Art Out: ADAA -The Art Show 2018 - Park Avenue Armory
By: Belle McIntyre
Photos by: Steve Miller
This is the 30th year anniversary of the Art Dealer’s Association of America’s presentation of their annual show which has a gala to benefit the Henry Street Settlement, one of New York City’s oldest community programs for helping vulnerable New Yorkers with a whole range of services including housing, health care, job training, and education. The ADAA is a venerable organization supporting a worthy and venerable organization in concert with one of New York’s equally venerable venues, the historical Park Avenue Armory. It is always beautifully and tastefully presented and includes the most established of the blue chip galleries.
Photography seemed a little under represented compared to past years. Nonetheless, what was shown was certainly high quality. There seemed to a something of a trend in single artist booths. Chief among them being Chris Marker’s Koreans at Peter Blum. Marker was one of the last photojournalists to be allowed to travel freely in North Korea in 1957 and his beautiful black and white photographs show the daily lives of average people in a way that has not been allowed for decades since. They are rich in details and charming in their warmth and humanity.
Howard Greenberg’s solo show presented a fantastic range of work by Saul Leiter from 1947 through 1990’s which includes his pioneering color work, gelatin silver prints and some amazing gouache, casein and watercolor paintings on gelatin silver paper and prints from 1970’s - 1990’s. This was a fascinating survey of a uniquely talented photographer. The work of Hilla Becher was the total focus of Fraenkel Gallery which had a large handsome selection.
Danziger had a group of slyly humorous gelatin silver prints called Body Sculptures, which depict human bodies contorted and intervened on with mirrors and other forms of trickery to create quasi-surreal images which are sexy and beautiful. The two video images titled Dark Shadows by Michal Rovner at Pace McGill are truly arresting. The images in midnight blue of two jackals barely distinguishable in the darkness of night but for their eyes which gleam out in the way of nocturnal animals caught on camera move intermittently and completely catches one by surprise. Pace is also showing a huge pair of Richard Avedon prints of tattooed prisoners which are powerful and impressive. There is also one of the most beautiful platinum prints I have seen - a still life by Irving Penn. Totally ravishing. Pace Prints has an enormous Julian Schnable entitled Jean’s First Trip to Versailles which is pretty spectacular. There is a beautiful Bill Viola video of two people underwater in a vertical format which made me wonder if the inspiration for The Shape of Water was inspired by his work. I’m pretty sure his came first.