Nam June Paik, ‘Megatron Matrix’, photo courtesy of Ryan Somma
The Armory is basically the Coachella of the art world – well, sans the ecstasy and the floral headbands. But anyone who’s anyone (or has ever been at some point in time) will gather at Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan to browse New York’s largest art fair and see work from both emerging and legendary global artists.
Since that can be a bit overwhelming, we’ve done you a solid and put together a list of 10 artists you won’t want to miss at this year’s show. Trust us.
Douglas Coupland at Daniel Faria
‘Tsunami Chest,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Daniel Faria Gallery
Postmodern artist and fiction author Douglas Coupland is known for subverting pop culture and military imagery, in part due to his time growing up in a military family throughout the Cold War. Fascinated by Andy Warhol and the whole Pop Art movement, Coupland explores the darker side of popular culture through installation and sculpture.
Gilbert & George at Ropac
‘Beardache,’ 2016, photo courtesy of the artist
Collaborative art duo Gilbert & George are known for their highly formalized performance art practice, as well as their, um, not so formal photography work. Their ongoing photo series, referred to as The Pictures, features large scale back-lit images of everything from skinheads to semen, and a whole lot of beards.
Kyle Meyer at Yossi Milo
From ‘Interwoven,’ 2017, photo courtesy of the artist
Kyle Meyer is a photographer, sculptor and mixed media artist who uses digital photography and a variety of handmade techniques, such as weaving, to explore connectivity in the digital age. For his series, Interwoven, Meyer hand-wove over photographs to celebrate flamboyance, homosexuality and femme-identifying men in a hyper-masculine culture.
Cammie Staros at Shulamit Nazarian
‘All Quiver and Shake,’ 2017, photo courtesy of the artist
Sculptor Camme Staros creates handmade objects that juxtapose modernism with antiquity and craft. Joining traditional materials like clay and ceramics with modern details like neon and steel, Staros examines the “semiotic systems” that have been “created and reinforced throughout art history.”
Etel Adnan at Gallery Continua
‘Five Senses for One Death,’ 1969, photo courtesy of the artist
Lebanese-American poet, writer and painter Etel Adnan crafts abstract oil paintings and landscapes inspired by Japanese leporellos that extend into space “like free-hand drawings.” In 2014, Adnan’s work was also included in the Whitney Biennial.
Nam June Paik at Gagosian
‘Lion,’ 2005, photo courtesy of Gagosian
Probably the most exciting artist on this list (at least for us), Nam June Paik is credited with being the founder of video art. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Paik began his career as a musician as part of the Fluxus movement in 1960. After moving to New York in 1964, he began experimenting with film, combining his musical works with video sculptures constructed of wire and metal. Before his death in 2006, Paik was known as an early adopter of technology, including his famous robots built of out multiple computers. In fact, he’s also credited with using the term “electronic super highway” as early as 1974. Damn.
Alicja Kwade at i8 Gallery
‘Computer (Power Mac),’ 2017, photo courtesy of i8 Gallery
Polish artist Alicja Kwade works in sculpture, installation, photography and film. Throughout all of her work, however, she likes to play with value systems, transforming useless materials like wood or glass into high value pieces of art.
Jinshi Zhu at Pearl Lam
‘A Tiger Shaped Tally,’ 2016, photo courtesy of Pearl Lam Gallery
Painter Jinshi Zhu creates abstract oil paintings focused on texture, through endless layers of color and paint. Inspired by the German Expressionist movement and their unconventional techniques, Zhu often creates these layers using a spatula or shovel.
The Haas Brothers at R & Company
‘Socrata Floor Lamps and Furries’, photo courtesy of the artists
Twins Nikolai and Simon Haas have worked in pretty much every medium, from music and film to installation and visual art. Now focused mostly on their sculpture and installation work, The Haas Brothers highlight themes including sexuality, science fiction, psychedelia and politics.
Jeffrey Gibson at Roberts Projects
‘Power Power Power,’ 2017, photo courtesy of Roberts Projects
Artist Jeffrey Gibson relates his experience as a Native American growing up in a Western culture into large scale paintings and woven sculpture. Also inspired by dance and movement, from pow-wows to nightclubs and the work of Leigh Bowery, Gibson examines nostalgia, heritage and pre-colonized Native American life.
Oh, and if looking at all this great art makes you hungry, check out our guide to The Armory’s pop-up restaurants.
