ADAA, The Art Show, at The Park Ave Armory, November 3-6, 2022. Photo by Scotto Mycklebust

The ADAA 34th Annual Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory opened with a stellar Press and Benefit Preview

The ADAA presented its annual Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory in full swing with a gala event on Wednesday November 2nd. The press and benefit preview opened its 34th edition with a stellar evening, raising over a million dollars for the Henry Street Settlement – the social services and arts organization that has aided New Yorkers in need for nearly 130 years.

The Armory was packed with a crowd dressed for the occasion – sophisticated and stylish, you could feel the undeniable wealth and money behind the event as you cruised the show’s aisles. The who’s who from the upper East and West Side were in attendance, along with the celebrities and creatives chatting and conversing over a high-end menu of catered food and drink. Taste buds were brought to life by the delicacies served as the well-to-do art crowd, collectors and philanthropists enjoyed high-end buffets and bars stationed throughout the fair’s aisles.

Over 2,000 national and international collectors, philanthropists, business leaders, museum directors, and curators attended the gathering, strolling through the gallery-lined art display booth aisles in fervent support of the philanthropic arts.

The artworks on the gallery’s booth walls have changed in recent years – the old guard of art is gone, taste has changed, and younger collectors have moved up the ladder. The art from the past, from old masters to the Byzantines of paintings, prints, sculptures and works on paper are all but gone. The 78 participating ADAA member galleries are showcasing a diverse collection of works, which follow a more contemporary trend, with over 55 galleries exhibiting works by individual artists.

Upon entering the ADAA show, your eye catches a stunning display of a classic modernist selection of Henry Moore sculptures presented by Jeffrey H. Loria & Co, Inc., setting the tone for the show.

There are a few gallery displays which stand out and are presenting works that seem to tap into the notion of looking forward, that have an essence of art attached to the work as the artist points to new directions and themes.

A gallery that did, however, stand out was Sprüth Mager in their showcasing of Louise Lawler’s work. At first glance, the booth looks empty, bare with no artwork hanging on the wall. Then, your eye focuses on a desert-like mirage. Faintness of nothing, at a closer look, the light tannish wall image is undefinable, until you know the works title: Three Flags, (swiped and taken), 2022, a direct reference to Jasper Johns’s Flag paintings. The subtleness of the work presents an interesting concept within the digital realm of art. In its reality, the wall image is a large-scale installation made up of printed wall covering.

This year offerings by the galleries included selections of artist’s works spanning from mostly modern to contemporary art. If you were looking for the old guard, there are only a few galleries showing early 18th to 19th century works. The Jill Newhouse Gallery had a beautiful display of “Works on papers 1817 to 2021: The Realist Impulse” by such luminaries’ masters as Theodore Rousseau, Jean Francois Millet and Edouard Vuillard, among others.

An art historical surprise was at Galerie De Long with Yoko Ono, “The Bronze Age” – the curated collection of works that the gallery selected with Yoko Ono for the show. The works have a zenness to their appearance along with a provocative powerful impact of meaning.

A selection of works by Nellie Mae Rowe from the Williams Louis-Dreyfus Foundation and Family Collection were on view at the David Zwirner Gallery booth. Colorful narrative works which provide a feel-good view, certain to brighten up any day. A companion exhibition to Rowe’s show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art is also on view, offering a comprehensive showcase of her works.

A.R. Penck, at Michael Werner, was a look back to the 1980’s Neo- Expressionism, with a solo show of his works on paper, making for a smart looking, curated display of energy, color, movement and action combined with the angst and despair of the time.

Kasmin showed up with an interesting collection of Motherwell’s works, from his Drunk With Turpentine works on paper series. The series continues his exploration of the gestural notion and practice of the intuitive mark making of automatism. The inclusion of Motherwell’s works at the show is in conjunction with their recent announcement of global representation in partnership with Motherwell’s Dedalus Foundation and his art.

Key outsider artworks were on view at Ricco/Maresca Gallery with masterpieces by artists such as Bill Taylor, Adolf Wolfli, Hector Hyppolite, Drossos P. Skyllas, Minnie Evans and William Hawkins. The gallery has represented and championed artists for over 40 years who have operated outside the boundaries of highly trained artists, historical art and the artistic academic continuum.

Art sales were not reported for the show, however a number of galleries acknowledged sales during the preview with prices ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. This year’s return to a somewhat post-pandemic mode captures the feel and buzz of the New York art world and offers a return path to some sense of normalcy. The art crowd in attendance was ready to get back to the business of art in full force.

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