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Sunday, March 6, 2011



THE 2011 ARMORY SHOW: NEW YORK

Portrait painting with high technical skills ruled the interest level at this years Armory show.  Overall, conservatism is back, the wow factor is gone and there were no surprises. Gallerists were comfortable displaying work that cried economic doom "the end is near"  or bold statements such as " I LOVE YOU" in neon.

Upstairs, the modern masters, historically significant work of the 20th and 21st centuries showed little variety. There were fewer high end Galleries this year, some more noticeable than others, however, it was what was expected.  The staple galleries showed the safe works again, in less quantity.  Rothko, Picasso, Rauschenberg, Warhol, Lichtenstein were less prevalent this year, a sign that the global economic temperature is at a stand still.  Last year, collectors bought up the blue chip pieces in bunches and reacted to the deals that were abound.  This year the smaller galleries and new work by living artists was more competitive.  Technical skills were in demand with less attention paid to experimental and avant-garde.  The standouts all seem to be realistic paintings.

The general consensus was there were more people from out of town  and they were buying smaller works, in series. Many of the visitors were looking to the Armory show as the art world's economic indicator over the next year.

What did remain, is the sense of over stimulation.  Sensory overload as all mediums converge, political messages abound, the tension of what will sell and of course the fantastic people watching. Galleries report that the biggest sales came within the first five minutes of the fair and others reporting sales as "good" and steady throughout.  The general feeling as that "contacts" were made which will help sustain the market the rest of the year.  Below are images of what I felt were the stand out pieces of the show.
r. greco, try state magazine



































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