Looking back at the Armory Show 2017

By March 19, 2017Exhibitions

The Armory Show has never been ‘cool’.  At least, not in its current incarnation.  When it moved to the piers from a seedy hotel off-Gramercy, in nowhere Manhattan, it cast off the shackles of ‘interesting’ for the formal march towards profitability.  At the westside piers, The Armory Show became the yearly mall where gallerists could show their wares.  It’s a familiar and global format now and as such The Armory Show has struggled to find its place.  A recent sale of the llc to new partners promised change.

Change is overrated.  Largely the fair is the same.  Maybe a little less pell-mell than in recent years but the same format; the same forgotten Modern wing; and the same second-run to the Frieze fair later in the Spring.  More of this phantom “change” in coming years may amount to something.  Fingers crossed.

Until then, there are always gems.  Great works.  A few decent booths.  And an interesting rush of Cuban galleries.  Kudos.  Below is a selection of works that I want to remember and keep track of.  Probably more telling of my bias than specifically Armory-ness.  It was at the Gramercy Hotel version of this fair that I saw my first Bassman print.  Such kismet that her work at Houk would be the first shot across my bow at the 2017 going.

E. Tage Larsen

E. Tage Larsen is an artist, designer and dog robber. You may encounter him as an art gallery director, branding designer or illustrator. His work has received awards from "Society of Illustrators", "American Illustration", 'Print' magazine annual as well as the LogoLounge and LogoLounge 'Master Series' annuals. Essays on design and fine art have appeared in numerous magazines and web sites.

Among his less savory qualities, he's a poor sport, a sore loser and ill fitted for honest labor. He makes bad friends and worse decisions. Animals avoid him and children despise him. He's been known to drink to excess, carry on with seditious talk and leer at women. He's a coward, a card cheat and a known liar.

Mrs. Call's second grade class said perhaps all that needed to be said about Larsen.In a moment of vindication and possibly clarity, Call would add to Larsen's permanent record that he was a bit of a dreamer and that Larsen was "an excellent student but his grades trailed off in the final semester."True, Larsen was filled with promise and saddled as starry-eyed but one can't help but notice that Call's inability to chisel this raffish diamond-in-rough wasn't also a clerical trick to distance herself from the responsibility of the 'Nurture' debate.She also said he was "prompt".She wasn't wrong.

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