Thursday, March 7, 2013

Armory show NY 2013

     At the kick-off press conference, Mayor Bloomberg called NY "the center of the modern art world." It was a nice rah-rah speech for the Centennial Edition of the Armory Show of 1913. And we got free bagels. Press badges rock!
Francis M. Naumann Fine Art's booth had a group show, "Nude Descending A Staircase: An Homage," with works inspired by Marcel Duchamp's painting unveiled to American audiences in 1913. I thought the piece below by Tom  Shannon was hilarious - wooden "stairs" against the wall with a slinky poised at the top ready to do its famous descent down the staircase!

     There was alot of Warhol at the Armory, but the big display at Gagosian by the entrance was a big snooze IMHO. 20 feet or so of camouflage on portrait wall paper etc.

     NY based collective, Type A, had these three neon versions in red, white and blue of an image used in target practice of a man aiming a gun at you. Very topical with all the gun legislation being discussed in US politics and the media.

     Not alot in the way of energetic or provocative work, but this one at the Rod Bianco Gallery from Oslo with an installation by Norwegian artists Bjarne Melgaard and Sverre Bjertnes was an exception. It was all based on Mary Boone and had several mixed media pieces with primitive renderings of MB with Basquiat, as a crack head etc. It was a bizarre installation that sucked you in and made one wonder if it was an homage or a send-up: "For both artists in their formative years, Mary Boone epitomized the quintessential New York dealer and her eponymously named gallery was the place budding artists worldwide wanted to show."

Interesting abstract painting by Uwe Kowski at Galerie EIGEN +ART, Berlin.

     This installation at Leila Heller Gallery by Rasid Lee Hornanian was a show-stopper. A wedding table with video monitors at each end and a large wedding cake in the middle. However, the base of the cake was being eaten by a mouse that was actually a video, too! Lots of oohing and aahing and laughs at this fun piece, "Dinner for 2: Wedding Cake."

     Charles Lutz (pictured) had a giant tower called "Babel" of faux-Warhol (like I said, lots of Andy here) Brillo boxes, 600 in total. He was signing and giving them away. The text by the display had this quote from Eleanor Ward at the Stable Gallery where she displayed Warhol's original boxes back in the day: "(The boxes) were very difficult to sell. He thought everyone was going to buy them on sight, he really and truly did. We all had visions of people walking down Madison Avenue with these boxes under their arms, but we never saw them."
     As I was getting my coat, one coat check worker said to the other, "Do NOT take any of those boxes! We do not have the room back there and people keep asking us to hold them. No boxes!"

     I've written about David Kramer in this blog before, but this piece at Gallerie Laurent Godin from Paris had me laughing out loud. Just seemed to fit in (and parody) some of the art star 'tude at the Armory. I hope this alleged nor'easter doesn't materialize because I have more shows to get to, and hopefully more excited about than this Armory show. Pick up the Times Friday or Sunday, they'll have alot more to say. So much of this Armory show (like Art Basel in Miami) seemed safe. There was quite a bit of objects and shapes simply covered in paint or other objects that just seemed to stop there: this is an object with all this other stuff all over it. And...that's it. What else about it is interesting or thought provoking or emotional? Not much. But I covered the inside of my free bagel with marmalade, and THAT was quite good.

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