“ADAA: The Art Show” held its annual Gala Preview last night, Tuesday, March 5, at the famed Park Avenue Armory. The fundraiser, which supports Henry Street Settlement, welcomed a packed crowd who socialized at length while ogling the art on display by seventy plus galleries. With a stronger emphasis on photography, the works on display outdoes previous editions in terms of quality and diversity.
At the preview, guests swarmed booths and their respective dealers—the sales offers seemed palpable. Pace/MacGill’s director Kimberly Jones hinted at solid interest in a large-scale diptych by formerly trained filmmaker Hai Bo. Similarly, Sean Kelly Gallery director Maureen Bray reported “a warm response and increased traffic” in regards to their booth featuring portraiture by eminent photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Fred Tomaselli‘s solo presentation of altered New York Times clippings at James Cohan Gallery, also proved potentially lucrative. Jane Cohan explained, “This is a series of 65 that [Fred] does between paintings. His wife saves the New York Times articles and he waits for what sings to him. They’re a wonderful combination between the content of news and exploration of beauty and abstraction and color.”
Other highlights included: glossy bronze and marble sculptures by Jean Arp at Mitchell-Innes & Nash and Tam Van Tran’s “Leaves of Ore” series at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, which due to its prime location transfixed passers-by. Monochromic canvasses by Mary Corse at Lehmann Maupin gave viewers a visual break. And a section dedicated to intricate sculptures by Ray Johnson and Joseph Cornell at Richard Feigen & Co. also stood out, despite their small-scale.
This year the show’s program proves more cohesive and daring. In reference to Cheim & Read’s innovative Jannis Kounellis installation, art consultant David Gimbert stated: “This is really gutsy. Utilizing the booth and small aisle as a frontispiece, Kounellis’ work creates a confrontational space that is refreshing.” And Josh Baer of Baer Faxt summed it up perfectly, “Ones enjoyment of the fair is totally dependent on how well you liked the solo booths, as it seemed more than half of the exhibitors took that route making it not feel like an art fair hardly [at all].”