I’ve never regarded an Armory as must see (1912 excluded) and that continues but I enjoyed it and there is much to detain the visitor in the more crowded weekend hours. I saw Art Basel Miami last December for the first time and though I was unfortunately a bit rushed for both, it took me exactly half the time to see all the booths at Armory (1:45 vs. 3:30). Pier 94 has a slow security check queue which gives incentive to see all that in one shot - starting at Pier 92 and taking one’s time there is not a bad idea. The Insights series in the back of 92 has a lot of classics, including the Arte Povera offerings of London’s Repetto and Gary Nader, who keeps a gallery in Miami only for the moment. Here Nader devotes his booth exclusively to major works by Matta, Lam, and late Picasso, which I predictably relished while looking intently for his more contemporary holdings of artists I would enjoy at his New York address. I honestly don’t know why the city of Miami has not been more helpful to him in his quest to build a museum there but that is a major loss for the city, known otherwise for a paucity of permanent collections. In the Insights section in the back of 94, Lyles & King presents four large scale paintings by Miami’s self-taught Farley Aguilar, born in Nicaragua, ‘with the paint still drying,’ depicting flag-waving Floridians and sewing circles in his uniquely haunting style.
I hope to blog more about current gallery shows but I should note that if you have any chance to see Luisa Rabbia's five paintings at Peter Blum's Little Italy address before April 7 ('Birth,' 'Death,' - one of my favorite paintings of recent years - and three lingams; 'Love,' part of the series, just showed in Reggio Emilia) do so, as no reproduction can do justice to them.