The 2016 edition of the Armory Show art fair opens to the public tomorrow, but already during today’s preview Piers 92 and 94 were crawling with collectors, curators, and critics. On the latter pier, devoted to contemporary art, the usual smattering of US and international galleries was holding court with the usual array of high-end goods, from the token Anish Kapoor selfie vessel (“Alice – Double Circle,” 2014, in the Lisson Gallery booth) and the compulsory Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture (at the David Zwirner booth) to the requisite wall-filling Kehinde Wiley painting (three, in fact, the largest being “Equestrian Portrait of Philip III,” 2016, in the Sean Kelly booth).
The aforementioned showpieces, in fact, are among the first works visitors see upon coming through the fair’s main entrance. After that, as ever, venturing down the Armory Show’s interminable aisles offers the promise of pleasant surprises amid numbing visual overstimulation.
A few booth-filling installations are among the most rewarding experiences this year, while the Armory Focus section, “African Perspectives,” holds several strong presentations by galleries and artists that rarely reach New York. In the Armory Presents section, devoted to newer galleries, the Lower East Side’s Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery may have the most dazzling booth, with glowing paper pulp paintings by David Scanavino and matching vinyl flooring that gives way to tall monoliths jutting toward the rafters.
David Scanavino’s solo booth for Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery at the 2016 Armory Show