Armory Art Week – An Artventure in NYC

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I recently joined a squad of our nearest and dearest ATL Art Lady friends in New York to attend a couple of shows happening during Armory Art Week-gathering inspiration and (importantly for me!) getting off the tether and experiencing art (that isn’t mine!) in real life.

We hit the ground running with Spring/Break Art Show in Manhattan – this is the most “indie” (is that still a term?) of the shows we visited-emerging artists and special curatorial projects in alternative spaces. This year’s show was set up in a couple of vacant floors of a Madison Avenue office tower-defunct cubicles and offices acting as individual gallery spaces. We got to chat with lots of artists and curators and eavesdropped on some fun collector convos…A few highlights here:

Friday was a true art rock block. First stop was Art on Paper-I love this show! Housed at Manhattan’s Pier 36 it features 100 modern and contemporary galleries and printmaking studios representing a huge range of paper-based art. Laura and I completely nerded out over spectacular framing details, thoughtful mounting presentations, and just the thrill of seeing the work of so many artists we admire in person.

By the time we crossed town over to Armory a slight hangover (as a near teetotaler at this point in my life even a mild night out suuuuucks the next day) and that “holy crap I’m so visually overstimulated” feeling was sinking in. Got semi revived by mediocre food court break at Javitz we split up and made our respective ways through the Armory show.

It was a fantastic show-BUSY!, diverse, fun, and I saw a lot of work that felt fresh and different. As ever I was pulled to the artists incorporating unusual materials, texture, playfulness, saturated colors, and massive scale.

Seeing Jacob Hashimoto’s work in person always impresses-I love his massive kite/collage inspired installations-and these smaller works are incredible.

Cuban sculptor Yoan Capote creates these beautiful and foreboding waterscapes layering thousands of fishhooks and nails with oil paint on linen.

Kandy Lopez’s larger than life was Say Sukii was one of my favorites. I love the subject, the scale, the raw canvas grid, the cheeky take on traditional needlepoint and embroidery. So good.

I felt like there were some strong themes across the shows-lots of distorted, cartoonish depictions of bodies which as someone who feels like all things body and body judgement are riduculous was fun and weird. Lots of nostalgia with moody, darker undertones. Lots of portraits and figurative-which was surprising.

On the way back to our hotel in Chelsea we popped into to see the Sanford Biggers exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery. I love his work and getting to encounter such a beautifull installation of it was really special. As a tremendous quilt/textile lover I am especially drawn to the works that incorporate and subvert quilting and what can be thought of as traditional “Americana” iconography.

Friday night at the Whitney is a perfect way to end a week! Loved sharing this trip with these creative, powerhouse babes. From L to R: Beth Wilson, Laura Brown, Caroline Bullock, me!, Catharine Long, and Michael Berzsenyi.

We ate at some really special spots-a couple recs if you find yourself in NYC. I have a MEGA NYC Google list if you’re ever interested hit me up 😉

Legacy Records: beautifully designed, cozy, incredible food and service

La Mercerie: inside the Roman and Williams Guild this space was really neat-I loved the design side-the merchandising is super inspiring and there were all sorts of hand made treasures. We only did oysters and small apps but the whole menu looked great.

Balthazar: a classic for a reason. I loved that even LATE on a weeknight this place was bustling and cozy and the steak frites was perfection.

This was such a great, inspiring trip-I’ve been coming back to so much of what we saw again and again and I got tons of ideas and threads I want to follow. Hoping we can make this an annual trip!