ADAA Art Show: Dark, Quiet, Sedate

Michelle Stuart, background, and Agnes Denes, foreground, at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects booth Jennifer Landes photos

     I had not planned on going to the Art Dealers Association of America show at the Park Avenue Armory so late. Initially, it was on my schedule for Thursday as my first drop in of the weekend, but I got in later than I thought, other plans arose, and the next thing I knew it was Sunday and it was quiet.
     The crowd was older and looked serious, like they might be there to buy something at a fair's end price. Anyone younger was likely at the MoMA PS1 Spring Preview.  The walls and halls were painted dark with somber lighting. Under most circumstances, the armory is never the brightest place. It's a bit like a Vegas casino, always the same no matter what time of day. The carpet hushed most ambient noise as well.
     Yet, there were some daring and some beautiful booths worth the visit and as the clock ticked on, a last minute surge of people began to crowd in the space. Particularly noteworthy was the Robert Miller booth devoted to Lee Krasner. The gallery always has the best of Krasner's work and her collages, made up of cut up pieces of her previous work, are probably the best of her oeuvre.
     Michelle Stuart's graphite and earth scrolls were in evidence at Leslie Tonkonow in a booth with much to explore and discover with works by Amy Culter, Ian Davis, Agnes Denes, Robert Watts, and others.
     Hirschl & Adler Modern devoted a booth to its sizable collection of Fairfield Porter's work across several mediums including his oil portraits, landscapes, and even a gorgeous still life of spring flowers. There were drawings and watercolors as well.
     Robert Motherwell's collages continued their resurgence from last year's Guggenheim show here, complementing a good number also on view at the Armoy this weekend. Norman Bluhm, carried over to this fair, too, with an acrylic work on canvas at the Manny Silverman Gallery from Los Angeles. And what fair would be without at least one or two Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein works, shown most prominently here at Susan Sheehan Gallery.
     Other noteworthy contributions from those from away, included Petah Coyne's solo installation at Galerie Lelong, Zanele Maholi's captivating photographic portraits of black lesbians and transgendered individuals taken in and around South Africa, Spencer Finch's Scotch tape clouds, Gavin Turk's eclectic sculptures and two-dimensional works, and an interactive photographic project with Ann Hamilton at Carl Solway Gallery.

Even though it was Sunday, the fairs still attracted a quirky crowd, in this case a gentleman checking out the Hirschl & Adler booth of Fairfield Porter works.
Lee Krasner's "Imperfect Indicative," left, and an untitled work from 1984
Lee Krasner's "Present Conditional," a two-paneled collage on canvas from 1976
A crowd gathered near the Miller booth.
Other works from the Porter show at Hirschl & Adler, including a portrait of James Schuyler, right
The Porter still life
Images from Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol at Susan Sheehan's booth
Gavin Turk's "Large Transit Disaster (Ochre, Copper, Red, & Blue" from last year at the David Nolan Gallery booth
Petah Coyne's installation "The Unconsoled," featuring her wax-dipped flowers and stuffed birds, at Galerie Lelong