David Ebony's Armory Top 10
By David Ebony
March 8, 2009
New York Braving unpredictable New York winter weather and an even more unstable economic climate, some 200 galleries from around the world gathered on Hudson River Piers 92 and 94 at 52 St., to help launch New York's spring art season with the Armory Show, March 4-8. Smaller works on offer, fewer ambitious installations, and the addition of a "modern art" pier filled primarily with long-established galleries and private dealers presenting blue-chip works, are just a few of the new attributes of the fair's 2009 edition. This time, the Armory Show in general seems a bit less edgy or provocative than in the past; it more closely resembles some of the large European modern and contemporary art fairs such as the Art Cologne and FIAC. Another notable difference is the scarcity of Chinese contemporary works, which had been market leaders in the field in recent years.
Nevertheless, the Armory Show was full of striking displays and surprising individual works. Some of the highlights spilled outside the confines of the gallery spaces. Kenny Sharf, whose works filled Kasmin's booth, painted murals near the entrance to the piers. Inside pier 94, were several mural-size abstract tapestries woven of countless pieces of metal, by Ghanaian artist El Anatusi, presented by New York's Jack Shainman Gallery. At least one display was interactive. Christine Hill transformed New York's Ronald Feldman's booth into a kind of apothecary, dispensing recommendations for all sorts of Recession-era malaise, except for cash. Of course, it's impossible to completely cover an event this vast, but below is a list of 10 unforgettable standouts at this year's fair.
6.) Spanierman Modern, New York, presented a museum-quality mini-survey of works by the late American abstractionist Burgoyne Diller. One of the first Americans to thoroughly absorb the experiments of early 20th-century European modernism, especially the Bauhaus, Diller developed his own unique brand of hardedge abstraction. Beginning with his spare Mondrian-influenced paintings of the 1930s, the display also included some of the artist's lesser known 3-D works, such as his large untitled 1963 sculpture in formica and wood, whose blue and yellow spare geometric forms correspond with Minimalism.
View the entire article on Art in America's website, www.artinamericamagazine.com