Your Guide to Armory Week’s 33 Best Exhibitions

Artsy Editorial
Mar 7, 2015 1:08AM

Let’s face it, there’s only so much time you can spend walking The Armory Show’s aisles. But, New York’s most jampacked week of art doesn’t stop at 12th Ave. To help guide you through the best of Armory’s collateral exhibitions—and some worthy ones outside the official programming too—Artsy deployed its staff on a mission this week: see and review as many shows as possible (listed alphabetically by gallery name) in only one sentence. You’re welcome.

“Herb Alpert and Richard Mayhew: Harmonic Rhythms” at ACA Galleries 

Juxtaposition: I can’t think of a better word for Herb Alpert and Richard Mayhew, whose musically inspired chromatic images and bronze sculptures are so different, yet so perfectly paired. —Becca Starr

“Simon Norfolk: Stratographs” at Benrubi Gallery

In this first exhibition in the gallery’s new Chelsea space, Norfolk tracks the decline of the Lewis Glacier in photographs that are at once a beautiful testament to his skill as an artist and a poignant reminder of natural loss. —Jordan Hart

Julia Dault at Marianne Boesky 

Julia Dault, Hero Champ, 2014. Acrylic on canvas 120 x 108 inches 304.8 x 274.3 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York Photo Credit: Anthony Walsh.


Dault’s full-frontal process-based sculptures and paintings, marked with her characteristically wild colors and patterns, “slippages,” folds, bends, and perfect imperfections, have viewers delightfully looking into, through, and out of her works, only to be lost within them again. —Marina Cashdan

“Antonakos: 1977-78, Cuts and a Wall” at Lori Bookstein Fine Art 

Installation images don’t do Stephen Antonakos justice; these supremely subtle pieces beg you to get up close and see the layers—and don’t miss the installation in the back! —B.S.

“Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic” at The Brooklyn Museum

Aside from Wiley’s brilliant use of color, intricate floral patterning, and perfect renderings of sneakers, I was most struck by the penetrating—often searing—gaze that Wiley preserves in his subjects, from the 25-foot-long Femme piquée par un serpent (2008) to the alluring and authoritative women that fill the penultimate gallery. —Casey Lesser

“Nathalie du Pasquier: It Is Hard to Get Excited About Growth of Less Than 3% With No Sign of Imminent Improvement” at Chamber

Kit Nº9, 2014-2015
Kit Nº7, 2014-2015

Known as one of the founding members of postmodernism’s iconic Memphis Group and recently through her high-profile design collaborations with Hay and American Apparel, Nathalie du Pasquier presents her latest work at Chamber, in an exhibition of clever, wall-mounted, mixed media works comprised of painted wood constructions paired with trompe l’oeil cut-outs. —Alex Gilbert

“Some Assembly Required” at The Curator Gallery

Curated by Maine-based artist Mark Wethli, “Some Assembly Required” features work from six contemporary artists, whose geometric forms are consistent throughout the show yet presented differently by each artist. —J.H.

“On View: Selections from the Troemel Collection” at Zach Feuer

Though I arrived shortly after a rogue drone crashed into a gallery-goer on opening night, the most talked-about item of the Troemel collection—featuring everything from bitcoins to Chuck E. Cheese coins to KAWS action figures—has proven to be a full set of mint-condition McDonald’s Furbys from 1998, perched on neon rock-climbing wall mounts. —Molly Gottschalk

“In the Studio: Paintings” at Gagosian Gallery

Near left to right: © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York; © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York © Gagosian Gallery. Photo by Robert McKeever.

Featuring artists from Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin to Jasper Johns, this truly stunning exhibition spans centuries of artists depicting the studio, offering a quiet but powerful meditation on a space that holds a mythical fascination—and will remind you why you fell in love with art. —Catherine Henry

“Present Life: A solo exhibition of work by Zoë Buckman” at Garis & Hahn

Untitled 7 (Present Life), 2013
Garis & Hahn
Untitled 6 (Present Life), 2013
Garis & Hahn

If you’re curious to know what a placenta preserved in plastic looks like, stop by Garis & Hahn on Bowery to see their new exhibition of works by Zoë Buckman—you might be surprised to discover how very beautiful an organ can be. —J.H.

“Lamia Joreige: Records for Uncertain Times” at Taymour Grahne

In her first U.S. solo show, Lamia Joreige has assembled an intimate, striking exhibition that deals with the aftermath of war in her hometown Beirut, including a series of large-scale photograms depicting the artist asleep, and small images that capture a sniper’s point-of-view.  —C.L.

