Fabulous art was on display in New York City at The Armory Show in March. Held at Piers 92 and 94, the show features works by well-known masters as well leading contemporary artists and up-and-coming talent.
Founded in 1994 by four New York gallerists, it is intended to promote new voices in the visual arts. Over the past 23 years, The Armory Show has become a top art event and this year hosted 210 exhibitors from 30 countries. The 2017 show had more than 65,000 visitors over the five days. Homedit checked out the fair and found lots to love. Here are some of our favorites:
We have a thing for lots of texture as well as three-dimensional works, which is probably why we found this piece from the 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Hong Kong appealing. Created by Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Irony of Worship is made of wood, metal, neon, LED lights, plastic.
Self-taught Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru is best known these — sculptural spectacles or “C-Stunners” he makes out of objects he finds and recycled items he gets from the streets of Nairobi. Kabiru uses electronic waste such as motherboards and speaker parts, and then takes pictures of himself wearing his creations.
A large crowd jockeyed for a good photo position for this cube by Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha. The intricate shadows cast by this giant cube of laser-cut steel come from a single bulb inside. The delicate patterns of the panels are cast out to decorate the walls, the ceiling and floor.
South African artist Frances Goodman, creates colorful, elaborate sculptures using fake nails. She layers the nails to create form, movement and a pattern. Goodman feels the nails “signify a culture of excess and transience.” she writes, noting she sees false nails as an “expendable extension of the body .”
American art icon Frank Stella is considered the most influential painter of his generation. This is his Talladega, created in 1980.
Jaume Plensa is a creator of public art, who makes giant sculptures in steel, glass, marble, polyester resin, concrete, and bronze. He is best known for his Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millenium Park, says Artsy. This is Plensa’s
Gregor Hildebrandt is a German artist who work with many media. His “starry starry night“ was made in 2015 and is composed of cassette tapes, cassette wheels and fabric on wood. It resembles a wood mosaic until you examine it up closer.
This abstract piece is by another very important art figure, Hans Hofmann, who was a significant figure in postwar American art. He is well known for his colorful canvases and was integral in the development of abstract expressionism.
Originating as a Coogi sweater — made famous in the 1980s by Bill Cosby and Notorious B.I.G.– this textile piece is the iconic clothing transformed into abstract artwork. Artist Jayson Musson may be better know to some people as a hip-hop star under the name Hennessy Youngman. Jayson Musson generated a lot of buzz with his first solo gallery exhibition in 2012—comprising a series of “Coogi sweater” pieces that turned the garments of Bill Cosby and fame into abstract, painterly compositions.
In the late 1960’s, light sculptor Keith Sonnier challenged preconceived notions of sculpture by using unepexted and undustrial materials. He used everything “from latex and satin, to found objects, transmitters and video,” says his bio. In 1968, Sonnier began making wall sculptures that incorporated light. moving from incandescent light to neon. His light installations feature neon tubing, bright colors and lines in unique configurations.
All done in black on a variety of scales, works by multidisciplinary Dutch artist Levi Van Veluw are meticulous and ingenious. Van Veluw is fascinated by “things that are theoretically possible but difficult to imagine” according to a description from Galerie Ron Mandos. His work is driven by a preoccupation with “a world with a different logic from our” and he is taken with science fiction.
Critically acclaimed artist Lita Albuquerque is probably best known for her works in the desert, where she uses colored pigment to map the terrain and the sky. The California-based artist focuses her work on humankind’s place in the universe. The Kohn Gallery presented her works, including this piece called Light
Milanese artist Matteo Negri creates installations for galleries, public spaces and art fairs in his native Italy and abroad and typically uses materials like stone, ceramic, resin and plastic, all in pop colors. This work is from his series focusing on Legos, where Negri uses the toy building block as “a metaphor for children’s inherent desire to build and create their own personalities,” write the Lorenzelli Gallery. But, Negri notes that the freedom is then constrained by the linear and geometric forms of the blocks.
