Armory Week 2012
We just returned from a trip to NYC for the annual art overload known as Armory Week.
We checked out the Whitney Biennial, the New Museum Triennial (titled “the Ungovernables”) and most of the major art fairs including the Armory Show, SCOPE, VOLTA, and the Independent. We also stopped in at the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim for their blockbuster retrospectives of Cindy Sherman and John Chamberlain respectively.
We must have looked at 100,000 discrete pieces of art over a five day period. Here are some of the more memorable ones:
Cindy Sherman at MoMA
From the “Film Stills” of the 70s to the recent “Society Portraits,” it’s all here in one place. A truly astounding career.
Above: “Untitled 467” (2008). Color photograph, 84 x 48 inches.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at New Museum Triennial
London-based portraitist whose paintings slowly sneak up and demolish your pre-conceptions of how color and light combine to create the human form.
Above: “11 pm Friday” (2008). Oil on canvas, 84 x 72 inches.
Tomory Dodge at CRG Gallery, Armory Show
Small, eery, slightly off canvases that focus on capturing the night “light” of LA while everyone else dwells on the sunshine.
Above: Untitled (2011). Oil on canvas, 12 x 14 inches.
John Chamberlain at the Guggenheim
Yes, we were blown away by the massive assemblages of torqued car parts. But we were not aware of how much his vision seems to have been born from a series of 12” x 12” square, wall-hung pieces where the materials seem to be struggling to break free of their 2-D constraints.
Above: “Untitled 1961”. Mixed media on painted fiberboard, 31.1 x 33 x 12.7 cm.
Aris Moore at Jack Hanley, The Independent Art Fair
Of all this week’s fairs, The Independent Art Fair was our pick for best. On five floors of a Chelsea warehouse building. No booths. Felt like a tight biennial.
Amalia Pica at New Museum Triennial
The picture doesn’t do this piece justice. It is a classic color study rendered in wall-mounted found drinking glasses.
Above: “Eavesdropping” (2012). Drinking glasses, glue. Dimensions variable.
Tom Thayer at Whitney Biennial
Thayer had installed a series of 2-D, 3-D, and video pieces in a small, dimly lit room tucked away in one corner of one floor of the Whitney. Puppets, cranes, vaguely human figures all made from painted cardboard, paper, string, found items…. Emotionally quite powerful. Can’t say for sure why….
Above: “Life is Nothing More Than Waiting for the Sky to Open” (2011). Mixed media on canvas, 72 x 48 inches.
Justin Mortimer at Mihai Nicodim Gallery, Armory Show
Above: “Enclave” (2011). Oil on canvas, 84 x 68 inches.
Hassan Khan at New Museum Triennial
This was a +/- 10 minute video with an intense sound track of contemporary Egyptian dance music. Two men facing each other, dancing. Could not take our eyes off it.
Above: Still from “Jewel” (2011). Video projection with sound.
Nicola Samori at Larmgalleri, VOLTA
One of many painters at VOLTA deconstructing classical portraiture. One of only a few who did so memorably.
Above: “Seer” (2011). Oil on wood, 42 x 36 inches.