Here Are 10 Must-See Booths at the Armory Show, Filled With Compelling Portraiture and Mixed-Media Masters

Eric Fischl's pop-culture portrait and Robert Mapplethorpe's luminous photographs are just a few of the gems at this year's Armory Show.

The Armory Show, Pier 94. Photo: Teddy Wolff, courtesy of The Armory Show.

The Armory Show is back in New York, and it’s a particularly big year for the fair, which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its inaugural edition. To mark the occasion, the participating galleries—all 197 of them—have put their best foot forward.

If you’re headed to the Piers, you’ll surely have a long list of things to see. Here are our favorite booths from artnet Member galleries to get you started.

1. Setareh Gallery

Eric Fischl, Edie and Paul (2010). Courtesy of the artist and Setareh Gallery.

Düsseldorf-based Setareh Gallery is making the long trek to New York’s Piers for the 25th anniversary of the fair. It’s presenting a wide range of wares, from the minimalist restraint of Otto Piene and Adolf Luther to the swirling colors of Memphis Schulze‘s vibrant canvases. There are also moments of calm thanks to Imi Knoebel’s striated color-blocks, and perennial favorite Eric Fischl’s summertime portrait Edie and Paul, which depicts Paul Simon and his third wife, Edie Brickell.

Booth 100, Pier 92

2. ACA Galleries

Faith Ringgold, Black Light Series #2: Man (1967). Courtesy of the artist and ACA Galleries.

In the Focus section of the Armory Show, New York-based ACA Galleries is bringing the vivid works of pioneering African American artist Faith Ringgold for a solo presentation. Ringgold is widely known for her story quilts and her sharp take on American history.
Pier 90, Booth F19

3. Galerie Thomas Schulte

Idris Khan, White Windows, September 2016-May 2019 (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Thomas Schulte.

At Galerie Thomas Schulte, works that contend with color and abstraction are on display by artists Idris Khan, Robert Mapplethorpe, Pat Steir, and Jonas Weichsel. While Khan’s monochromatic prints seem to obfuscate a picture beneath, Mapplethorpe, whose work is currently on view at New York’s Guggenheim, is known for his striking subjects. To offset the black-and-white works, Steir’s “waterfall” paintings and Weichsel’s color-block silkscreens make for captivating viewing.

Pier 94, Booth 706

4. Galerie Von Bartha

Karim Noureldin, DES (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie von Bartha.

For the third year, the Swiss Galerie von Bartha is returning to New York’s Armory Show, this time with a “dynamic exchange” that juxtaposes three Modern artists with five contemporary artists, all presenting works that engage with color and form in aesthetically delightful patterns. The Swiss-born Karim Noureldin was commissioned to make a new work for this showing, and the result is a handwoven floor sculpture/decorative covering made in the Panza style that originates in India.

5. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Benny Andrews, Sexism Study 15 (1973). Courtesy of the artist and Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.

Hometown gallerist Michael Rosenfeld returns to the fair this year with a mini-exhibition of works inspired by “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” a landmark show of black artists’ work from 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s that just wrapped up its run at the Brooklyn Museum. On view at the Armory is work by a number of artists included in the show, including Romare Bearden, Beauford Delaney, and Betye Saar, among other notable names.

Booth 504, Pier 94

6. Hollis Taggart

Richard Pousette Dart, Opaque Horizon (1985/6). Courtesy of the artist and Hollis Taggart.

Hollis Taggart, a staple of the New York gallery scene for 40 years now, celebrates another important local institution in its fair booth: the Art Students League. Founded in 1875, the league has produced some of history’s greatest artists, and some of their works will be on view in Taggart’s booth, including selections by Milton Avery, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, and Richard Pousette-Dart.

Booth 206, Pier 90

7. Roberts Projects

Amoako Boafo, Black and White (2018). Courtesy of Roberts Projects.

Los Angeles-based Roberts Projects is a perennial favorite, and this year one of its standout works is by Amoako Boafo, a Ghanaian painter who lives in Austria and paints striking portraits of his acquaintances and friends. This contemporary work is a nice companion to living legend Betye Saar’s Weight of Persistent Racism (Manufactured in the U.S.A.), one of her mixed-media assemblages that explores the legacy of segregation and racism in America.

Booth 712, Pier 94

8. Luis de Jesus Los Angeles

Peter Williams, Incarceration, New Nation! (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Luis de Jesus Los Angeles.

A new series of works by Peter Williams on view at Luis de Jesus’s booth is not to miss. Within the busy patterns and cheerful color palette, Williams tackles issues of race and representation, power dynamics, and oppression in his dizzying tableaux.
Booth F17, Pier 90

9. Galerie Ludorff

Bernd & Hilla Becher, Youngstown Works: Blast Furnaces 2, 3-4 (1981). Courtesy of Galerie Ludorff.

This is the seventh year at the fair for Düsseldorf-based Galerie Ludorff, which specializes in German Expressionism and postwar abstraction, with a sprinkling of contemporary artists from around the world tossed in the mix. For its booth this year, a selection of water tower photographs by Bernd and Hilla Becher are accompanied by smaller-scale works by Gerhard Richter and brightly colored paintings from Imi Knoebel.

Booth B210, Pier 92


10. Bernard Jacobson Gallery

Robert Motherwell, Two Figures No.7,(1958). Courtesy of Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

London mainstay Bernard Jacobson fires on all cylinders with Sam Francis’s trademark splashed-color abstractions along with Robert Motherwell’s gestural works. The primary colors that dance across Francis’s canvases make for an exciting contrast with the heavy strokes of Motherwell’s earth tones.

Booth 517, Pier 94

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.