The Armory Show this week has a bright energy, a more fluid layout, and a great presentation of work by artists from the African diaspora in the fair’s “Focus” section. Galleries brought quality work, shying away from more flashy, shocking, or installation-heavy presentations. Daniel Joseph Martinez‘s wall work that read “I can’t ever imagine wanting to be white.” at Roberts & Tilton was one of the few politically charged pieces.
We saw a good amount of impressive painting, from artists like Fiona Rae at Timothy Taylor gallery, Jules de Balincourt‘s Space Investors (2015) at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Njideka Akunyili Crosby‘s collages at Victoria Miro, and we loved Barkley L. Hendricks‘ at Jack Shainman gallery (presenting an exhibition of the artist later this month).
We also noticed quite a bit of material exploration on view — like Matthew Brandt‘s chromogenic prints buried in Wai’anae, Hawaii at M+B gallery, Kirk Mangus‘ stoneware vessels at James Cohan gallery, and Sebastian Stöhrer‘s glossy ceramic pieces Carl Freedman gallery.
Other 3D standouts included Patrick Jacob‘s miniature-like blush pink circular diorama, Yeesookyung‘s massive sculpture made from ceramic shards at Ota Fine Arts, a solo exhibition of Marlene Mocquet at Galerie Laurent Godin featuring sculpture and paintings straight from a spooky fable, and E.V. Day‘s sensual Satellite of Modern Love (2016) a mashup of arms and legs in Yves Klein blue at Carolina Nitsch.
Overall, the fair felt serious and strong, continuing its role as an anchor in New York’s spring art calendar.
The Armory Show is on view through March 6.