04 March 2017

What's up for one more day (fair week edition)

It would seem I decide which art fair to go to by where Michael Werner is showing.  This works if you like German art from the 80s ‘neo-expressionist’ generation, though they of course represent others, and if you do, you know they’ll whip a few things out that are worth the time and price of admission, and the other booths are bonus stimulation.  That led me to the Independent once after they started charging for it, and this year to the ADAA Art Show, my first visit ever to this, which confusingly for some is being shown at the Armory while the Armory remains an art show.

Daniel Richter, Ophelia
I can recall going to the Armory twice while Zwirner had Daniel Richter, seeing his Owner’s History Lesson at one and his Ophelia at the other.  These were two of the great paintings of their era and I enjoyed staring at both immensely. However, Daniel Richter has for whatever reason moved on to Regen in LA and they are not at a NY fair it would seem.

Both Werner and the other booths delivered to my satisfaction.  Werner has two works on paper by Picabia to grab collectors coming from MoMA, a transparency and a Spanish woman from the 20s, several works on paper by Beuys including pencil drawing of a girl with her back turned in front of a cross which blew me away in its ‘multiples’ simplicity, three Doig landscapes from the early 00s, a wonderful Penck work on paper, a fun Polke, a Schwitters in the upper corner of their tight office full of works for sale, a Baselitz, etc., the best Werner booth I’ve seen.

As the show is considered stodgy, traditional, and geared to older Upper East Side collectors, the mix of old and new nonetheless meant there was a lot of great older stuff. The new work was generally not down my alley but hot NY names that are selling.

Leonora Carrington, El templo de la palabra, 1954

Leonora Carrington’s prices have gone way up since she died.  Had she sold well in her seventies or before she probably would have moved to New York or Paris, but she was dead broke most of her life, with Edward James at times supporting her by buying up what was around.  This has enhanced the history of Mexican art and perhaps made her more enjoyably impervious to NY fashions. At the Mary-Anne Martin booth "The Temple of the Word" (major, well worth seeing in person) is/was up for $2.5M + they have a few Carrington works on paper + works by Kahlo, Tamayo, Gerzso, and Toledo, great viewing overall.

Donald Morris had four or five Joseph Cornells which the staff will take off the wall to show his inscriptions and additional collages on the back. Hauser and Wirth had Gorky’s depressed eary 30s drawings from his Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia series (above), based on di Chirico's Fatal Temple, which I'm well acquainted with because Albert Eugene Gallatin donated it to Philly. All Louise Bourgeois at the Peter Blum booth. All Norman Lewis at the Rosenfeld booth. Gallery St. Etienne lists Heckel, Kirchner, Mueller, Nolde, Pechstein, and Schmidt-Rottluff but they also had two good works on paper by Schiele... not major works (to go with the minor selections of them at National Gallery East).. like the Vuillards at Jill Newhouse but worthy of being detained by.

Giorgio de Chirico, The Fatal Temple, 1914

Checked out Clio (open tomorrow) along with a bunch of new Chelsea shows (not open tomorrow) and, as usual, "independent" "outsider" "anti-fair" consists exclusively of art school trends, with the exception of two or three religious painters from around the globe who go by previous generations' art school trends. A standout for me, though, was the Georgian Ia Liparteliani.

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