British sculptor Lynn Chadwick was a trailblazer who cast aside wood and stone in favor of metal for his works. His welded iron and bronze figures are somewhat abstract but have great expression, reminiscent of human and animal forms. This was our favorite because we’re not quite sure whether it’s a bird, an insect, or just an abstract form.
These colorful towers are Foord for Thought 7, by Saudi Arabian Artist Maha Malluh. “My inspiration for art comes from my country, a land of contrasting images and ideas. Good art… forces you to pause, to contemplate and think harder about your surroundings,” says the Malluh on The Edge of Arabia. The towers are made from welded chinco dishes.
Fantastic cubist scultures by Berlin-based artist Thomas Kiesewetter have a quirky hand-made feel. His process invlves making small componenets and then joining them all together in to the larger works, which he calls spontaneous pieces. How the piece ends up is a matter of how everything happens in the moment.
This explosion of color is a fascinating work for a number of reasons, mainly because artist Nabil Nahas casts the shapes in acrylic paint. There is no structure for the cup shapes other than paint. The Lebanese-born artist is inspired by Islamic art and American abstract painting.
Nick Cave’s name is synonymous with his “Soundsuits,” which are wearable sculpture based on the human body, constructed from a variety of second-hand items and materials. Cave has said: “I’m totally consumed by the special attire that has a powerful and meaningful purpose within a culture.” This work is his 2017
Korean artist Oh Chi Gyun is best known for his pieces using “fingerworks,” a technique where he applies paint onto the canvas using his hands. This gives the works a quality like impressionism. While he originally made many very large-scale works, Persimmons, shown here, are modestly sized but deliver real visual impact
Cartoon-like sculptures of people and animals have been the signature work of Tom Otterness for more than 30 years. He uses the figures, which fall into five types, to poke fun at American society. He identifies his characters as blue collar workers, white collar workers, cops, radicals, and rich people. He has done them in sizes from giant to tiny, but these are toddler-size.
One of the coolest booths was that of the Recycle Group. Russian artists Andrey Blokhin and Georgy Kuznetsov make art that focuses in opposition. The prize-winning duo shows its works across the globe. This is a fantastic untitled piece made from thermoshape plastic mesh.
Artist Red Grooms is a pioneer in site-specific sculpture and installations, with his massive works being enormously popular with the public. He is said to have a “genius for rendering the intricacies of architectural ornament” in his vividly colored three-dimensional works. This is
Safety pins and razor blades are often the media of choice for Bangaldeshi artist Tayeba Begum Lipi. Her work explores female marginality and the female body. She re-creates everyday items such as beds, bathtubs, strollers, wheelchairs and women’s undergarments in those media to reflect violence facing women in Bangladesh.
Ceramic works at the show were cutting edge and fanciful, like these from Kathy Butterly. Her shapes twist and have pinched openings that resemble “shrunken hybrids of alien life forms and domestic objects from which something is oozing, leaking, or dipping,” writes the Tibor de Nagy Gallery of New York. While Butterly makes pieces both large and small, the pieces in this collection were petite and delicate.
Colorful and different, this collage piece is by Brian Belott, artist, performer and found art maker based in Brooklyn New York.
German artist Björn Dahlem simple materials to represent scientific theories or models used in the sciences such as cosmology, astronomy, and physics. The son of a physicist, Dahlem is interested in contradictions presented by abstract concepts.
Atsuko Tanaka was a Japanese artist known for experimental clothing and performances. Beginning in the 1960’s Tanaka focused on painting abstracts, featuring multi-coloured circles and scribbled lines as her primary motifs. The tangled lines and circles are meant to bridge “the nervous system and electrical circuits that form the human body and define our modern society respectively.”
Israel’s Ariel Schlesinger creates his works from mundane things like paper, cigarette lighters, and socks. His burned canvas pieces are most interesting as he makes design use of the burned edges and various shapes.
A 40-piece work called Taxonomy of the Wild is by Colombian artist Carlos Motta. Motta is known for using multiple mediums in his works that investigate social and cultural injustices.
Attending an event like The Armory Show is like visiting dozens of museums in one day. The range of styles, artists and mediums is spectacular, with something that will appeal to everyone.