Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

“Doors and Floors, War and More: Reflections on The Armory Show 05”

“Doors and Floors, War and More: Reflections on The Armory Show 05”
The International Fair of New York
Piers 90 and 92
March 10-14, 2005

This year’s Armory Show was a reasonably accurate reflection of today’s international art market with its vast array of sculpture, installations, painting, drawing, photography, and even some furniture. More than 550 galleries competed for 162 booths. By design, roughly half the exhibitors were from outside of New York. So, it was possible to travel to 39 world cities without leaving New York—not a bad deal for a $20.00 one-day ticket for up to eight hours of art-gazing. The show was alternately exhilarating, mundane, and depressing. It lacked the manic verve of Art Basel/Miami but was certainly an efficient way of catching up on current trends and occasionally something more.

What follows is our list of favorite works in the show—those works that stopped us in our tracks and caused us to spend some time looking closely. Our picks include a mix of established, mid-career, and emerging artists from galleries in eight countries and three American cities. In looking for common threads among the works we liked most, we realized that they cut across the familiar art-world categories of High Modernism, Minimalism, and Post-Modernism. But, we discovered that to adequately describe this year’s show, a fourth group was necessary—a hybrid category that we are calling, Post-Modern Minimalism, works that have a minimal sensibility along with social content and/or humor with strong ironic tones. We will present our favorite works by using these four categories and discussing them in reverse order.

Gilles Barbier The Space Conquest 2003 resin; 36 blocks: each block 15 ¾ x 15 ¾ x ½ inches edition 3 Courrtesy Gallerie Georges-Phillipe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris

Post-Modern Minimalism