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.