I am embarrassed to admit that I failed to write down the information on this piece. I am going tomorrow and will be sure to catch it.
I was able to preview the Armory today during the "Press Preview." Like me, very few people at the "Press Preview" appeared to be Press. And, like me, a lot of people were buying art today. Many of the pieces I inquired about were sold "an hour ago." I predict that by tomorrow (Friday) afternoon anything worth buying at the Armory will have been bought. Like last year's Art Bsel|Miami Beach, this fair promises to be a buying frenzy.
A buying frenzy for what, though? Most of the art I saw today I had seen before. There were very few surprise artists and even fewer surprise works. There are many international galleries showing this year, but, most of them are showing artists represented by New York galleries.
Enough negativity, though. (It really isn't me.) I had a lot of fun today and picked up some exciting art for my collection. I stayed away from the "big and flashy" and had more fun discovering and buying more intimate works. (Last year I went for big and flashy and walked away with two video pieces and two installations.)
As always there was a crowd gathered at Pierogi. This year it was to witness Jonathan Schipper's Invisible Sphere. I always enjoy Joe's booth (and gallery) because he has something for every type of collector - big spenders and conservative collectors. I picked up six drawings. Two by Darina Karpov, a young Russian artist living and working in New York. The image here doesn't do the work justice. (If you can even see the work in this image - Sorry!) They are beautifully drawn in ink and watercolor...balanced and poised from afar, and quirky and surprising up close. Each large drawing was priced at $2,500. Joe also had smaller ones selling for $1,200.
Darina Karpov, detail
I also picked up a few drawings by Martin Wilmner. I didn't get photographs so I've linked to Pierogi so you can check them out. The map piece I purchased at Pierogi was selling for $3,000.
Harris at Pierogi
While at Pierogi I had a star sighting (outside of the many art star sightings, of course). Doogie Howser, MD (aka Neil Patrick Harris) and friends seemed very interested in a lot of work at the booth and put a hold on a drawing by Darina Karpov.
Amy Bennett at Galleri Magnus Karlsson
The big winner for me this year (and a Buy, Buy, Buy! recommendation) goes to Amy Bennett. I immediately fell in love with these paintings for their beautiful finish (extremely high gloss) and wonderful imagery (I'm a sucker for anything suburbia-based). Hopper and Hockney with a feminine touch. These paintings were being shown by one of my favortie galleries (discovered at last year's Armory), Galleri Magnus Karlsson from Stockholm. Amy's from the United States - Brooklyn, to be exact - so it was odd to discover her at a Swedish gallery. She has also shown at Linda Warren Gallery in Chicago and has a show coming up in 2007 at Richard Heller Gallery in LA. Magnus Karlsson had four paintings available in his booth and three were sold by the time I got there. I purchased the last remaining painting. The prices for the works in the booth ranged from $2,000 - $7,000 depending on size. I also picked up a new video work by Lars Arrhenius showing in the booth.
Martin McMurray at Susanne Vielmetter/Los Angeles Projects
Martin McMurray and Susanne Vielmetterr/Los Angeles Projects - both artist and gallery are new to me. There are multiple paintings similar to the one pictured here (despots in cars) hung in a grid. These paintings gave me a giggle and, yet, I appreciate their naive and mature qualities. Each painting (roughly 20" x 24") is priced at $4,000. The one pictured is mine.
So, there you have it. My small and intimate glimpse into this year's Armory. I am happy to report that there are still "affordable" works available at the Armory, but, they are few and far between. On reflection of today's tour I am surprised that I can't recall any impressive photography. This is extremely odd for me because I am usually drawn to photography and most of my collection consists of it. A nice surprise to be wowed by drawings and paintings this time. I look forward to seeing and buying at Pulse and LA Art on Saturday. Check back for "Overheard at the Armory". There were some doozies...