“Hadieh Shafie: Surfaced” at Leila Heller Gallery 

Hadieh Shafie is one of those artists that begs you to get up close and look at the materials, the detail, and recognize the sheer force of intention with which every decision in every work was made. —B.S.

Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan

Installation view of Kevin Beasley at Casey Kaplan. Photos: Jean Vong All images courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York 

Beasley’s post-apocalyptic sculptures remind me of Francis Bacon’s painted figures—distorted organisms that here take the form of a soundscape, with old-lady housecoats, white t-shirts, and the artist’s own clothes reincarnated as resin-coated acoustic mirrors cast in satellite dishes, strategically placed to reflect the constant drone of Beasley’s augmented vintage piano. —Halley Johnson

Anicka Yi: You Can Tell Me F at The Kitchen

Panopticon-redolent motocross helmets and traces of unseen performances sit in vitrines constructed from what look like shower curtains in this must-see show. —Alexander Forbes

Olivier Mosset at Koenig & Clinton

Considering our moment of purchase-primed, bro-tastic painting, one could mistakenly pass over Mosset’s latest as falling into that facile realm, but these monochromes, named after four fellow artists—Alfred Leslie, Robert Breer, Alex Hay, and Duane Zaloudek—and created in polyurethane (typically used to line truck beds), prove just how prescient Mosset has been and continues to be. —A.F.

“Alex Da Corte, Die Hexe” at Luxembourg & Dayan

Installation view of Alex Da Corte, Die Hexe, 2015. Photo by John Bernardo, Courtesy of Luxembourg & Dayan, New York.

Rattle the gold, hand-shaped knocker on the door of Luxembourg & Dayan’s Upper East Side townhouse to enter Alex Da Corte’s “Die Hexe” (“the witch”) for a surreal, three-floor climb through carefully staged mise-en-scènes; cameos by Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, and Bjarne Melgaard aside, my lipstick changed color when I moved through each distinct vignette—a perk the artist brought to my attention himself. —M.G.

“Joram Roukes & Charles Wilkin” at Masters Projects

Though Roukes and Wilkin work in different media—painting and collage, respectively—the two artists are united through their readymade images,  which celebrate darkly glamorous and surreal subject matter. —J.H.

Nancy Graves at Mitchell-Innes & Nash 

Bones and Their Containers, 1971
Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Xola, 1977
Mitchell-Innes & Nash

Nancy Graves digs deep into her obsession with natural history, playing with various media to explore our conceptions of animal life and the passing of time; while my favorites were her enormous, richly layered, rainbow paintings, don’t miss the “droppings” hidden in the corner! —Katherine Gregory

“Lena Henke and Max Brand: looking at you (revived) again” at Off Vendome
Düsseldorf-based gallery Off Vendome’s new NYC outpost has a pleasantly undone vibe that’s well-suited to its inaugural exhibition of works by young German artists (YGA?) Lena Henke—who has assembled a handful of amorphous but figural pieces from her sand-sculpted “Female Fatigue” series—and Max Brand, whose neo-expressionism-cum-graffiti-collaged paintings are topped off by a series of drawings that spill down the stairwell joining the gallery’s two floors. —H.J.

“Isamu Noguchi: Variations” at Pace Gallery

Installation view of “Isamu Noguchi: Variations” at Pace Gallery, New York. Courtesy of Pace Gallery.

Featuring career highlights across all disciplines, “Variations” emphasizes Noguchi’s core belief that sculpture was applicable to all of his work—here made evident through the placement of a scale model for a playground slide next to Octetra, a painted cement public sculpture from 1968 and his 1944 stage set for Martha Graham’s Hérodiade, the show’s highlight. —A.G.

Leonardo Drew at Pace Prints

Drew rethinks the definition of a print through a new series of large-scale and cast-paper works, covered with shimmering metallic pigments and filled with sculptural depth and and an emotive tone that is unexpected and refreshing, reflecting the artist’s better-known assemblage sculptures. —C.L.

Eric Timothy Carlson at Patrick Parrish Gallery

Flat Black Rat Bike No Pedestrian Nerve Column, 2015
Patrick Parrish Gallery
Gate Keep Gate Keeper, 2015
Patrick Parrish Gallery
Harp & Scepter Stylus Serpent Seal, 2015
Patrick Parrish Gallery

Step into Patrick Parrish Gallery and your attention will immediately be drawn to the bold, bright yellow, 20-by-20-foot eye mural, but closer inspection reveals a broad array of 2D and 3D work throughout the gallery, including “Night Draws,” a series of delicately detailed graphite drawings on print mounts from a 1890s portfolio of Toulouse Lautrec prints. —A.G.

