ADAA in the Park Avenue Armory

Jim Hodges what's left 1992 white brass chain with clothing, dimensions variable [large detail of installation]

The Art Show of the Art Dealers's of America Association [ADAA] hosted a press reception early this afternoon in the Park Avenue Armory. I hadn't personally expected it to be the most exciting of the eight or more shows being held in Manhattan this week, if only because its concentration was definitely not on emerging art, but as it turned out, I was pretty impressed with the quality of the (mostly twentieth-century American) work displayed. Although it was all available for purchase by enthusiasts with deep pockets, for us lesser mortals it was like a good trip to a good museum, or perhaps 70 museums. I didn't even mind that because it's a collection of separate (and disparate) individual shops there isn't a hint of the kind of organization which would be expected in a museum or even a regular gallery show. This "armory show" has more than a little bit of the charm of a very good flea market, and I mean that in a good way.

Most of the exhibitors looked like they were just showing off their stuff rather than their curatorial restraint, but a few should be congratuated for presenting a concept rather than a catalog, and some should be praised for refusing to hold back on more edgy work just because of the spiffy profile of the event.

CRG Gallery gets laurels for its intelligence and courage on both scores. The Chelsea gallery showed only one artist, Jim Hodges, and a very limited number of his works, and each of them related to a form of vigorous, transgressive sexuality which is still able to frighten the horses.

Of the other booths, some of my favorites, in a quick run-through and in no particular order, were those of Knoedler & Company (New York), Rhona Hoffman Gallery (Chicago), Peter Freeman (New York), Matthew Marks (New York), Adler & Conkright Fine Art (New York), Brooke Alexander (New York), Barbara Krakow (Boston), and Andrea Rosen Gallery (New York).

Kehinde Wiley Keyon II (study) 2002 oil wash on paper 30" x 23" paper size [installation view] {Rhona Hoffman}

Gerhard Richter Nase [Nose] 1962 oil on canvas 30.75" x 23.5" {Peter Freeman}

Ellsworth Kelly Orange Curve I 1982 64" x 150" [installation view] {Matthew Marks}

Jenny Holzer FROM THE LIVING SERIES: IT TAKES AWHILE 1981-1982 enamel on metal 21" x 23" [installation view] {Barbara Krakow}

Joseph Raphael The Town Crier and his Family 1905 78" x 66" {Montgomery Gallery (San Francisco)}


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