The Armory Show 2014 is particularly entertaining for the number of selfie-inducing artworks glittered throughout the massive 208,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at Pier 92/94 in New York City. Gleaming works of polished steel and chrome have been increasingly prominent in art fairs, perhaps most obviously with Rirkrit Tiravanija’s mirrored ping-pong table at NYEHAUS during Basel 2008, but the sheer abundance of literal reflections at this year’s Armory speaks true of what undeniably catches the busy fair goer’s eyes these days. From Olafur Eliasson’s triangular mirrors with frosted tips at i8 Gallery to Iván Navarro’s one-way mirrored neon boxes at Galerie Daniel Templon, the Armory Show reminds individuals to take a moment to reflect inwardly before returning to the sea of engulfing works found in over 200 exhibiting galleries from 29 countries.
Besides the diversions of the fluorescent haze and mirrors, the subjects of most other works are also rather transparently undemanding. Life-sized sculptures of smaller objects — for example, the handbell by Valentin Carron at the shrine-like alcove of Parkett Editions and the glowing books by Airan Kang at Bryce Wolkowitz – complement the surreal and unexampled, such as the toddler-sized Yayoi Kusama tentacle piece titled Thrill at Victoria Miro, and Liang Shuo’s Fit No.8, composed of branches and household items jutting out of an exercise machine, at Gallery Yang.
This year’s commissioned artist Xu Zhen ties together the transient novelty of art fairs, the art market, and ultimately, the larger dynamics of consumerism with Action of Consciousness, a room-size jack-in-the-box that thrusts giant objects, one after another, into the air for a coveted split second.
Photos by Alejandra Sabillon.
Iván Navarro at Galerie Daniel Templon. Clamores en Vano, 2013. Neon, wooden box, paint, mirror, one-way mirror, and electric energy.
Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro
Leandro Erlich at Sean Kelly Gallery. The Cloud – Rabbit, 2013. Ultra clear glass, ceramic ink, solid surface base.
Mat Collishaw at Blain|Southern. Hands – Idol Hour, 2013. Oil on canvas.
Tony Oursler at Galerie Forsblom. Persona Non Grata (orbital), 2014. Mixed media, video projection.
Pierre et Gilles at Galerie Daniel Templon. Funny Balls, 2012. Model: Marc Jacobs. Framed hand-painted photograph.
Yorgo Alexopoulos at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
Airan Kang’s glowing books at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
Ashim Purkayastha’s untitled painting at Vadehra Art Gallery
Xu Zhen, the commissioned artist for The Armory Show 2014. Play-expectation, 2013. Genuine and artificial leather, BDSM accessories, foam, metal, wood, ropes.
“Games Playground” of Double Fly Art Center
Liang Shuo at Gallery Yang. Fit No.8, 2014.
Jürgen Drescher’s aluminum sandcasts and gold plated silicone sculptures at Mai 36 Galerie