This past Wednesday, we were at the grand opening of the The Armory Show—New York’s grandaddy art fair. And while the whole experience can get pretty overwhelming pretty fast, we recommend you stop by Piers 92 and 94 to see it for yourself. But since there’s no way you can take it all in at once, we’ve sifted through the endless rows of works and come up with the ten exhibits you should keep an eye out for. Here’s why.
Seventeen, London – Booth 522
Seventeen’s booth is part of the Solo Projects section, in which each booth is taken up by an emerging art gallery featuring a single artist. Here, we find a few site-specific works by Kate Owens. Everything here seems to be a light, liquid trace of another thing, delicate and beautiful.
Best Sold Out Booth
David Zwirner, New York – Booth 701
David Zwirner gave over his entire corner booth to artist Michael Riedel, who made three works, all of which sold out before the show opened to the public. (What are they doing during the rest of the fair if the booth is sold out, you may ask? According to Zwirner, “Just socializing.”) Riedel will also be making on-site changes to the booth throughout the duration of the fair, so it’s worth a return visit.
Best Sense of Irony
Kavi Gupta, Chicago and Berlin – Booth 606
Artist Theaster Gates was making works on site, talking to visitors and writing on large chalkboards that were to be eventually sold. According to dealer Kavi Gupta, collectors had made offers, only to be turned down because “They’re not pieces yet.” Those which were eventually sold will only be released once they’ve been deemed ready, according to the artist.
Coolest Use of Materials
Galeria Continua, San Gimignano, Beijing, Le Moulin – Booth 703
Galeria Continua’s booth throws punches in all kinds of directions, but everything we see feels bold. It’s nice to see some construction-based work that feels different than what is circulating in the New York art scene, and we especially like Carlos Garaicoa‘s architectural styrofoam carvings.
Best Sound with a Story
Gallery Niklas Belenius, Stockholm – Booth 910
Swedish Artist Leif Elggren shows one of the few performative objects in the fair. Cans are hooked into something called the “Table of the Dead” with long, tangled wires, and they clatter and vibrate pleasingly on the floor. Fun fact: according to the artist, he cuts up a few cans like these into crown shapes every night with a scissor and throws them under his bed. “Today I think I got about 2000 cans under the bed in the dark.”
Best Use of All Surfaces
Ambach and Rice, Los Angeles – Booth 517
Ambach and Rice’s installation stopped us in our tracks. Maybe all of the baseballs on the walls, hanging objects and pedestals might have been distracting, but it was certainly loud and fun (and reminded us a little bit of the difference between LA and New York).
Best Marina Abramovic Impression
Luciano Brito Galeria, Sao Paulo – Booth 506
This performance was like when Marina Abramovich sat motionless and face-to-face with MoMA patrons for long stretches of time, except this artist was lying down, face to face with a hard, sharp rock.
Fruit and Flower Deli, Stockholm – Booth 915
This booth might remind you of your childhood, if your childhood consisted of living in a tent inside your bedroom for about a year, while briefly flirting with Wiccanism as a teenage girl. No? Well anyway, this calm yet eerie installation at Fruit and Flower Deli’s booth seems like a happy place.
Best Go-To Gallery
Zach Feuer, New York – Booth 833
Zach Feuer’s booth was good, scrappy, and minimal, all things we have come to expect from this dealer, who consistently brings new, interesting work to the New York art scene.