View Highlights From The Armory Show 2016 (56 Photos)
From Thursday, March 3rd to Sunday, March 6th on Piers 92 and 94, more than 200 galleries showed at the 22nd edition of the famed Armory Show which was led by new director, Benjamin Genocchio. Attendance was strong at the gallery and so were sales, at least of established artists. Buoyed by a fluctuating and falling global economy, collectors were wary of spending the big bucks on lesser known artists but emerging artists with work at lower price points fared well. This cautious buying trend echoed that of recent large art fairs, such as last October’s Frieze Art Fair.
One big winner of the week was painter (and recently, sculptor) Kehinde Wiley. Sean Kelly Gallery sold the most of Wiley’s work. His painting, Equestrian Portrait of Philip III (2016) went for $300,000 and was surpassed by Bound (2015), a bronze sculpture that was recently part of his show at The Brooklyn Museum, which sold for $375,000. Another Wiley painting went for $250,000 at Daniel Templon’s booth. Sean Kelly Gallery also had several other sales at lower price points with four pieces by José Dávilla going for between $16,500 and $37,500. A Callum Innes painting at Kelly’s booth went for $51,400.
In the same value bracket, other works sold included a group of pieces by Michaeil Pirgelis, which moved on opening day at Sprüth Magers who have just opened their first US space in Los Angeles. The gallery’s sales started out strong with the $175,000 sale of MS40-2947 (2010), a steel work by Sterling Ruby. It was placed in a Middle Eastern private collection. Burlap Rag (2015) by Analia Saban went for $28,000 at the same booth but the most exciting sale for Sprüth Magers was probably George Condo’s Primitive Modern Head (2012) which sold for an undisclosed sum that was probably upwards of $200,000.
Speaking of galleries expanding in the United States, Lisson Gallery will be opening a space in New York in a couple of months. Lisson’s Armory Show booth generated sales from work by Tony Craig and Spencer Finch for between $50,000-$200,000. Although work by the artists who will be featured in their NYC space, John Akomfrah and Ai Weiwei, had not moved by Saturday.
Galleries who already have spaces in the city fared well at the show, especially those who dealt in the work of emerging artists. Rivington street’s On Stellar Rays sold their entire booth’s presentation of paintings by Ryan Mrozowski and Julia Bland. The LES gallery, 11R, moved three abstract $45,000 pieces by Jackie Saccoccio as well as two Mika Tajima textile pieces for $30,000 each. Work by Evan Nesbit, Jerónimo Elespe, and Moira Dryer sold for between $12,000 and $14,000 at the same booth.
Several notable sales were made in the much higher end of the spectrum. It’s rumored that a Alberto Giacometti piece went for at least a million although the highest confirmed sale by Saturday was a $500,000 piece by Alberto Burri. The sale signified the art world’s new interest in the post-war period of Italian Art.
It wouldn’t be a true art fair without some celebrity sightings. Whisperings of the fair revealed that George Lucas purchased a painting by Robert Indiana for a hefty sum at Maggiore Gallery’s booth. Other stars in attendance were Neil Patrick Harris, Steve Martin, and Drew Barrymore; musicians David Byrne and Michael Stipe; director Sofia Coppola; and newscaster, Anderson Cooper.
Figures courtesy of Artsy & The Armory Show