Step inside the world of WIFE and witness a mystical phenomena. Born of three Los Angeles-based dancers, (Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, and Nina McNeely), she is known as A Trinity of Illusory Performance Makers.
WIFE creates an all senses engaged theatrical experience. If you have seen her live you know it’s a full body—and out of body—experience. Through projected body-mapping animations, sculpture, light, self-crafted music, costumes and choreography, WIFE makes the imaginary a reality. Although, when you’re in her performance presence it feels more like a fleeting moment of surreality—an electric alternate reality you want to stay suspended in.
On Wednesday, June 22, WIFE (represented by Maavven) brings her latest creation, Enter The Cave,to Hammer Museum in LA. Loosely based on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave,Enter the Caveis a story of transformation and transcendence told through illusion. The performance is meant to rearrange our notions of reality, space, and time.
The free performance begins in the Hammer Museum Courtyard at 7:30PM PST and can be live streamed, here.
After a chance meeting in a New York cafe in 1980, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol went on to conspire on several significant works, until the latter’s untimely death in 1987. One such painting, simply Untitled, will go on the block at the Sotheby’s ParisFrench Evening sale on June 7.
The current owner of the rather poignantly foreboding artwork (Jean-Michel himself died in 1988), a 1984-1985 acrylic, silkscreen and oil on canvas, signed by both artists on the overlap, is Sir Elton John, along with husband David Furnish. Described as a memento mori—meaning, a cultural reminder of mortality and death’s inevitability—it strikingly exhibits the artistic/psychological frisson and tension that existed between Warhol and Basquiat.
It is expected to fetch upwards of $1,000,000, and the proceeds will likely go to one of the singer’s charitable concerns. Indeed, he and Sotheby’s have a collaborative history of selling off pieces to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Throughout May, Shia LaBeouf’s been regularly posting strange coordinates onto his Twitter, only recently providing clarity about his latest artistic endeavor. Along with creative collaborators Nastja Rönkkö and Luke Turner, LaBeouf has embarked on a project called, #TAKEMEANYWHERE, which sees the trio hitchhiking across the world and sharing their locations to followers online.
“From 23 May until 23 June 2016, you are invited to pick up the artists whenever their coordinates above are posted and take them anywhere,” the project’s site explains.
The group, whose journey first began in Boulder, Colorado, can be traced real-time through VICE, and once their hitchhiking adventures close, LaBeouf and his comrades will release a short film highlighting their experience for display at London’s Finnish Institute and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
Basquiat’s work was iconic, imbued with a level of unabashed emotion and power that street art hadn’t seen when he first began wreaking havoc on New York in the ’80s. By addressing charged themes like racism, politics and hypocrisy, the young painter gave new depth to graffiti art and infiltrated the world of high-brow aficionados with a personal, outsider approach.
Designer eyewear brand Etnia Barcelona has tapped into this narrative, creating a capsule collection of sunglasses that incorporate Basquiat-inspired motifs through smart, subtle details. An homage to the late visionary, this exclusive release follows the brand’s mission to develop authentic accessories with an eye for key cultural movements in art and photography.
Four different sunglasses will be available worldwide with patterns based on three original works by Basquiat. Though each individual piece is unique, Etnia Barcelona’s designed the eyewear with three vertices to resemble those hand-drawn, three-point crowns that we’ve grown to associate with Basquiat’s legacy.
A true fusion of substance and style, Etnia Barcelona’s forthcoming capsule sees the release of a fashion film, as well, featuring rapper Oddisee and graphic artist Elle—two contemporary figures who’ve both kept Basquiat’s rebellious energy alive today. Watch, below:
During the early ’60s, Andy Warhol was working primarily as a commercial artist, having just begun to assert himself as a fine artist and local provocateur. In January 1963, he moved into an Upper East Side studio, his first private space, which was then an affordable fire house, available for only $150 per month. More than half a century later and following years of gentrification, Warhol’s historic site, 159 East 87th Street, is on the market for a steep $9,975,000 and “offers a developer a blank canvass [sic] to create boutique condominiums, a mixed-use rental or a luxury townhouse.”
