Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Art for Art's Sake
This weekend, we attended the 27th Art Dealers Association of America Annual Art Show to benefit Henry Street Settlement at the Park Avenue Armory. The art in the show ranged from post-card size works (including a marvelous Egon Schiele from Galerie St. Etienne) to a Basquiat that filled an entire wall. In between looking at the art, we schmoozed - a lot. Case in point, Jill Sussman, herself a work of art, was there with her husband (who was sweet enough to take this picture - without which - did you guess? - there'd be no picture of us at all).
From a number of events on Art Show weekend at venues around the city, we chose the Armory in part because of news coverage of its inclusion of works by a number of heavy hitters whom we admire like Al Held, Alice Aycock and Jean Michel Basquiat. Cheim and Read featured Al Held's Armatures, one of which, from 1953, appears below.
Miami's Fredric Snitzer Gallery featured one of the most newly minted pieces in the show, Alice Aycock's 2015 aluminum "Timepiece #3".
Here's the Basquiat, at the van de Weghe booth. You could do a line-up of suspects fit for a police headquarters and still not entirely obscure this painting.
Nam June Paik's 1989 "Self Portrait" contains a bronze mask of the artist, videotape, antique TV tubes, circuit board, eggs, painted globe, watch, suspenders, pewter Buddha, magnet, painted piano, I-Ching page, silk flowers and one pair of eyeglasses incorporated in a 1950s Philco Predicta TV cabinet.
Outside Pavel Zoubek's booth hung "Christo Wrapped Mirror", dated 1963, of partially gilded, wooden, Victorian frame and glass mirror, polyethylene, twine and rope.
Eric Rhein's "R.O.T.C." from 1987, hung in the same gallery's space, is made of wire, suede, leather brocade fabric and found objects.
An entire wall in John Berggruen Gallery's space was covered with colorful Matisse paper pieces.
Several of the black and white pieces caught our eye, like Hernyk Berlewi's 1923 "Element Mechano-Faktur-Element", gouache on paper mounted on board
Victor Vasarely's "Cleo" 1958-61 acrylic on canvas was Jean's favorite piece in the show.
Some of you - particularly those of you living in New York City, or New York City studio-sized apartments - are sniffing 'yeah, that's all very nice for people with space. There's no way I can have art in my apartment.' We thought of you too, and yes, you can have art. Here are a few pint-sized (or quart or gallon-sized) beauties for the dimensionally-challenged.
Here is a wonderfully compact untitled sculpture by Jose de Rivera, at the Valerie Carberry Gallery. We didn't actually measure it, but it's less than one foot across.
Or you could have a Fernand Leger. Leger is best known for his paintings, but you could have this textured three dimensional ceramic piece. We found it at the Jeffrey H. Loria booth, inset into a wall, so it takes up no space at all.
At Adler & Konkright Fine Art we found this delicious Sonia Delaunay, entitled Prismes Electriques, no bigger than the size of a head portrait.
For those in the mood for something more modern, have a dash of Anton van Dalen. We're only showing you his paper hot rod, but the whole booth at PPOW was devoted to van Dalen, and with good reason. He has an edgy, playful mentality. Even his paper tenement building is hypnotic. Again, we didn't have our rulers handy, but this fabulous ride couldn't be more than about seven inches tall.
Still swear you don't have room? Wear your art on your sleeve. (Sorry - but you must admit it's been a long time since we indulged in a bad pun.) The James Goodman Gallery had a mouthwatering selection of Calder brooches. We apologize for the glare, but isn't it worth it? If you have no space on your walls, wear a Calder on your hat, or around your neck, or on your jacket.
We should point out that most dealers seemed to find printing their prices anathema, so we don't know what anything cost. But as for space? Yes, we guarantee you have space in your home for art.
What we're wearing:
Jean is wearing a cashmere knit hat by Jasmin Zorlu; Top Shop jacket; Sock Man black and white fingerless gloves; black and white Underground Creepers from Trash and Vaudeville; white and black tote bag gifted from Kirsten Hawthorne; black knit harem pants from a neighborhood Tibetan store.
Valerie is wearing a vintage shearling hat by the Granite State Toy Co., Monies polished wood earrings, an unlabeled cotton bolero, an imitation Miro sweater whose label disappeared years ago, an imitation Mondrian ring (unseen), vintage Issey Miyake culottes (bought new more than twenty-five years ago!), and Diane von Furstenberg boots.