The Armory Show, running until 10 March 2019, was founded by four New York gallerists – Colin de Land, Pat Hearn, Matthew Marks and Paul Morris – who sought a platform to present and promote new voices in the visual arts. In its 25 years, the art fair has established itself as an unmissable art event set in the centre of New York, welcoming over 65,000 visitors annually. In 2017, Nicole Berry was appointed Executive Director of The Armory Show, and this year the ambitious event brings together 198 galleries from 33 countries. Taking a closer look at this year’s offering, Something Curated highlights the best of The Armory Show 2019.
Ryan Gander || Lisson Gallery (Booth 601)
Ryan Gander has established an international reputation through artworks that materialise in many different forms, from sculpture to film, writing, graphic design, installation, performance and more. Gander’s work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, as well as a reinvention of both the modes of appearance and the creation of an artwork. The artist and his gallery, Lisson, of London, New York, and Hong Kong, have received the fair’s first-ever Pommery Prize, an award for works in the Platform section, which is devoted to large-scale pieces.
Dorothea Tanning || Alison Jacques Gallery (Booth 924)
Alison Jacques Gallery presents a solo booth of Dorothea Tanning, exploring imagery and themes from across Tanning’s career with a focus on the importance of sculpture and sculptural figures in her work. Spanning six decades, the 1945 collage Oh, Dorothea Tanning! and the 2005 collage Victory, speak to Tanning’s life-long interest in three-dimensional collage and the use of unexpected and found materials.
Conrad Egyir || Jessica Silverman Gallery (Booth 811)
Born and raised in Ghana, Conrad Egyir’s practice draws from a pool of uniquely coded Ghanaian texts and visually based language systems. In an exploration of relationships between his past experiences in Africa and his present residence in the United States, he is drawn to themes that define the past and present, the image and self, and predestination and free will. Woven into his works are borrowed superstitious and symbolic aesthetics from West Africa, anachronisms from different cultures, and a deconstruction and redefining of colourism and identity as defined by Western academia.
Leo Villareal || Pace Gallery (Booth 514)
Hanging overhead, an undulating monochromatic field of light evokes stars, galaxies, and other cosmic phenomena. Expressing the vibrant dynamism of nature, from billowing cosmic clouds and swarming masses to radial bursts, spiraling vortices, and turbulent waves, Leo Villareal’s Star Ceiling explores the tension between the rational and the transcendent, between the human and the non-human worlds. Star Ceiling is the largest digital media work to ever be presented in the history of The Armory Show, at 75 feet long.
Luanne Martineau || Downs & Ross (Booth P25)
Best known for her felt sculptures, Luanne Martineau’s practice explores the social stratification of artistic production and the “naturalised” divisions between art genres, engaging a long tradition of satire and critique within contemporary art. Interconnecting processes of craft with the suppressed narratives of the artisan within minimalist and post-minimalist “deskilled” materiality, Martineau’s research pursues the conflation of method, style and ideology within artistic manufacture.
Sadie Barnette || Charlie James Gallery (Booth P16)
Charlie James Gallery presents a solo booth of works by Sadie Barnette. Whether in the form of drawing, photography or large-scale installation, Barnette’s work relishes in the abstraction of city space and the transcendence of the mundane to the imaginative. She creates visual compositions that engage a hybrid aesthetic of minimalism and density, using text, glitter, family Polaroids, subculture codes and found objects. Recent works engage as primary source material the 500-page FBI surveillance file kept on her father, Rodney Barnette, who founded the Compton, California, chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968.
Pascale Marthine Tayou || Richard Taittinger Gallery and Galleria Continua (Booth 703)
Plastic bags are helpful, as well as harmful; they carry goods, cross borders, and contribute to plastic pollution. Pascale Marthine Tayou’s large and visually impressive installation, Plastic Bags (2019), takes ubiquitous objects and uses them to create an artwork that offers a colourful commentary on consumerism and globalism. His work is deliberately mobile, evasive of pre-established schema, and is often closely linked to the idea of travel and of coming into contact with what is other to self.