The Armory Show 2016

NYC is in the midst of fair fever – art fair fever, that is. All manner of arty fairs are rolling into town this month, among them the Spring/Break Art Show, Pulse New York, art on paper, and The Armory Show.

185Image courtesy of Roberto Chamorro for The Armory Show.

The Armory Show, which was originally called the Gramercy International Art Fair after it’s then-home at the Gramercy Park Hotel, was founded in 1994 by a collective of art dealers. The fair got it’s present name from it’s next home – the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue, to whence it moved in 1999. The show is now based out of Piers 92 and 94 on the West Side.

Here are 10 of my picks from the Armory offerings of 2016:

186Dustin Yellin
Untitled, 2015
Glass, Collage, Acrylic
23 1/4 × 16 3/4 × 23 1/4 in
59.1 × 42.5 × 59.1 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Grimm.

Brooklyn-based trendsetter and tremendously talented artist Dustin Yellin makes his masterpieces in the same fashion nature makes diamonds – by pressing one element together until another comes to be.

This glass work, like the rest of Yellin’s similar sculptures, is made by way of layering together multiple pieces of glass. Each panel is painted or collaged with a flurry of images, which are then pressed and adhered together to create all manner of enchanting scenes.

187Gordon Parks
Untitled, Alabama, 1956
Archival pigment print
16 × 20 in
40.6 × 50.8 cm
Edition 15/1
Courtesy of the The Gordon Parks Foundation and Rhona Hoffman Gallery.

Gordon Parks was a man of a great many talents. Not only was he a musician, writer, filmmaker, and photographer; but he was also one of the most celebrated African American artists of his time. Parks was the first African American photojournalist to be hired full-time by LIFE magazine, and it is the photographs which he took during his tenure at that magazine which remain to be his best-known works.

Parks worked as a photographer with LIFE for 20 years, but was also a successful film director and screenwriter. He was the first African American to direct a major Hollywood picture, with his most well-known work in cinema being Shaft, which he directed and was released in 1971.

188Ori Gersht
On Reflection, Virtual E03, 2014
Light Jet print
72 2/5 × 73 in
184 × 185.5 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Ben Brown Fine Arts.

Israeli artist Ori Gersht was born in Tel Aviv but studied in London, where he now lives and works as a professor of photography at the University for the Creative Arts in Kent. Some of Gersht’s most recent studies include a series based on his examinations of how works in photography and painting represent reality.

The individual pieces start with silk flower arrangements, sometimes made to replicate those seen in paintings by Brueghel, which are positioned near to a mirror which is wired with an electrical charge. The mirror is made to explode, and the aftermath of the shattering floral reflection is caught by Gersht with a setup of two digital cameras.

189Richard Patterson
Christina by the River, 2015
Oil on canvas
12 × 10 in
30.5 × 25.4 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Timothy Taylor.

Visual artist Richard Patterson likes to take things we know – film, magazines, music, advertising – and turn them on their head. He engages with culture and his part in it on a deeper level, and then explores it all by way of his multilayered paintings, sculptures, and prints.

A member of the YBA – or, Young British Artists – and a fellow to Damien Hirst’s infamous student exhibition Freeze, Patterson currently lives and works in Texas.

190Sean Henry
Man on a Stool, 2016
Oil paint and bronze
37 4/5 × 17 7/10 × 25 3/5 in
96 × 45 × 65 cm
Edition of 5
Courtesy of the artist and Osborne Samuel.

Sean Henry has three pieces on display at The Armory Show 2016, including this work in painted bronze. The British sculptor’s figures are by no means new to the public realm, with Henry having completed several celebrated public works which are installed throughout the UK.

Henry’s public works include the 2007 installation Couple – a 13m high and 20m wide bronze and steel sculpture installed 300 metres off the Northumberland coast (and the UK’s first permanent offshore sculpture); as well as Holland Park’s Walking Man (2000), and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne’s Man with Potential Selves (2003).

191Ólafur Elíasson
Square Sphere, 2007
Stainless steel mirrors, bronzed brass
35 2/5 in
90 cm
Edition of 10
Courtesy of the artist and i8 Gallery.

Ólafur Elíasson had a big year last year. He has a big year most years, being among the most widely celebrated and influential artists in the world, but last year was an especially big one. Eliasson put on and put up art everywhere from China to Addis Ababa, but his best known work of 2015 might have been Ice Watch – the cluster of icebergs which were installed outside the Climate Change Conference in Paris.

This 2007 piece, Square Sphere, is a complicated mass of ball-shaped framework made up from rods of darkly bronzed brass. Inside the frame sits lots of little polished steel mirrors which are aligned to create polygonal tunnels, which allow the viewer to look through into the core of the sphere and out the other side.

192Elaine de Kooning
Pink Abstraction (Carmine Street Series), 1957
Enamel on Masonite
22 × 19 3/4 in
55.9 × 50.2 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Hollis Taggart Galleries.

Elaine Fried was born in Brooklyn, and studied at Hunter College and the Leonardo da Vinci Art School. At the tender age of 18, Elaine met a man in a cafeteria – an artist called Willem de Kooning. She and de Kooning married in 1943, but Elaine de Kooning became an influential and very well respected Abstract Expressionist in her own right.

Elaine de Kooning was as talented a writer as she was an artist, and as well as being a teacher, she also wrote many illuminative articles about the people and ideas that drove the movement with which she was so intimately familiar.

193Anni Albers
Do II, 1973
Screenprint on Fabriano
Cottone paper
25 9/10 × 25 9/10 in
65.7 × 65.7 cm
Edition of 50
Courtesy of the artist and Alan Cristea Gallery.

This brilliant, glowing shade of yellow must have been a familiar one in the Albers household. This geometric piece is an impression quite different from the other art created alongside it, and one which is entirely unique to it’s artist: Annie Albers, wife of Josef Albers.

Albers started her artistic career as a textile artist, and was one of the most famous weavers of her day. She began working in printmaking in her later life, starting in 1963 when she was 54.

194Andrew Moore
Ukraina Swimming Pool, 2003
Chromogenic Print
50 × 60 in
127 × 152.4 cm
Edition of 10
Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

American photographer and filmmaker Andrew Moore is probably most well known for his captures of Detroit’s ruins, which at the time of their publication were the subject of much discussion. Some people called the photographs “ruin-porn”, whist others attested that the documentation served a greater purpose, and invited an interesting social commentary on Detroit’s state and affairs.

Moore currently works as a teacher at New York’s School of Visual Arts, and has had photographic essays published in The NYT’s, Time, National Geographic, and Art in America, amongst others.

195Barbara Hepworth
Goonhilly September, 1963
Alabaster
8 x 16 x 10 in
20.3 x 40.6 x 25.4 cm
Courtesy of the Hepworth Estate and James Reinish & Associates.

British sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth was, and remains to be, one of the great women of art. A talented and brave artist, it’s worth paying attention to works by Hepworth in just about any case – but especially if it means proving daft-minded dopes who suggest that Hepworth’s work is “second rate” when compared to men like Mondrian, Pollock, or Rothko, wholly wrong.

This little alabaster piece is named after the Goonhilly satellite dishes of Goonhilly Downs. In the last few decades of her life, Hepworth was especially fascinated by the aesthetic of, and about, planetary genesis. She was invited to visit Goonhilly in the sixties, and the story goes that Hepworth ended up hopping onto one of the dishes and going for a bit of a ride.

The Armory Show 2016 runs from March 3 – 8 at Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. You can find more information at thearmoryshow.com.

Images courtesy of Roberto Chamorro for The Armory Show.
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