Blog / Trevor’s Top Ten: Armory Week 2011

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NEW YORK–Three months after Art Basel Miami Beach, the contemporary art world is at it again.

It’s a lot colder, and not a mojito in sight. But a formidable concentration of art can be found (through March 6) at the annual Armory Show, on Pier 94 on Manhattan’s far West side, on the Hudson River. From the main fair to Chelsea galleries and New York art museums, Trevor covered a lot of ground in three days to come up with his Top Ten list of contemporary art that caught his eye, a kind of snapshot of New York in March. Trevor, who is the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum, curated last fall’s “The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl,” opening at the ICA/Boston next month. Trevor also organized the upcoming exhibition “Building the Contemporary Collection: Five Years of Acquisitions.” (Read Trevor’s Top Ten from Art Basel Miami Beach 2010 here.)

Following is Trevor’s list of Top 10 works of art that stood out among thousands, in and outside of the fair (scroll down to see corresponding images).

Around town:
1. Bronx Museum of the Arts, “Stargazers: Elizabeth Catlett in Conversation with 21 Contemporary Artists,” curated by Isolde Brielmaier.
A group exhibition including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and video, on view through May 29.
Trevor’s note: “This is a beautiful, thoughtfully organized exhibition of Elizabeth Catlett’s work and responses by younger generations. Highlights include works by Mickalane Thomas, Robert Pruitt and Roberto Visani, among others.”
IMAGE: Mickalene Thomas.

2. Dario Robleto, The Minor Chords are Ours,” solo show at D’Amelio Terras, New York.
The artist’s personal record collection–and those of his mother and grandmother–are the source materials for this exhibition of prints, installations and sculptures.
Trevor’s note: “Robleto finds success as he breaks new ground, experimenting with new media and forms in this terrific, record-inspired exhibition.”
IMAGE:
Dario Robleto
Untitled (Don’t Decay In The Wrong Arms) 2010
59 1/2 x 45 1/2 x 4 inches
Silhouettes from grandmother’s and mother’s album cover collections, cut vinyl, polyurethane on wood.

3. “Looking at Music 3.0,” at Museum of Modern Art.
Third in a series of exhibitions curated by Barbara London exploring the influence of music on contemporary art practices.
Trevor’s note: “This show focuses on the intersections of music and art in New York in the 1980s and 1990s. Spike Lee’s video for Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” Keith Haring’s clothing design for Grace Jones in her video “I’m not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You) and Tribe Called Quest’s video for “Scenario” are refreshingly fun to be seen and heard in MoMA.”
IMAGE: Visitors at MoMA

4. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, “Any Number of Preoccupations,” at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
The London-based artist’s exhibition of paintings is on view through March 13, 2011.
Trevor’s note: “Her first museum solo show is a hit.”
IMAGE: (Not from the exhibition) Lynett Yiadom-Boakye, “Tambourine,” 2010. Oil on canvas, 98 3/8 x 74 3/4 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Museum purchase with funds provided by Marjorie and Michael Levine, T’84.

5. Xaviera Simmons, “How to Break Your Own Heart,” part of “The February Show” at Ogilvy & Mather, New York.
The group exhibition, housed at the advertising agency’s world headquarters at 636 11th Ave., New York, “aims to highlight the diverse perspectives behind the concept of Black History Month,” according to the curator’s statement. By appointment only: jun.lee@ogilvy.com
Trevor’s note:
Simmons’ powerful and playful record cover installation “How to Break Your Own Heart” is a standout in this six-floor exhibition of work by young artists.
IMAGE: Simmons’ installation at Ogilvy.

6. David Hammons, solo show at L&M Arts, New York.
The exhibition was on view until March 4, 2011. See an installation panorama view of the gallery here.
Trevor’s note: “We’ve all read about it. You just have to see it for yourself.”
IMAGE: David Hammons

At the Armory:
7. Wangechi Mutu, “Primal Glare,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
Trevor’s note: “Mutu is truly masterful with collage. Global mashups with beauty and bite.”

8. Alfredo Jaar, “Gold in the morning,” at Galeria Oliva Arauna, Madrid.
The artist used a light box to display the photograph, which is six feet wide.
Trevor’s note: “I like it that his work is critical and political, but also alluring.  He captures human suffering in an unusually seductive way.”

9. Damian Ortega, “Ulysses Way” at White Cube, London.
An installation of rolled-up blankets, buckets, dishwasher and dryer and other household belongings precariously piled up on an old Peugeot bicycle.
Trevor’s note: “Ortega’s sculpture speaks to the creative repurposing of materials in economically underdeveloped countries, but with a sense of whimsy and magical realism.”

10. Nari Ward, “Ahh,” at Galeria Continua, Italy.
A 2010 sculpture suggesting a wide, open mouth, made of shoe tongues collected from used shoes in China.
Trevor’s note: “Ward demonstrates his command of found materials in his playful commentary on contemporary China.”

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