Highlights from The Armory Show 2013

Eric Shiner
Feb 27, 2013 2:04PM

Julie Cockburn, House at Yossi Milo

As I’m not familiar with Julie Cockburn’s work, I’m very eager to see her hand-embroidered photographs in real life. The addition of handiwork to an historic image of banal America (or wherever the photos happen to be taken) is haunting and romantic in equal measure. 

Dario Escobar, Sem titulo at Baró Galeria

I’ve always been a fan of Dario Escobar’s work. He is represented twice at the fair—at Baró Galeria and at Josée Bienvenu Gallery. I am especially looking forward to seeing his golden McDonald’s cup at Baró Galeria’s booth, as it captures the high and low aspects of our contemporary consumerist society. And Warhol would have loved it.

Natalie Frank, Interior at Fredericks & Freiser

Natalie Frank is a fantastic painter, and her new pictures take us into a strange world of torment and bliss, although we can’t always tell which is the more prevalent. She’s been working on twisted fairy tale images of late, too, so I think that her parables might be just as relevant today as they were when the Brothers Grimm first released their eccentric tales.

Daniel Joseph Martinez, A Little Liberty at Roberts & Tilton

Daniel Joseph Martinez’s voice is one of the most important in the contemporary art world, thanks to his courage to call out the misdeeds of society. I always respect his work, and I’m excited to see what he’s done to Lady Liberty at the fair.

Duane Michals, James Joyce at DC Moore Gallery

Moving over to Pier 92, I’m really looking forward to seeing Duane Michals’ new work, in which he draws and paints directly on historic photographic imagery. Duane is one of our cherished native sons of Pittsburgh and was a close friend of Andy Warhol, by the way.

Betye Saar, new work at Roberts & Tilton

Betye Saar is one of the most important artists of the 20th-century, and I’m thrilled to see that she will be presenting new works here at the fair. We are currently honored to be the host of her iconic The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972) at The Andy Warhol Museum right now as part of the “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years” exhibition. Her courage in re-appropriating racial stereotype in the late 1960s and early 1970s has paved the way for so many of the best artists working today, and she is still making intriguing work forty years later!

Tomoaki Suzuki, Carson at Corvi-Mora

I’m intrigued by Tomoaki Suzuki’s sculptures and his decision to depict a young punk/goth boy on a small scale, carved from wood. 

Tony Tasset, Snowman at Kavi Gupta

Tony Tasset’s work always puts a smile on my face. We are very lucky to have two of his bronze magnolia trees permanently installed in downtown Pittsburgh, and it is always great to watch people’s quizzical looks as they pass by these full-bloom beauties in the middle of winter. I would imagine that this snowman will be equally effective come summertime. Tony was part of The Andy Warhol Museum’s Unnatural Rubber competition in 2009, where we challenged artists to make a new work of art from as much synthetic rubber from the region’s LANXESS Corporation as they could get their hands on. Tony submitted a great snowman proposal but sadly didn’t win, so I’m even happier that his snowman can come to life here at The Armory Show. 

Marijke van Warmerdam, solo show at Galerie van Gelder

I first saw Marijke van Warmerdam’s video work in Japan in the late ‘90s and have been a fan ever since. Her work isn’t as widely known in the States as it is in Europe and Asia, and I’m thrilled that Galerie van Gelder is giving her a solo show Stateside so that American curators and collectors can become more familiar with her fantastic work. 

Gillian Wearing, The Artist’s Hand at Whitechapel Gallery

Gillian Wearing’s The Artist’s Hand is definitely the creepiest thing in The Armory Show this year, just as it is most likely going to be one of the most fabulous. I love the multi-colored nail polish on this wax hand, mimicking the artist’s own. Of course, the artist’s hand is one of the most important tools that she has to make her works, but the fact that it is disembodied from the artist’s core makes one question if it is the hand, the head or the heart that really matters most.

Eric Shiner