The 24th annual Armory Show is back and well worth the trip to NYC to see one of the world’s premiere Art Fairs. There are of course your blockbuster artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, and Jeff Koons, but those are few and far between among many exciting new and lesser know talents. Totaling 198 galleries from 28 countries, there is so much to see and experience, and never enough time. Art and technology plays a significant theme this year as well, highlighted in plenty of large-scale installations, yet the multitude of mediums ensure there is something for every taste, interest, and visitor. Here is a roundup of some of my favorite individual works, galleries…and yes, most instagrammable moments from this year’s show.
Nam June Paik’s colorful, multi-sensory technological experience immerses the viewer in a world of past and present with flickering TV’s juxtaposed with the culturally symbolic, and brightly graffitied, lion. Paik is one of the pioneers of using video in art, exemplified in these selected works which present his exploration of technology in culture.
Spanish Artist/Designer Nacho Carbonell presents both his functional and innovative sculptures and his actual workshop to the Armory Show. Carbonell was inspired to create these organic and cocoon like visual structures from seeing trees and other plant organisms emerging and spawning life from rough concrete and stone in the Mediterranean.
Known for his truncated black and white striped columns outside Paris’s Louvre, Daniel Buren’s fun, mirrored sculpture allows Armory-goers to interact with his piece. The viewer is invited to explore the work from all sides—as these various angles provide a continuously changing shape and view of both the piece and the outer world.
Perhaps one of the more unique and thought provoking works presented is by Kent and Julia Yonetani. Immense, glowing, neon chandeliers hang suspend at different lengths from a large black booth, each representing a nation with significant nuclear powers. The glowing green beads each carry actual uranium which, in combination with the lighting used, emits the distinct neon hue.
This large pink-hued installation is a calming force for those that pass by through the hectic corridors of the Show. Made of various materials including acrylic, paper, foam and even hair, this millennial pink forest immerses the viewer in a three-dimensional landscape and immediately sucks you into the ethereal universe of this life-size diorama.
World-renowned Jeff Koons released new editions of his favorite classical masterpieces with his well-known gazing ball inserted into the images, modifying the ball into a flat mirror for these works. Central to each painting, the gazing ball is meant to be reminiscent of those found in a garden, drawing the viewer into the work and allowing them to be a part of it and feel the true joy that art brings its audiences.
This astounding structural masterpiece by duo Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley is also a performance piece in which one of the artists stands outside of the giant wheel while the other sits inside and turns the piece. The duo rotates positions throughout the day in eye-catching orange and red outfits, looking out at the Armory’s transfixed audiences from their platform as if looking out into a circus tent.
This intensely hued, large-scale work by artist Rachel Lachowicz, is modeled after three structures from a Clint Eastwood film and painted entirely in a bright red lipstick that the Los Angeles based artist makes herself and melts down. The eye-catching work captures the viewer’s attention with its reflective windows, and signals a feminist intervention in the classically male, western sheriff station.
Perhaps one of the most eye-catching works is The Gallery by Wang Xin. Xin’s neon cage presentation was inspired by the shape of public restrooms and seeks to create a public gallery through which other artists can exhibit their works each either inside, around, or on top of her work. This piece combines various materials, captivating the viewer with a neon purpley-pink glow.
The Armory Show will run March 8 – 11 at Pier 92 & 94 711 12th Avenue New York City
Photography by: Photography by Alexander Mason Hankin & Erica Appelman