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.
Opening events can be crowded and loud, not the best time to take in a new art exhibition.
But the recent event for American artist Barkley L. Hendricks’s solo exhibition, Heart Hands Eyes Mind, at Jack Shainman Gallery was a party before the party started. The most dazzling and cool guests (14 of them, in nine new paintings) could only exist on a Barkley L. Hendricks canvas. The human party guests, fashionably late, were immediately drawn into the work on the walls.
So the unspoken dirty little secret that separates those on the outside from those on the inside is the odd fact that the Armory Show is not at the Armory, and the show that is at the Armory Show concurrently to the Armory Show, is The Art Show. Not just an art show, but The Art Show, run by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA).It is the 50th Anniversary of the ADAA show, at the Armory, but it is the 100th Anniversary of the Armory Show. At the Pier. Those poor unlucky Sneetches who confuse the two are forced to remove their stars (look it up). So having hung at the Pier for Day 1, I toured 67th Street Armory on Day 2 of Armory Week, which really refers to the show at the pier. … Nevermind.
In the absence of our professional staff of curators, directors and bloggers, I have volunteered to provide an amateur account of my travels through Armory Week in New York. Kind of like when you get to your seat at a Broadway show, you open your program and a little piece of paper drops out saying that the part normally played by Hugh Jackman will be covered tonight by Gilbert Gottfried. So please lower your expectations accordingly.
We’ve had Nunna My Heros: After Barkley Hendricks’ ‘Icon for My Man Superman’, 1969 on view in our permanent collection gallery since January of this year, and the words at the top, “aint nuthin but a sandwich,” have been a mystery to me until this week.