With a new director at the helm, the Armory Show 2016 commenced as always with a press conference, resulting in a flurry of journalists and select V.I.P.’s then combing through the aisles of Pier 94. Where in art fairs past, sculpture and installation has not necessarily dominated but had an impressive presence, this year painting reigns supreme. Many of the various galleries represented have brought works that are the most suitable for the model of an art fair i.e. grab and go. Obviously this was not the case for all, but a substantial number. Aesthetically, the paintings, drawings and other framed works dominated wall space and didn’t fit a particular genre yet in many instances, color-fields, linear marks, and the body could be detected in one form or another. Executive Director, Benjamin Genocchio has taken his first stab at one of the largest, most highly attended art fairs in the country and emerged with his head up, at least so far. He will also be part of a discussion titled “Like, Swipe and Double Tap: Visual Criticism in the Digital Age” on March 4th from 4:15-5:15PM along with Senior Art Critic of New York Magazine, Jerry Saltz. This, along with an Artsy curated dialogue (“What’s Next? Short Talks About the Future” 5:30-7:30PM also on the 4th) are extremely relevant not only to our time but also within the context of the fair itself. Walking through, choosing images for my Instagram account —which differ from those here— it’s impossible to not wonder about particular artworks, how they are installed and where. Any good gallerist can distinguish between work that is obscure in respect to art that would entice a wider audience. While it may be common sense to hang artworks that would appeal to the general public within their direct field of vision while walking down the long walkways, in some instances it’s as if there has been a bait-and-switch. Trends in art and trends in fashion often go hand in hand and the gap between the two appears to be narrowing. This year the Armory Show at Pier 94 gives exactly what you expect it to give; a lot of art, which forms an inaudible dialogue. It’s the job of the visitor to decide if he or she wants to turn up their respective invisible hearing aids in an attempt to decipher what is truly going on the in the art world or in this case market, or rather snap a few Instagram photos and be on their way.
The Armory Show 2016 is open to the public: Thursday, March 3 – Sunday, March 6, 12 pm to 7 pm. Located at Twelfth Avenue at 55th Street, New York City.
GALERIE GUIDO W. BAUDACH, BERLIN
OTA FINE ARTS, TOKYO
i8 GALLERY, REYKJAVIK
ECHO ART, LAGOS
GALERIE EVA PRESENHUBER, ZURICH
GALERIE BUGADA & CARGNEL, PARIS
BUCHMANN GALERIE / BERLIN / LONDON
THE BREEDER, ATHENS
MAZZOLENI / LONDON / TORINO
GOODMAN GALLERY, CAPE TOWN
Stay tuned for more art fair coverage and a preview of the Met Breuer coming soon! ~KDH