Armory Arts Week Preview

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday February 18, 2015

With yet a few more nights of single digit weather in store, I buried myself in thoughts of happier days in sight: During the first week of March—and that’s just two weeks away—Armory Arts Week takes over New York City.

From the big party at MoMA on March 3 to a special director’s tour of the Emerging Fellowship show at Socrates Sculpture Park, to podcasts for several of the MTA’s Arts in Transit subway station installations, there are uncommon art experiences to be had all over town. Information.

The Armory Show, Piers 92 & 94, New York, NY. Information.

New this year is art on paper, a major fair that will take place on Pier 36 along the East River. art on paper’s 60 exhibiting galleries from around the world will feature work by artists who look to paper as a major influence in their sculpture, drawing, painting, and photography.

With a distinctively Brooklyn leaning, the fair features a number of artists and galleries of that borough, and the preview event will benefit the Brooklyn Museum’s artistic and educational programming.

Mia Pearlman, Maelstrom (2008), detail.

Among the special installations is Maelstrom, by Brooklyn-based artist Mia Pearlman, whose work was most recently seen in Select Cuts & Alterations, the inaugural show of Foley Gallery’s new location. Organized by JHB Gallery, Maelstrom is a hybrid drawing/sculpture that operates in several dimensions through the drawing, the cutout shapes and the shadows that re-form the work in space.

In addition, a special bookstore offering limited edition artists books that are works of art in themselves, was curated by Kevin Messina, publisher of Silas Finch books.

art on paper, March 5-8. Pier 36, Downtown Manhattan. Directions. A free shuttle bus to and from the Armory Show operates every 10 minutes.

Among the special events organized by participating galleries is Aperture Foundation’s brunch viewing of The Chinese Photobook exhibition, currently on view (above). The show, curated by Martin Parr and WassinkLundgren, is based on a collection that was inspired initially by Parr’s interest in propaganda books—and in finding key works of socialist realist photography, from the early days of the Communist Party and the Cultural Revolution era.

While the selection of volumes from the years before the founding of the People’s Republic of China sheds new light on pictorials of a country long hidden from view, its presentation of the ever-smiling Great Leader, in every possible public situation, and propaganda photos from the Cultural Revolution years becomes somewhat numbing. But that's just a small quibble about a show that should be on your must see list.

Brunch viewing, Saturday, March 5, 10 am-noon: The Chinese Photobook. Aperture Bookstore and Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, NY, NY. Free/RSVP required