Six months before the iconic pop artist moved into his UES space, he’d established a polarizing name with his newly debuted Campbell Soup Can paintings. “In 1963, [Warhol] was only just becoming known as a fine artist, so it’s no wonder he didn’t invest in a fancier studio,” said Warhol biographer Blake Gopnik to Artnet News. The building was “a wreck, with leaks in the roof and holes in the floors, but it was better than trying to make serious paintings in the wood-paneled living-room of his Victorian townhouse, as he’d done for the previous couple of years.” Despite the shifty environment, Warhol still managed to create several pieces from his revered Death and Disaster series, as well as portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.
Warhol’s lease ended the following May, more than half a year before he moved into his legendary Silver Factory and unveiled his 1964 sculpture exhibition, Brillo Boxes—work philosopher Arthur Danto labeled the end of art. “What Warhol taught was that there is no way of telling the difference [between art and non-art] merely by looking,” Danto said. “The eye, so prized an aesthetic organ when it was felt that the difference between art and non-art was visible, was philosophically of no use whatever when the differences proved instead to be invisible.”
The two-story building, located between Lexington and Third Avenue, is currently being used for art storage and marketed by Cushman & Wakefield as a “boutique development site”—a far cry from its humble Warholian roots and testament to NYC’s ever-evolving real estate landscape.
Everything is awesome! Internationally renowned installation artist Olafur Eliasson is inviting passersby of the High Line to participate in his new work, The collectivity project. The task? Create your vision of an ideal city…with legos.
Open daily from 10am to 7pm until September 30, visitors are encouraged to come, build and rebuild an imaginary skyline with hundreds of white legos at their disposal. When the project opened on May 29, Eliasson collaborated with several Manhattan architectural firms to create a few structures in order to get the ball rolling; all were quickly rebuilt by participants. In a press release, the ultimate outcome of the project is illuminated,
“As the inevitable entropy of the piece begins to soften the hard edges of the designed structures, and mounds of loose pieces gather in the corners between buildings, a beautiful collective creation takes form.”
The utopian vision of the project coupled with the nostalgic materials and relational aesthetics is typical of the Danish-Icelandic artist’s work, highlights of which include 2003’s The weather project,where he turned the turbine hall of the Tate Modern into a simulated atmosphere with humidifiers, lights and mirrors.
The German documentary photographer began chronicling the lives of the peasant class with stark sepia portraiture after serving in the German military and working as a miner in the early 20th century. Similar to the work Dorothea Lange did in the Dust Bowl, Sander’s work pierces the zeitgeist of a particular society with an anthropological lens.
In a recent milestone acquisition, MoMA can now boast having “People Of the 20th Century” in its entirety. Sander’s pivotal series, a set of 619 photographic prints, contains portraits of the German working class, mixing the faces of draughtsmen, farmers, mothers, soldiers, bohemians, and more in a diverse documentation completed over the period of about 60 years.
MoMA is the only museum in the world that has an entire set of Sander’s work like this, bestowed upon them from the artist’s family. No other can compare.
On the acquisition of some 600 works, Sarah Hermanson Meister, a photography curator at MoMA, exuded her excitement over the phone this morning, “[The 80 photographs the museum previously held] never felt sufficient, now it’s everything we could have dreamed of. [Sander’s] reputation rests on a couple dozen photographs that have become iconic, but with all 619 there are so many surprises.”
Meister also remarked on a sense of completion within the context of other works in MoMA’s collection, namely those of Walker Evans and Eugène Atget, two other important documentary photographers who influenced and were influenced by Sander. “These three figures can be now be understood completely in one institution.”
Aimed at taking intellectual discourse outside of institutional settings like corporate-fueled buildings or universities, the Lost Lectures NYC, co-sponsored by Brooklyn-based art blog Hyperallergic, will include guest speakers, art installations and performances in a yet-to-be-announced location (though it’s promised to be at most a 40 minute journey from Union Square).
Highlights of last year’s Lost Lectures included Amanda Lepore discussing having the “most expensive body on earth,” an impressive performance by Brooklyn-based dancers Flex is Kings, and musical sensation Blood Orange (AKA Dev Hynes).
Artist Diana Al-Hadid photographed by Sarah Trigg. Courtesy Hyperallergic.
This year’s installment boasts Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino unveiling never-before-seen material, a top secret performance from indie filmmaker Josephine Decker, and a talk with internationally renowned visual artist Diana Al-Hadid.
Naturally, free beer will be provided by Brooklyn Brewery (and coconut water from ZICO if you’re on the wagon).
If you’re an urban explorer with a thirst for alternative events, it’s definitely worth checking out. Ticket holders will be informed of the location tomorrow.