Charles Lutz’s Babel — at The Armory Show Pier 94.

Michael Strauss, Chairman of the board of Warhol Foundation, said in a Brooklyn Rail article, in response to Karen Rosenberg’s critical assessment of the Armory Show as claiming Warhol as the “Pope of Pop as patron saint of art fairs”:

“Lutz’s project is less a function of art fair mania than the further elaboration of a serious conceptual project he has been engaged in since 2006, beginning with his extensive series “Warhol Denied” in which he faithfully replicated in form and medium several Warhol paintings and sculptures (Brillo boxes silkscreened on plywood; self portraits and portraits of others silkscreened on canvas, etc.); sent them to the Andy Warhol Authentication Board with his own signature on the back; thereby sought and obtained a red ink “DENIED” stamp on the works from the Authentication Board indicating their lack of authenticity…”

Perhaps giving further validation to Lutz’s air of authenticity established by Strauss, a colleague painter at Jeff Koons’ studio told me Lutz also worked for Jeff Koons during the time in which he did the Denied Warhols.

Nonetheless, it was the spectacle of seeing people trying to maneuvre these large boxes that could hold a 15″ iMac.  Some immediately collapsed the boxes, carrying them under arms, some used them to as carriers for smaller works purchased in the fair. I even got in an elevator with Chelsea dealer Zach Feuer carrying an assembled box to the parking deck. Maybe it just goes to show that anything literally packaged as free at an art fair while at the same fetishizing a topical art historical subject will go quickly. Within the first two or three hours of the preview on Wednesday afternoon all of the boxes appeared to have vanished and may or may not have been replenished for subsequent hours open to the general public.

 

The following are an image-based inventory of the works that stood out as I went through an extended weekend of fairs, bookended by Pier 94’s contemporary on Wednesday and Pier 92’s modern on Sunday.

detail of John Korner, Flying Apples, 2012 at Victoria Miro, The Armory Show Pier 94.

detail of John Korner, Flying Apples, 2012 at Victoria Miro— at The Armory Show Pier 94.

Aside other forms of provocative spectacle was David Kramer’s installation (which could have incensed the purist painter) and an Oslo booth lampooning Mary Boone (whose validation Boone must have loved), there was some great painting at Victoria Miro: Korner, de Balincourt and Ofili (not pictured).

detail of Jules de Balincourt penus at eye level at Victoria Miro, The Armory Show Pier 94.

detail of Jules de Balincourt penus at eye level at Victoria Miro— at The Armory Show Pier 94.

Also, a nice computer screen-sized, blaring Peter Halley (its door-sized counterpart was later discovered on Pier 92), David Humphrey squiggly pattern and Miko/Thayer warbling moving painting at Eleven Rivington.

Peter Halley cell block at Galeria SendaCharles Lutz's Babel — at The Armory Show Pier  94.

Peter Halley cell block at Galeria Senda  — at The Armory Show Pier 94.

David Humphrey at Fredericks & Freizer— at The Armory Show Pier  94.
David Humphrey at Fredericks & Freizer— at The Armory Show Pier 94.

Dave Miko and Tom Thayer at Eleven Rivington  — at The Armory Show Pier  94.

Dave Miko and Tom Thayer at Eleven Rivington — at The Armory Show Pier 94.

A conversation between Mary Mattingly and myself about Ai Weiwei’s retrospective at the Hirschhorn appeared in this month’s Brooklyn Rail. Ai Wei Wei according to what

Notes on the New Human iEyes, Sent from My iPhone (from the Near Future)

Images have become more dulled and flattened in the future. Illusionism and perspective have been once again forgotten. Depth has been lost by our visual insensitivity as well as the speed in the reception of images. We have disregarded the material possibilities of craft. Information is now transmitted only visually and immaterially. The print format is obsolete. Paper is a luxury for the One-half Percent who collect Material Art, which is now an ancient relic, and has more value as heating fuel to survive our extreme winters.

The art world favors Immaterial Forms. As a result, sculpture of the past is difficult to circumnavigate. The synchronous movement of eye and body is experienced as a nauseating sensory overload. Paintings blind are eye, whose sensitivity to physical pigments have atrophied among the optical homogeneity of backlit screens. The rods and cones in our retinas have become redistributed to perceive little distinction between color and value. The experience of seeing art has been reduced to a passive reception similar to viewing films.

Art is now experienced in virtual galleries and museums. Material Art masterpieces are viewed experienced in high-resolution reproduction, often virtually placed in the context of their historic buildings. Since all museums have become for-profit ventures, masterpieces have been anonymously auctioned off to the One-half Percent. The buildings themselves have been converted to luxury condominiums and hotels, and many institutional curators and employees have been rehired at commercial galleries that now also manage museums, seamlessly conjoining art in the archives of the past with art of the present. These Supramuseums have opened multiplex locations in movie theatres, since art and entertainment have merged. In the museum experience, it has become fashionable to simply look but we have long forgotten how to see. In the museum experience, it became fashionable to simply look, without understanding, but along the way, we lost the ability to see.
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Erik Benson

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Graham Nickson

Will Barnet

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