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The Art Show opens today, on view through March 1 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. Hosted by The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), the fair brings together 72 galleries showing solo, dual, and group presentations.
Whitewall spoke with ADAA Executive Director Maureen Bray about which booths to keep an eye on, as well as first-time participants like David Kordansky Gallery, Gallery Wendi Norris, and more.
WHITEWALL: Over 40 galleries have chosen to present solo booths this year, a signature for the fair. What makes the Art Show a great setting for solo presentations? What are some of the notable solo presentations?
MAUREEN BRAY: The Art Show was created by a group of the leading art dealers across the country, the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA). The fair provides our community of members a special platform for showcasing the depth and quality of their programs. The fair is known for its intimate and navigable scale that allows for close looking and conversations with the gallerists, so ADAA members find that it’s a great opportunity to explore the work of an artist in depth and engage collectors and the public with new perspectives on individual artists.
19 presentations this year will focus on female artists, such as Pavel Zoubok’s presentation of sculpture by Vanessa German and paintings by Jane Wilson that have not been exhibited publicly for more than three decades, presented by DC Moore Gallery.
Many artists make work specifically for the fair, such as Nina Chanel Abney at Pace Prints, and Idris Kahn at Sean Kelly Gallery.
Other notable solo exhibitions include Galerie Lelong & Co.’s presentation of rarely-seen paintings by the late Ficre Ghebreyesus, and James Cohan’s exhibition of new embroidered compositions by Palestinian-American artist Jordan Nassar, shown alongside the traditional Palestinian dress that inspired them.
WW: Who are some of the fair first-time participants we should keep an eye out for?
MB: Among our first-time exhibitors are ADAA members who have joined the Association recently, including David Kordansky Gallery, Andrew Kreps Gallery, McClain Gallery, Gallery Wendi Norris, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, and Leon Tovar Gallery, whose programs span a wide range of genres, media, and periods of art history. I’m particularly looking forward to Leon Tovar’s presentation of Marcelo Bonevardi’s “painting constructions” from the 1960s and 70s, and Gallery Wendi Norris’s dual presentation of works by Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, exploring the artistic partnership of the two female Surrealists.
WW: The fair will also feature some notable thematic and group exhibitions. Could you share a couple highlights?
MB: For the same reasons that The Art Show always features so many solo presentations, it also consistently includes thoughtful group and dual presentations, that offer new perspectives on art historical movements, or a group of artists whose work shares a thematic connection – this year being no exception. Some highlights of the 2020 edition include a joint presentation by Fraenkel Gallery and Luhring Augustine examining the use of text in the practices of Lee Friedlander and Christopher Wool; Venus Over Manhattan’s celebration of renowned art dealer Phyllis Kind and her eponymous galleries in New York and Chicago; and Jonathan Boos’s exhibition Psychological Realism, which features a range of works exploring psychological narratives through realistic imagery.
WW: Will there be any special presentations outside of the main hall?
MB: We’ve been consistently expanding the programming around The Art Show over the past few years. There are some terrific public programs planned during the week, including panels on the role of art dealers in the arts ecology and the recent focus on public art. Panelists will include Lindsay Pollock, Lynn Gumpert, Sean Kelly, Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Josiah McElheney, Olalekan Jeyifous, and many more.
I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say on these compelling topics.
We’re also continuing a program we launched with last year’s fair – a dedicated event on Sunday, March 1 from 12-3 p.m., during which fairgoers can hear directly from artists and scholars about the work on view in select booths. We had a wonderful response last year to this program from visitors, as well as the artists and the gallerists, so we’re looking forward to doing it again this year.
And finally, before you stop at The Art Show on Saturday, February 28, more than 40 ADAA member galleries will open their doors to the public for the ADAA Gallery Walk: Midtown + Upper East Side.
WW: Outside of The Art Show, what are you looking forward to seeing around New York at the time of the fair?
MB: There’s no shortage of excellent exhibitions in New York this season, and I’m looking forward to seeing several of our member gallery’s shows that coincide with their presentations at the fair, such as Susan Inglett’s exhibition of work by Beverly Semmes, and Miles McEnery’s show of April Gornik’s paintings.