“Morning Glory: Paula Hayes” at Salon 94

Installation view of “Morning Glory: Paula Hayes” at Salon 94, New York. Courtesy of Salon 94 and the artist.

Throughout her two-decade career, Paula Hayes has used living plants as the primary medium of her work, and for the first time, in “Morning Glory,” Hayes turns her attention to large-scale, luminous sculptures, hand-cast in acrylic, with forms imitating flowering vines in brightly colored hues inspired by the Aurora borealis. —A.G.

“Adam Magyar: Kontinuum” at Julie Saul Gallery

As New Yorkers, we’re constantly inundated with images of urban transit, but Adam Magyar’s photographs—at once quiet and loud—make it something special. —B.S.

“Chamberlain–Prouvé” at Gagosian Gallery in collaboration with Galerie Patrick Seguin

Installation “Chamberlain | Prouvé” at Gagosian Gallery, New York. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Patrick Seguin. Photo by Rob McKeever.

The monumental work of heavyweights John Chamberlain and Jean Prouvé, united in their mastery of steel, are brought together in another blockbuster collaboration by Gagosian and Seguin and there is no way you won’t be blown away when you step inside the 24th street galleries, where large Chamberlain sculptures are placed in and around two full-scale Prouvé buildings—the product of a logistically complicated 10-day installation. —A.G

Installation view of “Hayv Kahraman: How Iraqi Are You?” at Jack Shainman Gallery. Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery and the artist.

Taking 12th-century Iraqi manuscripts as an aesthetic jumping-off point (as well as influences of Renaissance paintings and Japanese illustrations), Iraqi-American painter Hayv Kahraman’s large-scale paintings are an ode to the sensuous, sometimes “saucy” female—vignettes that display scenes of camaraderie and demure playfulness, which counter a feeling of otherness and repression. —M.C.

“Justin Gilzene: POP LIFE” at The Sol Studio 

Inspired by the NBA All-Star game, Justin Gilzene presents bright, thick confections of pop culture icons, professional athletes, and cartoons that carry tongue-in-cheek messages and are inviting, funny, and brilliantly crafted. —K.G.

“Deborah Turbeville: Unseen Versailles Revisited” at Staley-Wise Gallery 

Peering into the back rooms, closets, and storage sheds of Versailles, Deborah Turbeville presents an entirely new way of viewing this luxe palace through grainy, warm photographs that are haunting in their emptiness and decay. —K.G.

“Chamberlain, de Kooning & Others” at Allan Stone Projects 

The dialogue between de Kooning’s brushwork and Chamberlain’s sharp metallic sculptures offers a unique new way of comparing the practices of these two icons. —K.G.

“Florian Meisenberg: Delivery to the following recipients failed permanently” at Simone Subal 

Florian Meisenberg, (installation view) Delivery to the following recipients failed permanently (I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me.), 2015. 2 channel live-feed installation. Courtesy the artist and Simone Subal Gallery, New York

Though Florian cut his teeth as a painter, this second solo show for the rising German, Brooklyn-based star proves him an equally-worthy master of video, with dueling screens projecting separate infinite loops of objects algorithmically pulled from online catalogues of 3D scans and swallowed up by amoeba-like blobs against greco-roman backdrops—oh yeah, there’s a great triptych too. —A.F. 

“See Me, Feel Me” at Margaret Thatcher Projects

Recent History, 2014
Margaret Thatcher Projects

The delicate, elegant works in this show employ bold color patterns to create powerful conceptual objects, and a beautiful Brice Brown installation in the project room creatively interprets body parts as interior decorations. —J.H.

“Robin Layton: Hoop The American Dream” at Winston Wächter Fine Art

Rusty backyard basketball hoops and forgotten city courts are given new life in these absorbing photographs by journalist Robin Layton, which make me feel like it’s time to start working on my jump shot. —J.H.

“Suzan Frecon: oil paintings and sun” at David Zwirner

Installation view from the 2015 solo exhibition “oil paintings and sun” at David Zwirner, New York. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London.

Out of the four exhibitions currently on view across Zwirner’s two galleries, I expected to be the least-floored by this one; instead, I stayed far too long (considering other commitments on a busy Armory Friday) basking in Frecon’s remarkably wonderful, almost Rothko-esque mastery of color. —A.F.

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Artsy Editorial