Friday, March 5, 2010

Armory show

Paul Johnson
Matthias Schaufler
Thomasz Kowalski

Well, the Armory show was a dizzying affair!! So much art to look at from all corners of the globe. I was an early bird so got to see most of it (200 booths!) without having to elbow my way around the thousands to come. On entering the show (first time to the Armory) I was met by a bewildering array of Modernist art, Picasso, Rorthko, Modigliano and the like, the old style fine art galleries, all hocking their wares. It's a marketing convention and this kind of art fits right into the idea of moneyed collectors.
Pier 92 the site of the modern contemporary works was organised into geographical zones. This bunching really showed the differences in their art sensibilities, whereas many of the NY gallery artists appeared as decorative and stylish (if you watch people's responses to the art it's like someone seeing something attractive and appealing in a gucci store and wanting to have it 'right now', so IN) however, the Germans were more wild; figurative and ugly (in the nicest possible way of course!). Loved Focus Berlin and their artist Thomasz Kowalski, Berlin artist Matthias Schaufler, Barbara Thumm Gallery and Gallarie Cinzia Friedlander. Also, quite enjoyed the London galleries who appeared fresh and upbeat, particularly liked the Camden Arts artist Paul Johnson.
The Armory has been around now for 88yrs, started in a hotel bedroom suite by a bunch of art lovers and over the years has progressed to one of the biggest art fairs in the world. It would be good to see a fair like this in a better economy. It's a down art market and in a sense it was obvious when looking at the art on display, which overall seemed to be very safe and ironically by default very saleable.

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