ARTSLANT'S SPECIAL EDITION
New York Armory Week #2
Where to See the Art World
(and probably some art). with Collin Munn & the ArtSlant Team
Clifford Owens, Anthology (Nsenga Knight), 2011, 2 C-prints, 40x60 in (ea). Courtesy of On Stellar Rays. On view at The Armory Show, Pier 94, Booth 521.
The party scene in New York is elusive, diverse, and very difficult to pin down – all things that can be overwhelming, but also exciting, because you can find really anything you want. The key is to be flexibly dressed. Dark colors and uncomfortable looking shoes are a good bet so that you can go right from champagne and amuse-bouche to a dirty warehouse party in Brooklyn, and not look out of place at either. Speaking of Brooklyn, that tends to be where the real party is at but there are still some fun options left on the island, especially during New York’s glittery Armory Week.
If you want to play with the big guns and have little mind for your pocket book, then the event to go to is definitely the Amory’s official party hosted at MoMA. It takes place every year on the Wednesday before the fair opens to the public (March 7th, 2012). Last year, MoMA’s bash had musical entertainment provided by Kate Nash, but this year we can expect to see urban-twenty-something favorite Neon Indian perform in the MoMA lobby. For people spotting and photo opportunities this is the party to attend.
Ola Kolehmainen, Untitled (No. 6), C-print. Courtesy of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery. On view at The Armory Show, Pier 94.
If playing the socialite isn’t appealing, there are always smaller fairs springing up that attempt to distinguish themselves as hipper and “less commercial” than the mother fair, and have plenty of opportunities for mingling with the often younger strata of the art world. Here’s where you’ll find the emerging artists and the boutique galleries that work with them. These parties tend to be about running into friends, meeting potential contacts and collaborators, and seeing new work.
Your first stop should be Independent in Chelsea, which has a very relaxed vibe with a great selection of galleries, a fun opening party, and an excellent assortment of people to meet, like the staff of Elizabeth Dee gallery which has been putting up some of New York’s hottest shows. Also, make your way to Berlin/London gallery Sprüth Magers’ booth; they have a great presence in both of these art capitals, and it is a good place to find like-minded party people looking for that euro-chic vibe in the Big Apple. And another must-do is PooL. PooL Art Fair has an eclectic selection of unrepresented artists - and if you can, their Vernissage party on Friday March 9th is a good bet (if you are invited that is …and hopefully we won’t have a repeat of the Miami debacle when the PooL hotel venue was shut down before the party even started…).
Aakash Nihalani, Stack, 2011, site-specific installation. Courtesy of Carmichael Gallery. On view at Volta NY.
Editor's note: Collin had to dash...but read on for more about where to go and who to see, here.
See you in New York!
-–Collin Munn & the ArtSlant Team
TALK OF THE WEEK - SCOPE & Vision with Lori Zimmer
Paul Wackers, The Presentation of Choices Made, acrylic on panel. Courtesy of Eleanor Harwood Gallery. On view at Scope.
In recent years, SCOPE has gained the reputation of being the “fun” fair, full of performance and experiential programs- as well as booze. Last year they let us watch frat boys drink copious amounts of beer inside a glass room, and drink a few ourselves in the impossibly tiny two person bar, Mandy’s (complete with working beer tap!) This year, the fair is giving itself a makeover, first with a new logo, followed by a new, slightly smaller venue--conveniently located right across from The Armory Show. The size of the fair has been intentionally scaled back, in order to give SCOPE a chance to flex its curatorial muscle, and trim the fat so to speak. With the rebranding, the fair is continuing to adhere to its commitment to bring exciting curated projects for visitors to experience, along with the carefully selected galleries hocking their innovative art works. The special programming presents visitors with SCOPE’s personal curatorial vision, bringing together performance, film and installation to show their dedication to sharing art, not just selling it.
Shen Chao Liang, Untitled, 2012, installation. Courtesy of Artists Wanted. On view at Scope.
This year, visitors will be met with all that glitters as they enter SCOPE’s new pavilion on 57th Street and 12th Ave. Curated by Miami’s edgy Primary Projects, Kenton Parker’s Infinity Trophy Room will start off everyone’s fair experience with a little sparkle and triumph. The installation is the ultimate trophy case, with row after row of identical gold prize winning statues. At first glance, we are drawn into what these trophies imply - victory, superiority and hero worship. But beyond the singular golden champion, there are a slew of capable losers. This obsession and emphasis on these symbols of victory creates an unhealthy fixation on becoming that lone winner, rather than tackle the real issue - our inherent insecurities and unacceptance of personal failures. Parker explains in his artist statement “Artistic achievement (popularized by the Oscars or Tony Awards) is called to mind as a politicized issue that seems to rely more on awarding those with underhanded agendas versus a testament to creative genius.”
After contemplating your own feelings on winning, followed by the blow of defeat, artist and Interfaith minister Lainie Love Dalby will help you heal your bruised ego with Diamond Den, a ritualistic installation of art therapy and mediation...
For more on SCOPE's special projects, click here.