Blog / The Amateur Blogspot: Armory Day 3

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By Mike

Along with the Armory, and the pier (don’t get me started again), there are numerous other venues during Armory week where galleries, artists, museums etc. provide exhibitions and purchasing opportunities to an art-starved public. Christie’s, Sotheby‘s and Phillips all hold their contemporary auctions during Armory Week. The Independent Art Show is in Chelsea on West 22nd Street, there is a video art fair at the Waterfront New York Tunnel (a very cool space in a gallery/mall setting), Volta on Mercer Street, and god knows what else. And for all the art junkies who just didn’t get enough during the day by the time the shows close at 7pm, many of the galleries time new show openings to coincide with Armory week, so that you can continue your art day on into the night.
My standout opening this week was Yawar Mallku; Temporal Landscapes, William Cordova’s new show at Sikkema Jenkins. The always comfortable Sikkema Jenkins galleries were smartly laid out with art works evidencing the myriad genres in which this up and coming artist is proficient. Cordova’s drawings covered two whole walls of the back gallery with simple yet intimate illustrations of many of the themes that recur in his work. Familiar record and paper stacks and groupings of tires were wired to and associated with all manner of found objects through drawing and collage. Facing off with the drawings were large scale paint and collage works, including a colorful wall of large scale collage pieces, and a wall of large paintings with gold leaf contrasting white backgrounds. A monumentally tall sculpture of repeated conical elements and a number of small manufactured and found elements completed the installation. In my favorite large scale painting, extended improvisations in time (a.b), shown above, Cordova illustrates the Angela Davis quote, “Walls turned sideways are bridges” with a large horizontal wall/bridge structure floating in space on plains of paint. The bridge is “tagged” with the names of artists and writers who have influenced Cordova, Herman Melville, Orson Wells, and, most appropriately the subway artist Lee Quinones. In this work Cordova is able to take his signature style of repurposing found objects in drawing and sculpture to a new scale which is both visually pleasing and personally relevant.

Day 4 to come. Same Nasher time. Same Nasher channel.

IMAGE: William Cordova, extended improvisations in time (a.b.), 2011-12. Mixed media and gold leaf on paper, 51 x 95 inches (129.5 x 241.3 cm). Signed on verso. WC 12777.

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