What Are Top Art Dealers Bringing to The Armory Show 2015 and Why?
Find out the artists at this year's show you need to know.
The 17th edition of the international art fair The Armory Show will be held from March 5–8 in its usual location on the far west side of Manhattan on Piers 92 (featuring Armory modern galleries) and 94 (where cutting edge contemporary art is shown). The fair has come a long way from its roots as an upstart in the depths of the economic recession in the mid-1990s, when it was called the Gramercy Park International Art Fair, held across various hotel rooms that dealers rented out in the Gramercy Park Hotel. Dealers who felt lucky for the added chance at business toted works from all over the world, only to prop them up on beds and in baths (no nailing works to the wall!).
In the decades since, the fair has become a marquee title on the international fair circuit and spawned at least a dozen satellite fairs, a number that seems to grow every year (see Which Art Fairs Attract the Most Visitors? and PULSE New York Will Host 55 Galleries During Armory Week). This year is no different.
Organizers expect to host a total of 199 exhibitors from 28 countries and an exhaustive roster of VIP events (see Your Art Agenda: 12 Exclusive VIP Events During Armory Week), collection visits, artists and art experts talks, panels, and an opening night bash at MoMA, where the site of the hotly anticipated landmark Björk show opens on March 8, right as the fair is closing up shop (see Björk Was Hesitant About Her Upcoming MoMA Show). We talked to major international dealers about what works they are showing at this year’s edition and why (and take a look at Plan Your Armory Week 2015 with Our Guide to the Best Art on Show and our peek at What Top Galleries Are Bringing to the ADAA Art Show).
Jack Shainman, owner of the eponymous gallery, told artnet News: “We try to approach our booth the way we do an exhibition, presenting strong examples of our artists’ work that are indicative of developments in their practice, while highlighting works that speak to each other and reveal interesting parallels. This year the gallery will present a specially curated booth of works by gallery artists in a variety of media.” Featured artists include Hayv Kahraman, whose works will be on view in a solo exhibition at the gallery’s 20th Street location opening February 28. Additionally, the gallery will present works by Shimon Attie, Radcliffe Bailey, Nick Cave, Vibha Galhotra, Kay Hassan, Brad Kahlhamer, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Richard Mosse, Jackie Nickerson, Odili Donald Odita, Toyin Odutola, Malick Sidibe, Susana Solano, Hank Willis Thomas, Carlos Vega, Leslie Wayne, and Carrie Mae Weems.
Sean Kelly called the Armory Show “one of the most popular and important art fairs in the annual calendar,” and said it “presents a key opportunity to introduce the depth and breadth of our program to a very wide and diverse audience. Our booth will tangibly represent our continued growth and vision for the future, prominently featuring work from newer gallery artists, such as David Claerbout and Jose Dávila, alongside works from our roster of established artists such as Marina Abramović, Antony Gormley, and Alec Soth.”
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac will show work by Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard who recently joined the gallery. He will be represented by his new work Untitled (2015) created in collaboration with Bob Recine. It is based upon the idea of The Casual Pleasure of Disappointment and Catherine Breillat’s movie Abuse of Weakness (2014) with Isabelle Huppert. “It questions our notions of beauty and the obsessive and self-destructive aspects and how we become victims of the fashion industry’s constant pressures of reinventions,” according to a letter the gallery sent to clients.
Among other highlights at Ropac, Youth of Rare Beauty (2014) by Jack Pierson embodies a large-scale wall sculpture composed of found objects comprising of different size letters and materials. Termed by the American variant of concrete poetry, where language itself is represented in the shape of a work of art, Pierson refers to his sculpture as the tragedy inherent in the pursuit of glamour.
Hales Gallery, London will be showcasing a selection of international “cross-generational” artists, including many whose work will be seen at the Armory Show for the first time. Gallery coordinator Sasha Gomeniuk said works on view will include site-specific sculptures by Rachael Champion, a selection of vintage photographic works from the early 1970s by Carolee Schneemann, ceramic works by Richard Slee, elaborate paintings by Omer Ba, as well as work by Basil Beattie and Martin Wilner, the latter of whom was recently asked to create a piece about the biblical story of Noah for an exhibition curated by filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.
