Evidently, this year’s Armory Show in New York (which ended Sunday) was well received. Both critics and the public have reported a healthy and energetic vibe, fewer exhibitors which slightly reduces the overwhelmingness of it all, interesting artwork, brisk sales and good people watching.
Highlights of the show included a special section focusing on Chinese art. According to The New York Times, the Armory showcased Xu Zhen’s installation “Action of Consciousness” (2011), a 10-foot enclosed cube in which 50 giant objects were tossed high in the air by two hidden performers. The items ranged from a soft sculpture model of Tiananmen Square to a bust of van Gogh, and viewers had only a second or two to observe them. “I think this artwork will be perfect against the backdrop of the Armory Show because at a fair people move very quickly to browse and only look at the art for a second,” Mr. Xu said, suggesting how the work is as much a critique as a celebration.
On Piers 92 & 94, Modern and Contemporary art were on exhibit. According to The New York Times – the “Modern” on Pier 92, where 59 dealers displayed “historically significant Modern art,” [aka "old favorites"], and on Pier 94, the considerably more expansive “Contemporary,” where 146 dealers showed all kinds of shiny, newfangled products. In the Contemporary section, everywhere you looked, you saw artists mixing and matching styles, images and devices in the forms of photographs, paintings, high-tech simulations and myriad nontraditional materials, sometimes using all these at once. Almost always, they did so to cerebrally sophisticated ends, as often as not in order to riff on art itself.
If you were lucky enough to visit The Armory Show this year, share your thoughts about it here with us on WallSpin!