taking a break at the Armory Show press and VIP preview this afternoon
Although we were there for four hours, we managed to make our way through only a little more than a third of the floor area of one of the two piers occupied by this year's pared-down roster of Armory Show exhibitors this afternoon. Well it hasn't even opened yet, so can still go back. We were there for the press preview [yes, the White House now isn't our only institution which gives press passes to bloggers], so much of the first hour was spent on the organizers' presentation.
We're pretty tired this evening, but then we never took a lunch break - or a break of any kind - and we didn't take advantage of most of this year's welcome innovations: more open space, open views of the Hudson River, the wonder of artist-designed lounge seating, and even mood lighting in the food concession area.
But we did enjoy ourselves a lot, not least because we found less of the big-name, big-ticket art whose pricey presence had seemed to dominate shows in recent years. There was a wealth of new sights and new names even for gallery-going veterans, and those weren't all in the booths of the foreign galleries. Also, is it my imagination, or does the work in those galleries look less "exotic" here than it used to? And if so, does that mean the New York art world, and that in the U.S. generally, has become less provincial, or is the rest of the world succumbing to our particular tastes?
Biggest news nugget (news at least for me) carried out of the press preview: Glenn Lowry, the Director of the Museum of Modern Art, reminded us that this year MoMA had coordinated the opening date of the next "Greater New York" show mounted by its more edgy farm team, P.S.1, to coincide with the period of the Armory Show, apparently in order to show the parent organization's appreciation of the new. Then he mentioned casually that this year the huge Queens show would be "presented jointly" by MoMA and P.S.1. Wow. Apparently MoMA's now got to be in the room when junior invites his wild and crazy friends over to the house.
By the way, the extraordinarily-wealthy beneficiary of the monies raised by tonight's tony Opening Night Preview Party on the Armory piers is MoMA, and specifically the exhibitions program, not even its new works acquisitions program. In any event, no arts scholarship or arts healthcare foundations need apply. Even the staid old-guard ADAA Art Show can think outside of its own institutional box when it comes to benefits.
That's enough at least for now about the venue and the arrangements. In the next few days I expect to post a number of images with brief descriptions, but one caution starting out: As usual on this blog site, the images will not necessarily represent the things I liked most. Rather they will be the best photographs I was able to get of those works seen which interested me most. And, also following precedent, preference will usually be given to the more obscure works, the least-known artists.
See Barry tonight, and watch both of our sites over the next few days at least, for more images and comments about the various art fairs dotting New York this week.
Oh yes, would somebody help me remember: Who are these two wonderful performance artists in the picture at the top of this post?