14th Mar 2010
The traffic and sales at the two major art shows in New York City in 2010 reflected the slow but steady recovery of the art world. According to a report in the Art Newspaper, the sales at the Armory show were up 40% over the prior year.
Also as reported by the economic press, investors are cautious. This conservatism is also found in the art world. The majority of the works that were sold were by blue chip artists, such as the wall of Louise Bourgeois paintings featured at Cheim and Read is reported to have almost entirely sold out. That work is shown in the final image below.
This conservative trend was reflected in the works shown by the galleries, which tended to be smaller and featured better known if not blue chip artists. There is probably wisdom in this choice as it is well known that artworks that can be easily carried tend to gain and hold more value over time than those that cannot, given an equality of artistic merit and recognition.
I toured the shows with my assistant and son, David Wasserman Robles who took photos and helped find interesting works. David has a strong art heritage as his paternal grandmother is the late Esther Robles, the first woman gallerist of the famed La Cienega of Los Angeles. David was raised with art and has a keen eye.
There were many works and artists that I would have loved to share here, but, unfortunately the intricacies of the work or lighting conditions made tweeting a photo taken with David’s iPhone would be a disservice to the piece, the artist and gallery.
As we tour below you’ll notice that I become tired as we only stopped and sat just before we left the Armory show.
Will Ryman statue with Judy Rey Wasserman at 2010, Marlborough Gallery’s booth at Armory Show 2010. I am not touching the art– it is an optical illusion I played with the camera set up!
At Harris Lieberman’s booth this untitled work by Bernd Ribbeck, 2009
At Gary Snyder Project Space a Sven Lukin, untitled, 1965. Even though I am 5’9″ tall, this work towers over me!
At Galerie Hussenot – Mounir Fatmi’s Mort ou Vif , 2009 at the Armory Show 2010
Armond Bartos fine art- gallery’s booth at the Armory Show 2010 featured this painting by Larry Rivers, Bar Mitzvah Photograph Painting. Rivers also lived and worked in Southampton, NY.
David captioned this Tweet himself, “A very graven image but cool, at Friedrich Petzel Gallery – Sean Landers – the Idiot 2003”
A Kara Walker work at Sikkema Jenkin’s booth at the 2010 Armory Show.
Kara Walker is a favorite contemporary artist, so the look on my face indicates only my aching feet and and need for some water to drink.
The ADAA Art show primarily featured blue chip artists, but this year there were very few larger works for sale.
James Cohan Gallery had a beautiful display featuring works by Roxy Paine, most seemed to be mock ups or small versions of her huge trees.
From our experience with the image above of Sean Lander’s black sculpture it was obvious that we could not due justice to Fred Wilson’s stunning and all black mirrors featured at Pace Wildenstein — but these provocative works are well worth seeing in person.
Julie Hefferman’s Self as Buildboy 2010, along with the lovely Eden Pilkington at P.P.O.W.’s booth.
A section of a wall of small works by Louise Bourgeois at Cheim and Read.
The continuing upswing for the art market is good news for dealers and hopeful news for artists. Savvy collectors are using this opportunity to discover emerging artists or under-priced works by mid-career artists. The public benefited as the dealers brought our more blue chip work that otherwise might only be seen in special shows or museums. Whatever, these shows attest that whatever the conditions of the world, we artists will continue to make art and people will continue to seek to experience it. It is just what we do.
Thanks to David Wasserman Robles for taking that uploading these iPhone photos and the galleries who were courteous and let us take them, Tweet them and share them.
* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]