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The ADAA Art Show 2008

The 2008 ADAA Art Show may be in its 20th year but it seems to be more vibrant and energetic than last year, when I first attended.

This year, curators Tom Eccles and Trevor Smith selected artists Spencer Finch, Lisi Raskin, and Pietro Roccosalvafor solo shows in three of the Armory's historic rooms just outside the fair, while in the hall outside was a video and multimedia art installation by multiple contemporary artists. Plus, several forums were held for the benefit of collectors about the art market.

Art is by, about and for people. The Art Dealers Association of America  members are basically the top galleries both for primary and secondary works in this country and in the world. Every work in this show is good, most are excellent, and a few are great. Many of the artists and some of the booths deserve full reviews, not just the brief mentions that my time and space allow.

Determined to see all the booths, upon entering I made a quick left into the Mitchell Innes and Nash booth where I begin the task of deciding what work to mention when everything deserves one. Seeing Arshile Gorky's oil from 1944, From a High Place, I have my first pick . Thanks to a bit of online research, I know what Lucy Mitchell-Innes looks like, so I introduced myself and she is as lovely and welcoming as her photos indicate.

The booth to the left belongs to the Luhring Augustine. I spot Roland Augustine, one of the gallery's partners and the current president of the ADAA leading visitors down an aisle towards another gallery's booth.

The  Luhring Augustine  booth is dedicated to Steve Wolfe's sculptures, which resemble editions of classic books. The charming Kristen and Sophie help me select the one of the Postman Always Rings Twice to especially mention, a good one for me as I am also a fan of mysteries, Hitchcock, and of course words in art!

Moving through the aisles, there are works by Andy Warhol in the many galleries that display Modern Art.

In the Hamptons, where I live. I usually mention at least the best, which is easy as I am dropping names like Pollack, Krasner, Chase, Ray Johnson and Max Ernst. The last two prominently featured at Richard L. Feigen & Co. The dynamic Max Ernst painting drew me right into the booth (you can see it in the blog article at the www.ungravenimage.com web site). I appreciate the opportunity granted by the always friendly and knowledgeable Dr. Frances F. L. Beatty to show it here. Also at this booth were three small charming watercolor works by Henri Rousseau that are enchanting.
Max Ernst
Terre Ecossaise (Scottish Land) , 1935
oil on canvas
25.5/8 x 32.7/8 Inches (65.1 by 83.5 cm.)

Tibor de Nagy had another selection featuring Hamptonites, Fairfield Porter, and Jane Freilicher. The James Goodman Gallery had an untitled De Kooning. The booth for the Barbara Krakow gallery featured Vulgar, a 2007 work by Mel Bochner.

At the Richard Grey Gallery booth, I renew my acquaintance with Paul Grey, ever the gentleman, again standing and offering a smiling handshake (to that point the only one so far to stand or offer a handshake). I first met at last year's show along with Andrew Fabricant who is the chair of the Art Show committee, and sitting with the was Roland Augustine, who I met for the first time as he welcomed me into this booth, too. At that time the gallery was showing work by sculpture Juame Plensa, another artist whose work I appreciate since he sculpts using letters for strokes. This year, the gallery features yet another artist with ties to the Hamptons, Jennifer Bartlett.

The Charles Cowles Gallery itself always has ties to the Hamptons, no matter what good artist is featured. Charles himself mans the desk, always welcoming and friendly as is his staff. Two small works by William T. Wiley were among the notables here.

In the next aisle is Sikkema Jenkins. This is a very special gallery to me, as the first work of art I ever showed in a big NYC gallery was in December 2007 at the Postcards From the Edge show hosted by this gallery. In addition, gallery staff staff is friendly and helpful (I coined the term “gallerytoro” especially include their excellent receptionist Scott my first galleristas review), plus the artists are first rate and even some of by favorites such as Kara Walker. At the Sikkema Jenkins booth, smiling and saying hello were Meg Malloy who is always good to see again and to meet Michael Skimma, for the first time. Their booth was dedicated to the work of gallery artist Amy Sillman‘s *oil on untitled canvas paintings, which conjure up depth and form.

At Greenberg Van Doren, Michael Martin graciously answers my questions about a particularly interesting untitled gouache by Richard Diebenkorn.

As I leave that booth I see up at the front of the aisle the now very familiar figure of a man, amicably chatting with people and leading them towards yet another gallery booth. I consider walking up to say hello, but my attention is drawn away by just a glimpse of the Cheim & Reed booth out of the corner of my eye. The whole booth is painted black, a perfect background for stunning sculptures on pedestals by Lynda Benglis. I am helped, as usual, by someone friendly from the gallery, this time meeting Daniel Lechner.  S tanding before the Cheim & Reed booth I am sure that absolutely no other booth can possibly equal this presentation…

Until I discover the D'Amelio Terras booth, with a grouping of several artists' works that wonderfully resonate with one another in a “suspended art” theme. An ingenious sculpture/mobile by Cornelia Parker merits a special mention. But, now I am sure that no other gallery's presentation could possible equal this one or Cheim and Reed's.

I arrived at the show after a long day of travel and other activities in the city, so by the time I enter the final and fourth aisle, I am wishing for a bit of a break. I am tired until I see a Rothko at L & M. It is not one of his huge works, but it towers spiritually, and momentarily lost in it, I revive.

At ACA Galleries, I chat with Jeffrey Bergen, director/owner and again, one of the delightful people I have met this year in the galleries. We chat as I enjoy the paintings from many of the gallery's artists and try to select one finally settling on Irene Hardwicke Olivieri 's who had a solo show that I enjoyed just before I began to give mentions, a tad over a year ago.

Nearing the end of the aisle booth Roland Augustine is meeting and greeting and showing more people around. I linger at the  OHara booth enjoying the Calder mobiles until for a moment Roland is free. I begin to reintroduce myself to him, but he knows who I am. The last time we physically met was in the elevator at the 1018 building, where Luhring Augustine has a new gallery branch. Anyway, Roland offers a big smile along with a solid handshake. We chat for a moment about the George Condo show that I am looking forward to next week.

I move along top the PaceWildenstein booth. On approach the booth did not seem special, displaying only one work by Richard Tuttle, with Cay Rose stationed at a desk before it. Cay explained the booth was designed by the artist, Richard Tuttle himself. It was specially carpeted and a low wall had been erected, which she leads me behind. Suddenly we are in a peaceful quiet viewing room that seems far from the activity of the show. Yet, another incredibly designed and presented booth.

Across from that, what normally would be the first booth one might enter I had saved for last. Ameringer & Yohe gallery had a tribute to the ADAA's past president Andre Emmerich, who died last year, This presentation included photos of the gallerist and works by three of the blue-chip artists Emmerich had championed: Anthony Caro, David Hockney and Morris Louis .

As I reach the exit, I turn around for one last impression of the Art Show, and see near the front aisle, Roland Augustine smiling, chatting and leading yet more guests to another gallery's booth to see and possibly collect the work of some of the finest Modern and Contemporary artists. He well represents the ADAA and the show: generous, enthusiastic, friendly and always quality.

Special thanks to Susan D'Inverno for speedily and efficiently sending the .jpg of Max Ernst's painting, plus being helpful as always. Also thanks to Frances F. L. Beatty Ph.d. for permission to use it. It was the only image I asked for as I knew it was not yet online. The rest, especially for the contemporary artists, can be better seen through the links to the gallery sites provided in the article. Also, mentions with an asterisk (*) indicate an image is available at a special slide gallery on artnet .

March 6, 2008



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