projects’s booth. Photo by Christophe Tedjasukmana for Artsy.
Anita Zabludowicz, Collector
“I’ve been coming here for umpteen years, and every time I come the fair gets better and better. There are always more interesting things to see. They have a wonderful experimental section, where you can find very interesting young artists such as Jesse Stecklow at M+B or Rachael Champion, which is always great to see. There is a lot more experimentation going on, but at the same time there are wonderful older artists like Carolee Schneemann on show, as well. This is a work by a more established artist named Elliott Hundley. He’s still pretty young, really, but we’ve followed his work for many years now since he started showing in L.A. We love the way that he works with people and different environments within the collages. He uses fabrics and weaves and stitches and paints. The only thing I haven’t yet seen him do is use electrical technology, but everything he does—it’s incredible.”
Mary Ceruti with works by Martin Boyce, Martin Creed, and Roman Ondak at Johnen Galerie’s Booth. Photo by Christophe Tedjasukmana for Artsy.
Mary Ceruti, Chief Curator, SculptureCenter
“These are all artists that I think are excellent, but I like the way that Martin Boyce’s piece becomes both a sculpture and a platform for the other works. I like the way it frames and also has a dialogue with the other works in the booth, which I credit the gallery for thinking to do. They’re artists that have very diverse approaches to their work. I wouldn’t naturally put them together, but this grouping works really well, I think.”
Bernard Lumpkin with works by Abigail DeVille at Michel Rein’s booth. Photo by Christophe Tedjasukmana for Artsy.
Bernard Lumpkin, Collector
“Abigail DeVille makes these amazing sculptural, installation-esque pieces, which involve objects that she gathers and collects and finds and then puts together in amazing, surprising ways. I’m a trustee at the Studio Museum, and we are big supporters of her work. She just did our artist-in-residence program last year. I love these works. They make you think creatively as a collector about how to live with art. It’s always easy to live with paintings or photographs, the kind of thing you can just put on the wall and it looks pretty and is easy to manage and move around. These sort of works require a different kind of commitment. But I also think the reward is different and deeper, when living with work like this that makes familiar objects seem strange and everyday articles feel out of the ordinary.”
José Parlá with Teresita Fernández’s model for Fata Morgana in Lehmann Maupin’s booth. Photo by Christophe Tedjasukmana for Artsy.
José Parlá, Artist
“Teresita [Fernández] and I were talking on the phone the other day about this project. [Fata Morgana will be installed at Madison Square Park, opening April 30th.] I wish I could just shrink and sit on one of the benches right now. I’ve been a big fan of Teresita’s work since I was pretty young. I finally met her through a mutual friend, David Berliner, who commissioned me to do the Barclays Center. We’ve been in touch ever since. We’re actually neighbors—we have studios down the street from each other.”
Michael and Susan Hort with Stefania Batoeva’s So Fuzzy, So Warm (2015) at Mihai Nicodim Gallery’s booth. Photo by Christophe Tedjasukmana for Artsy.
Michael and Susan Hort, Collectors
“We really like this fair. It’s really wonderful—we always come and are able to discover new artists. We just purchased this work [So fuzzy, So warm (2015) by Bulgarian artist Stefania Batoeva]. We actually first saw her at Art Los Angeles Contemporary a month ago, and we were very intrigued with her. The work is very fresh.”
Elisabeth Sherman with a work by Martin Wong at P.P.O.W’s booth. Photo by Christophe Tedjasukmana for Artsy.
Elisabeth Sherman, Senior Curatorial Assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art
“I’m generally really bad about peeking into the closets of galleries. But that’s generally where some of the best things are stored. At P.P.O.W’s booth, some real gems are back there. They have work by Martin Wong, David Wojnarowicz, Carolee Schneemann, Martha Wilson, four fantastic artists making very different work but all very powerful and political work. So it was a real treat to see these real icons arrayed on shelves in their closet.”
Lucas Blalock and Chris Wiley. Photo by Christophe Tedjasukmana for Artsy.
Lucas Blalock, Artist
“I just came to see the Chris Wileys, really.”
Chris Wiley, Artist
“Lucas and I randomly met at a party eight years ago and became really good friends. I’ve been really, really happy with the response to this booth [Nicelle Beauchene]. It was such a great opportunity to show here. It’s my first solo presentation at a fair and my first time showing at the Armory.
—Alexxa Gotthardt & Alexander Forbes