artworldOut and About
Monday, March 8th, 2010

The Armory Show Modern (Pier 92): A photo journal


TANGLED UP IN BLUE

Mother-and-son team Joan Washburn and Brian Washburn place themselves in painting’s expansive field.

Mother-and-son team Joan Washburn and Brian Washburn place themselves in painting’s expansive field.

“The second year looks good,” commented Washburn, the type of dealer who makes returning to The Armory Fair Modern a pleasure. Her long-term dedication to a core group of New York School artists has paid off: she has material that no one else even has access to—rarities from estates and other connoisseur gems. Seen here: a 1960 Ray Parker and 1957 Nicolas Carone, with a 2006 Gwynn Murrill feline in the foreground.

SITTING PRETTY

Fernando Botero bronze framed by a Sam Francis at Munich’s Galerie Thomas.

Fernando Botero bronze framed by a Sam Francis at Munich’s Galerie Thomas.

It just wouldn’t be an art fair proper, without Botero and Francis. And those two works provide a provenance for the future: the recent Damien Hirst spin painting directly beside.

THE HAVE KNOTS

A sidelong glance from Knoedler’s Anastasia Ehrich says it all—everyone loves Catherine Murphy’s paintings.

A sidelong glance from Knoedler’s Anastasia Ehrich says it all—everyone loves Catherine Murphy’s paintings.

A sidelong glance from Knoedler’s Anastasia Ehrich says it all—everyone loves Catherine Murphy’s paintings.

This solo show features the first works Murphy has ever made as a series. She became “obsessed with seeing repetitive things in her house,” I was told. In each, she depicts the ring stains that wood knots make through common house paint, leaving ghost-like circles. Murphy, a master of visual double entendre, locates these within larger plays of geometry and perception.

PAPERWORKS POWERHOUSE

Chelsea newcomers Larry Shopmaker and Betsy Senior (with a Rauschenberg).

Chelsea newcomers Larry Shopmaker and Betsy Senior (with a Rauschenberg).

Reinvigorated by their recent move to 11th Avenue, and their launching of the new Senior & Shopmaker space with a show of paper pieces by New York hometown hero, Thomas Nozkowski, these paired dealers are taking their act on the road in search of greater visibility.

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION

A 1989 Daniel Buren: A Frame in a Frame in a Frame for a Frame, at Adler & Conkright Fine A

A 1989 Daniel Buren: A Frame in a Frame in a Frame for a Frame, at Adler & Conkright Fine A

Suggesting fractured reality, this piece was originally made by the French stripe master for a show at the Hirshhorn Museum, according to the New York dealers offering it.

FISTS OF FURY

Berlin’s Michael Schultz with Zou Cao’s, Chairman Mao, 2010.

Berlin’s Michael Schultz with Zou Cao’s, Chairman Mao, 2010.

Schultz is a globalist, with branch galleries in Seoul and Beijing and a pan-international neo-pop stable of artists. The work he stands before was sold at the outset of the fair for 130,000 euros, he told me. “Tonight, we eat good meat,” he crowed, with Teutonic glee, shaking his fists.

ECCENTRIC ABSTRACT

Works by DeWain Valentine, 1971, John McLaughlin, 1960, and Judy Chicago, 1967, at David Klein Gallery, of Birmingham, Michigan.

Works by DeWain Valentine, 1971, John McLaughlin, 1960, and Judy Chicago, 1967, at David Klein Gallery, of Birmingham, Michigan.

One hardly expects to see such outré sophistication coming out of a gallery from the rural heartland. Here, geometry is played against personal idiosyncratic vision by three extremists of post-war non-objectivism.

HAIL TO THE CHEF

Art writer Lilly Wei strikes a supplicating pose in the presence of Julian Schnabel’s massive 2007 self-portrait at Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki.

Art writer Lilly Wei strikes a supplicating pose in the presence of Julian Schnabel’s massive 2007 self-portrait at Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki.

PHOTO BOOTH

Williamsburg, Brooklyn dealer David Winter of Winter Works on Paper.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn dealer David Winter of Winter Works on Paper.

From 20th Century photography masters to odd ephemera from newspaper vaults and police mug shot files, here’s a trove of American Studies-worthy artifacts. “The hippest buyers are museums, like the Metropolitan and the Modern,” Winter told me. “They’re willing to buy something more edgy than collectors.” He expanded, “in painting and sculpture, you don’t have the museums leading.” The reason?  “Maybe it’s because they don’t have to re-sell the stuff,” he added, wryly.

MARRIAGE COUNCIL

Works by Elaine de Kooning and William de Kooning at Mark Borghi Fine Art, of New York and Bridgehampton.

Works by Elaine de Kooning and William de Kooning at Mark Borghi Fine Art, of New York and Bridgehampton.

East End of Long Island veteran dealer Borghi mounted a series of Elaine de Kooning ink nudes, Portrait of Bill—An Intimate View, unflinching and direct. A show of comparative small works by the abstract expressionist couple rounded things out.

A DEALER’S SECRET

Paintings by legendary dealer Betty Parsons (1900-1982) at Spanierman Modern.

Paintings by legendary dealer Betty Parsons (1900-1982) at Spanierman Modern.

Parsons helped launch Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko, among others. Her own contribution as an artist is overshadowed. In this rangy survey, viewers were left to connect the many dots: with evocations of Forrest Bess, Milton Avery and Robert Motherwell.

TONGUE AND GROOVE

Dealer Gary Snyder flanked by works by Sven Lukin, 1965, and Nicholas Krushenick, 1962.

Dealer Gary Snyder flanked by works by Sven Lukin, 1965, and Nicholas Krushenick, 1962.

New York’s Gary Snyder/Project Space Gallery takes a curatorial approach, working the gap between pop and abstraction. Both artists pictured here were represented by Pace Gallery in the 1960s and then fell between the cracks. Maybe the time is right to take another look.

And that’s the art of art dealing at The Armory Show Modern—instinct and timing.


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