Visitors at the gala preview of the Art Show, the annual fair sponsored by the Art Dealers Association of America in the Park Avenue Armory.Credit. Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times
The Art Show at the Armory: Blue-Chip Brands Show Their Best
This year’s ADAA fair has an impressive roundup of work by lesser-known artists and female trailblazers.
By Martha Schwendener
Trust me, even if you’ve been looking at art for a long, long time (or even longer than that), you will see work at the Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory you have not seen before, by artists you may never have heard of. This is not because the Art Show, organized by the Art Dealers Association of America to benefit Henry Street Settlement, is dedicated to showing the young and hip. Quite the opposite, ADAA represents blue-chip galleries that show high-quality work.
Other strains running through the 72 exhibitors at ADAA this year, the fair’s 32nd edition, are a focus on geometric abstraction and craft and a high percentage of female artists — 19 exhibitions are dedicated to them. With an enormous backlog of women, artists of color and people working in unusual media, fairs like this one are yet another place to play catch-up. Below are some highlights, divided into categories with lots of slippage and overlap.
But it has a terrific roundup of art by lesser-known artists, many dead or left out of art history for all the ordinary reasons (gender, geographical location or the idiosyncrasies of their work at a given moment). And despite the density, the fair is very manageable compared with other mega-fairs in New York.
I’ve already mentioned a number of exceptional women at the fair, but here are a few more. Venus Over Manhattan (D10) has dedicated its booth to the art dealer Phyllis Kind, who opened her first gallery in Chicago in 1967 and was a trailblazer and mentor for many other art dealers. A painting by William N. Copley paradoxically, perhaps, has a female nude with graffiti playfully applied to her flesh, and there is a cartoon-inspired felt-trip drawing here by Ray Yoshida, who inspired many Chicago Imagist painters.