Photography: Tiffany Nicholson
The Armory can be overwhelming—with booths from 200 galleries from over 30 countries, it’s one of the most important art events every year. Featuring works by some of the world’s most renowned artists and a group of exciting up-and-comers, from Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama, to Ghanian artist Zohra Opoku, The Armory is the VFILES of the art world.
With a stunning installation by Kusama, neon art by Joseph Kosuth and Fiete Stolte, and heartbreaking work by Bangladeshi artist, Tayeba Begum Lipi, this year’s fair was a diverse range of influential work across all mediums. Sculptures from Gehard Demetz were a clinical take on childhood nostalgia, while the oversize “Jumble of 100 Flowers” by Aida Makoto explored innocence in the age of the Internet. Jacin Giordano’s “Harpoons” were the structural equivalent of neo-Impressionism, as Nick Cave’s “Hustle Coats” stole the show, an ironic critique of gaudy hip-hop braggadocio and the digital tendency to portray only the best versions of our lives.
‘GUIDEPOST TO THE NEW WORLD,’ Yayoi Kusama, 2016
Whether through mixed media or painting, this year’s theme seemed to center around consciousness in our ever-changing cultural climate, bringing even deeper meaning to past works like Warhol’s, which seemed to predict the future of filters and celebrity obsession. But even next to luminaries like Kusama and Warhol, it was this year’s emerging artists that felt more relevant and political than ever, offering not just a glimpse into varying realities, but a brief escape from our own.
View highlights from this year’s Armory show, above.