Armory weekend is upon us y’all, and you know what that means– if you’re gonna hoof it to the West side to get cultured and not just slammed at the after parties (which is perfectly alright, too) it’s best to have some idea of where you’re headed, and we’re guessing it’s probably not going to be in the direction of those $45 Armory tickets. Hoo boy. No, thank you. Besides, there’s plenty else going on that’s not gonna nuke your wallet.
Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 6 (noon to 8 pm) and Monday, March 7 (noon to 6 pm) at 421 8th Avenue: $10 one-day pass
The theme for this year’s installment of the “curator-driven art fair” is Copy/Paste, which besides suffering from “relevant” clichéd internet speak, has all kinds of interesting connotations like cut-ups, mash-ups, collage, net art, adaptation, homage, reappropriation, and theft. The founders say they were inspired by Richard Prince’s Instagram photo series, which, if you can recall, caused the art world’s great undergarment tangle of 2014. Even then, the theme seems pretty open to a great deal of interpretations. But at least two things are certain– the venue (the historic James A. Farley Post Office in Chelsea, a massive neoclassical building constructed in 1912 that spans two city blocks) is going to provide an awesomely weird point of contrast, and the list of participating curators, all 120 of them, are on-point (see: Dustin Yellin, founder of Pioneer Works).
The show is set up like a series of mini-shows, spread out over the labyrinthian confines of the post office. Chop/Shop (curated by Magda Sawon) taps artist Greg Allen, whose work confronts ideas of “creative destruction, authenticity, [and] artist’s agency.” Allen made carbon copies of work by famous artists like Gerhard Richter– who destroyed a series of paintings that Allen rebirthed, thanks to the artist’s own documentation of the work– that has been, well, chopped up.
Yellin’s curatorial efforts have brought in Azikiwe Mohammed, a photographer/ installation artist whose sense of humor rings through in many of his efforts (see his photos of food). Jimmy’s Thrift– a dead-on replica of a yellowing junk shop– is no exception. We could definitely get lost poking around the old pizza boxes, neon work, and original outsider art. (Check out more photos on Hyperallergic). Actually, it seems that the installation work is what many of us will find most eye-popping at Spring/Break– Artsy shared photos of one by artist Anne Spalter, who made use of the existing walls and mounted flat screen panels to craft a cosmic, oil-slicked playground for amoebas.
Anyway, the critics have already weighed in (this baby’s been pumping since Wednesday) and the consensus seems to be that this satellite art fair ain’t trifling in its generous coverage and diversity of works and artists. If you can’t get enough of these hip young Millennial things, check out Discomfort for “batty, psychedelic” work by the artist known as Flakonkishochk at 272 Siegel Street in Bushwick.
Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 6 at 50 Varick Street: $25 at the door
An art fair that’s hosted by Spring Studios in Tribeca with an eye toward New York City-based as well as “international” galleries (i.e. Europe and one from Brazil), may sound like same old hat, but aside from its stuffier outer shell, Independent offers a refreshing take on the art fair format by tossing the booths in exchange for a more fluid setup, and one that, as the Times told us, makes room for “artists’ projects, films and other types of work that were difficult to show” at their former hub in Chelsea. Given its “hybrid” focus on outsider art as well as well-to-do galleries, plus the inclusion of envelope-pushing stuff like video game art, we’re almost convinced that shelling out 25 bones for Independent will be worth it.
For another 100 percent booth-free experience that’s actually also entry-fee-free, check out First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum for She Knows No Bounds, a theme exploring herstories, queer histories, and all things that are so not art world (i.e. white manz). Don’t miss the percussion performance and story sharing piece Oral History of Female Drummers and be sure to catch Queer Memoir.
Art on Paper
Friday, March 4 (11 am to 7 pm), Saturday, March 5 (11 am to 7 pm) and Sunday, March 6 (12 pm to 6 pm) at Pier 36, Two Bridges: $25
If you’re easily wowed by bright colors and big things, then boy oh boy is Art on Paper is the fair for you. As you can tell from their promotional image, Li Hongbo’s installation Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day is the main attraction here. It might look like dumb spectacle, but Hongbo’s installation is made from tiny paper cutouts shaped like pistols and is meant to get people thinking about just how widespread gun violence is. Heavier than you expected, right? More than 80 galleries have come together to participate at this Lower East Side-driven art fair and present works where, like Hongbo’s, there’s a lot going on beneath that papery surface. Check out our highlights from last night’s preview.
Not trying to leave Brooklyn at all this weekend? On Saturday night, check out Bushwick Gallery Late Night when more than 20 local galleries– including Christopher Stout, Odetta, and Transmitter– will stay open till 9 pm, which, let’s face it, is way past your bedtime anyway. Oh, and they’ll decline to charge you even one cent to walk in the door. Take that ye yacht-owning Armory goers!