Glenn Scott Wright, director of London gallery Victoria Miro, said “we are excited to be presenting a strong selection of paintings at the Armory, including work by Celia Paul, Alice Neel, Chris Ofili, Yayoi Kusama, and Eric Fischl. Chantal Joffe and Varda Caivano both have their first solo institutional shows in the US this year and we wanted to celebrate this presence by showing major new paintings by these two significant London-based artists. Varda has a solo show at the Renaissance Society in Chicago from February 22. Chantal is completing a new suite of paintings focusing on 20th-century Jewish women that has been commissioned by curator Jens Hoffmann;” those works will premiere at the Jewish Museum in New York on April 27.
Eleven Rivington Gallery director Augusto Arbizo said this year marks the gallery’s fifth consecutive as an exhibitor at Pier 94. Highlights this year include recent work by Vienna-based American painter Lisa Ruyter, who has not publicly exhibited in New York since 2006. Arbizo said Eleven Rivington will present a two-venue solo show this May, saying: “I think her Pop-inflected figurative work will look fresh after many years of absence from the New York scene. Also featured is Volker Hüller; we will feature a suite of his well known large-scale, hand-colored etchings.” (See 14 Young New York Art Dealers To Watch.)
Los Angeles–based gallery Regen Projects is returning to the fair after a multi-year hiatus, and plans to highlight works by Catherine Opie, Lari Pittman, and Sergej Jensen. “As an LA–based gallery we are happy to participate in this NY art fair,” gallery director Shaun Regen told artnet News. “The timing of the fair was more desirable for us this year due to Venice being in May and Basel in June. We will be returning to this fair after a 15-year hiatus, and are also excited to see what Noah Horowitz has done to make it one of New York’s premier fairs.”
Zach Feuer Gallery will present a two-person booth of new sculptures by Jon Rafman and new paintings by Mark Flood.
London’s Lisson Gallery will be showing the working of Wael Shawky (drawings from his London exhibition with with the gallery) which connects to both the Armory Focus (Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean) and the PS1 show; Tony Oursler which connects to a current show in London; Jorinde Voight paintings which connect to her current exhibition in Milan. Other artists that will be on view at Lisson’s Armory booth include Dan Graham, Ryan Gander, Julian Opie, Shirazeh Houshiary, Jason Martin, among other Lisson artists.
Los Angeles gallery OHWOW is showing work by Daniel Arsham (a large floor piece at the center of the booth), Charlie Billingham (a grouping of small-scale paintings on a single wall), Torey Thornton (large paintings on panel), and Nick van Woert (a series of wall pieces).
Lehmann Maupin will present a curated selection of works including by Kader Attia, Nari Ward, and Tim Rollins & K.O.S. This year’s “thematic presentation will center on the associative potential of found materials, particularly exploring the act of repurposing existing objects with cultural and historical significance.” Other artists whose work will be on view include Roberto Cuoghi, Teresita Fernandez, Anya Gallacio, Sonia Gomes, Angel Otero, and Brazilian twins Os Gêmeos.
Artis, an independent nonprofit that broadens awareness and understanding of contemporary art from Israel, is one of just seven nonprofits that will have a booth at the Armory Show. In connection with the MENAM focus, Artis will offer work by Keren Cytter, Shahar Yahalom, and Ariel Reichman, all recipients of the Artis Grant Program.
After an absence of several years, Brussels-based independent publisher mfc-michèle didier “is glad to come back in New York for the Armory Show,” Michèle Didier told artnet News. “On this occasion, we will be showing artworks by Robert Barry, On Kawara, Mathieu Mercier, Annette Messager, Antoni Muntadas, and Allen Ruppersberg.”
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