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2011 Armory Arts Week

2011 Armory Arts Week

Amy Morken at TFAA's annual Art Party (Photo courtesy David Patrick Columbia)

Armory Arts week started off with a bang.  As usual, TFAA in collaboration with Fernanda Gilligan’s ArtSet, hosted its annual Art Party in honor of artist Amy Morken.  Our party is unique in that we only invite art professionals as a way to decompress before the oncoming chaos.  It was a great event with even more guests than last year.

Onto the Art Fairs!

The ADAA Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory is always my favorite venue as it is less packed and most booths focus on single artists.  Here are some highlights:

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Aviary with Parrot and Drawers), 1949

1. L&M – Joseph Cornell

It’s always a treat to see museum quality work at an art fair and L&M pulled out the stop with their Joseph Cornell solo booth which featured three stellar boxes that are NFS (not for sale) mixed with some less stellar, yet highly affordable smaller boxes and gorgeous works on paper.

Jaume Plensa sculpture at Galerie Lelong

Jaume Plensa, work on paper at Galerie Lelong

2. Galerie Lelong –Jaume Plensa

Galeries Lelong’s booths are consistently brilliant.  The work of Jaume Plensa is luminous both in sculpture and on paper.  I recommend spending time with these works.

Zhang Huan at Pace – Zhang Huan

3. The Pace Gallery – Zhang Huan

Perhaps the most important of the living Chinese artists, Zhang Huan’s booth exhibits small scale works that are created from the ashes of ceremonial incense.  They are reasonably priced in the $50,000-$100,000.

Fred Tomaselli, Blue Circles Before Blow Down, 1997

4. James Cohan

This energetic booth featured exciting work by Fred Tomaselli, Beatrice Milhazes, Bill Viola and Tom Freidman.

Catherine Opie's Seascapes at Regen Projects

5. Regen Projects

Regan Projects had a beautifully hung booth featuring works by Catherine Opie, Anish Kapoor, Elliot Hundley and Raymond Pettibon.

JB Blunk, Redwood Desk at Blum & Poe

6. Blum and Poe – JB Blunk

The beautifully carved tables, stools and benches by JB Blunk are the stars of the Blum and Poe booth this season.  It’s brave for a gallery like Blum & Poe to bring so little fine art and focus on a furniture designer like Blunk.  His redwood desk is the standout.

Onward to the Armory Show at Pier 94.  I could barely walk through during the “VIP” opening, and finding a good booth was slim pickings.  Here are the few good booths:

Matt Collishaw, Billy Con Gardener, 2010

1. Blain Southern – Welcome!  It’s about time Harry Blain and Graham Southern have a booth at an art fair.  Their booth showcased the work of Matt Collishaw and TFAA favorite, Rachel Howard.  It’s nice to look at something new at the art fair.

Leandro Erlich, Subway, 2010

2. Sean Kelly – Kehinde Wiley chose a wonderful gallery to migrate to after Deitch closed.  His work has been prominently featured in Sean Kelly’s booth at both Miami and now the Armory along with other fantastic artists, Leandro Erlich, Robert Mapplethorpe and Callum Innes.

Gilbert and George

3. Lehman Maupin – Gilbert and George rarely have work that is affordable or small enough size to fit in your home.  Their postcard series may seem benign, but watchout, it does not lack their sexually charged expression.  Do you recognize that symbol?

Jesse Chapman, The Lens at Marianne Boesky

4. Marianne Boesky – Always a lovely booth, the best part of stopping by is to say hello to the wonderful staff as well as browse the works of some of the younger artists they represent, such as Diana Al-Hadid.  It’s always great to see a Nara dish too.

Elmgreen & Dragset, Grown Up Rocking Horse, 2010

5. Victoria Miro – Well, who hasn’t always dreamed of owning a giant rocking horse?

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