Girls, Galleries, and Globetrotting
March 10, 2017
A Trip Around the Armory Show and Back
Of New York’s infinite artistic experiences, The Armory Show takes the cake. A palatial playland of contemporary art along the Hudson, the annual fair is a 4 day gathering of curators, collectors and culturists alike. While its contending Art Basel is as much of a Fashion week extension as an Art Fair, The Armory Show truly puts its artists at the forefront. Under new director Ben Genocchio's vision, large-scale works and emerging artists had a revamped emphasis, and the result was more interactive and imaginative than previous fairs. With Yayoi Kusama’s Guidepost to the New World, attendees meandered through polka dot Plexi sculptures on an Astroturf forest. Jeffrey Dietch’s booth invited you into a fantastical fuchsia parlor with a youthful feminist agenda. Behind its cellophane curtains, emerging female artists like Chloe Wise – whose painting And Everything was True of model Ashley Smith was an insta-fave – were hung alongside more established women masters.
The Armory’s “Focus” section, a treasure trove of curator-selected undiscovered talent brought smaller international galleries to the spotlight. With artists hailing from Cuba to China to Cape Town, 30 countries were represented amongst the 210 galleries in exhibition. There was a noticeable shift for “Black Art Matters” as well, with artists like Carrie Mae Weems and the late Malian photographer Malick Sidibé on display. Nick Cave’s blinged out Hustle Coat series at the Jack Shainman Gallery was proof that Fashion is Art is Fashion. Some attendees were their own walking canvases; personally painted creations, Met Gala subject Comme des Garçons, and Margiela had equal gravitas. Heralding a new generation of global talent, The Armory Show impressively brought a world of artistic and aesthetic diversity a little closer to home.