ARTSLANT'S SPECIAL EDITION
New York Armory Week #3
Cooper & Gorfer, Shola and the Cat , 2011, photographic collage. Courtesy of Christian Larsen. On view at The Armory Show, Pier 94, Nordic Lounge.
Moving in the Art World with the ArtSlant Team
New York is walkable. It is one of the best parts of being here. Walking in New York is a feat of dexterity, almost a contact sport. You either slip gracefully into the stream of walkers and adjust accordingly, or you end up mashed and battered reeling on the sidelines. Walking about reminds us of Brandon Labelle’s performance on a sweltering summer night in Berlin for the launch of his book, “Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life.” In discussing his chapter on “Steps, Gait, and Rhythmic Journey-Forms,” he projected a clip of John Travolta’s opening walk down a Brooklyn street from Saturday Night Fever. The crowd in the gallery sat mesmerized by the sensuality and power of Travolta’s strut, wanting him to move us forever through the urban landscape. Now that's a walk.
Moving in the art world requires various kinds of physical engagement. The pitch and roll of art viewing is a tri-fold affair of mind, body and pocketbook. Navigating the art fairs is like driving down the 405 in LA at rush hour...stop, start, idle and chat...stay in your lanes and don't crash. On the other hand, a visit to the museum (for Cindy Sherman at MoMA, the Steins at the Met, Weegee at ICP or the Ungov's at New Museum) offers a chance to meander, circle, pause, crane and inspect. A sort of flirtation with the object and the space ensues, involving whispered moments with other viewers, stealth touching a la Marcus Civin, and the ultimate falling in love with an object you (probably) can never have.
Being that this is Armory Week and the New York art world is in full swing, there are lots of demands for art viewing, aesthetic movement and sweet nothings. So get out there and glide, sweep and swoop, fall in love, take out the pocketbook and go collpase.
See you in New York!
–the ArtSlant Team
FAIR FOCUS - Welcome to Scandinavia
by Jacquelyn Davis and the ArtSlant Team
Ragnar Kjartansson, Scandinavian Pain (twilight), 2006, neon sculpture. Courtesy of i8 Gallery. On view at the Armory Show, Pier 94, Nordic Lounge.
This year at the Armory (and Volta), take a trip to the icy North. The Nordic focus features Scandinavia's promising art scene, curated by Malmö Konsthall's director Jacob Fabricius, with a selection of galleries from Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Finland. With all these galleries clustered together in a cul-de-sac at the north end of Pier 94, it’s a veritable village. In an act of pure generosity and goodwill, a lounge running through the middle of the action offers up not only places to sit and, well lounge, but also books of poetry, posters and other artworks for visitors to take.
Spend at least an hour here. The ambience is relaxed, the work is excellent and ranges from translucent and poetic to dark and complex, and right next door is the champagne bar lit by the pink neon of Ragnar Kjartansson's show-stopping work, Scandinavian Pain. Your first stop should be Iceland's gallery, i8, where you can find out more about Kjartansson's work as well as swoon over a selection of Olafur Eliasson's driftwood pieces...(more)
–Jacquelyn Davis & the ArtSlant Team
TALK OF THE WEEK - FOUNTAIN: Movin' on Up
by Lori Zimmer
Swoon, Thalassa (double), 2012, screenprint with coffee stain and hand painting on paper, 7' x 10'. Courtesy of KESTING/RAY Gallery. On view at Fountain.
The Armory Show may be the polished business man of fairs, but New York’s satellite fairs have personalities of their own. Volta is the Armory’s ambitious and brilliant little brother, SCOPE is the party-loving, creative sister, and then there’s Fountain--the nonconformist red-headed step child. For the past six years, Fountain has offered fairgoers an alternative art fair experience during Armory Arts Week, shirking white walls for plywood, and conceptual art for gritty street art and illustrative based work.
Living up to its anti-fair ideals, in previous years Fountain rejected the sleek and put-together pavilion style venue and instead went the pirate’s route by housing their project atop the two rusty tugboats that make up The Frying Pan restaurant. Visitors walked over wooden planks to board the creaky vessel, passing through a thick haze of smoke from the restaurant’s grill before approaching the first exhibition booth. With the not-so-faint smell of hamburgers in the air, the two tugs exhibited a collection of alternative galleries, DIY spaces, street artists, and collectives, heavy on the screen prints and experimental, and also on affordability. The fair bobbed and bounced in the Hudson River, as if to taunt the Chelsea arts district from across the West Side Highway, declaring its presence and staying power.
Skewville, courtesy Mighty Tanaka.
But this year, Fountain is growing up a little. Instead of hoping that its visitors are seaworthy, the fair is making the jump to more traditional digs with its move to the historic 69th Regiment Armory. Sure, the actual New York Armory Show can claim “been there done that”, but what this move means for Fountain is not just more exhibition space, but also gives the fair the opportunity to allure more collectors that may be familiar with the venue. More importantly, the move gives Fountain a place in the 69th Regiment Armory’s art-filled history, which is approaching the 100th anniversary of its original Armory Show of 1913.
For more on Fountain's move and a preview of exhibitors, keep reading here.