artworldOut and About
Monday, March 8th, 2010

The Art Show 2010: A photo journal


FORTIFIED ART VAULT

The Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street hosts the 22nd annual ADAA art show.

The Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street hosts the 22nd annual ADAA art show.

Timed to open the same week as The Armory Show on the piers, the ADAA’s long-running fair is Blue Chip city, with high-end historical and contemporary offerings. The name confusion between the two fairs is an ongoing source of befuddlement to the general public—and probably part of some larger, intentional strategy.

ROLLING OUT THE GRAY CARPET

At standard union rates.

At standard union rates.

POWER PARTNERS

Mayor Bloomberg and Lucy Mitchell-Innes, ADAA President.

Mayor Bloomberg and Lucy Mitchell-Innes, ADAA President.

A preview and press conference kicked things off, with remarks from Mayor Bloomberg. Whisked in to the assembled, he responded to a heckler: “Am I here to buy art? Not today.” He went on to cite the economic facts: a projected $44 million in activity for the fairs overall, including some $1.8 in tax revenues. He estimated some 60,000 visitors for the combined events, with 60 percent of those coming from out-of-town.

FEELING VISIONARY

Los Angeles sculptor Charles Long.

Los Angeles sculptor Charles Long.

Charles Long, idiosyncratic sculptor of biomorphic follies, was on hand, overseeing the installation of his solo exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar’s booth. This comprises three wall-mounted Saarinen-inspired tables that have undergone surrealist transformations, their tops facing viewers, hiding strange agglomerations behind. Long says he’s giving us an “alternate reality” of “displaced gravitational force,” playing off of the modernist tables and chairs found ubiquitously in surrounding booths.

EMOTIONAL OVERLOAD

Rob Wynne word pieces at Vivian Horan.

Rob Wynne word pieces at Vivian Horan.

“Optimistic” is how gallery employee Allana Strong categorized the Vivian Horan Fine Art booth, with its mirror-surfaced words by local artist Rob Wynne. I asked Strong if she felt her own “invisible life” or “destiny” in their presence. “My destiny, I hope, is to have my own gallery in a few years,” she mused.

JAFFE JUMPS

Andrea Wells of Tibor de Nagy responds.

Andrea Wells of Tibor de Nagy responds.

Tibor de Nagy’s booth is given over to the remarkably sophisticated and exuberant abstractions of Shirley Jaffe, a true “American in Paris” expatriate working at the top of her form at age 87. The artist was in town for Tuesday evening’s planned festivities, to be followed soon by a proper show at the 57th Street gallery.

SPERO’S LIFE LINE

Mary Sabbatino hangs on.

Mary Sabbatino hangs on.

Another strong solo consisted of Nancy Spero’s 1996 piece, “Sheela-Na-Gig at Home,” a clothesline installation strung with unique prints of a female fertility god and various undergarments, accompanied by a video of the artist (1926-2009), which finishes with her saying, “I have to get the dishes done.” Asked if she could relate to Spero’s wry feminist predicament, Lelong director Sabbatino responded, “I have a dryer.”

MATCHING ENSEMBLES

Dorsey Waxter with James Brooks cut-outs.

Dorsey Waxter with James Brooks cut-outs.

Greenberg Van Doren mounted a fine 1950s-1960s survey of works from the estate of still-underrated ab-ex master James Brooks. The lush brushstrokes of his earlier canvases are pared down to gorgeous graphic Matissian elements in later cut-paper collages.

HEADS YOU WIN

Painting and Sculpture in dialogue at Michael Werner.

Painting and Sculpture in dialogue at Michael Werner.

Gallery Michael Werner, of Cologne and New York, juxtaposed modernist works of Francis Picabia with the neo-expressionism of Georg Baselitz and Eugene Leroix and a contemporary work by Thomas Houseago, an emerging talent from Los Angeles. The results are authoritative and convincing.

GERMAN SPOKEN HERE

Recent Albert Oehlen works on paper to the soundtrack of a German cell-phone conversation at Luhring Augustine.

Recent Albert Oehlen works on paper to the soundtrack of a German cell-phone conversation at Luhring Augustine.

GESTURE AND FORM

Roxy Paine’s moves demonstrated by Michael Goodson.

Roxy Paine’s moves demonstrated by Michael Goodson.

The survey of Roxy Paine drawings and sculptures at James Cohan’s brings a personal response to our post-industrial landscape. His artificial take on nature is showcased not only in “tree” studies, but also in the products of his sculpture and painting “machines.” Gallery employee Goodson spoke of the “accresive process” of dropping heated “low-density polyethylene” on a conveyer belt to pleasingly accidental results. Here’s hoping that fair attendees will make the natural connections to Brancusi and Arp.

This is Blue Chip, after all.


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