|Patrick Tschudi at Galleria Lucia de La Puente Lima, Peru|
|Jules Olitski at Hackett Mill|
|Simon Linke at Mireille Mosler|
|Morris Louis at ADA|
|Kiki Smith ADA Show|
|Wayne Thiebaud ADA Show|
|Patrick Wilson at Suzanne Vielmetter|
This year's Armory Show at Piers 92 and 94 was once again divided among Modern and Contemporary. There was more good stuff in the Modern section but this year both piers seemed less crowded and hectic than in year's past. I saw some great pieces by Craig Kaufman, Tadaaki Kuwayama, and the recently deceased Jules Olitski. The Olitski was a big, beautiful spray painting from 1965 at San Francisco's Hackett Mill gallery booth. The gallery had a lot of museum quality work from the Bay Area school and is planning a fall exhibition of Olitski's Spray paintings. These paintings represent a high point for late Modernism--and along with Louis' Unfurleds and Stripes and Noland's Circle Paintings and Chevrons--Olitski's Spray Paintings prove that Greenberg was not all wrong about his own Post-Pollock/Newman canon. The Spray Paintings are among the most original abstract paintings ever painted. The fact that they are ravishing has always been held against them.
The Olitski was selling for $280,000 which is chump change in today's art world of hedge fund robber barons. A comparable Louis at the ADA was selling for $950,000 thus illustrating Olitski's fallen stock in the art world. I'm pretty certain that the vicissitudes of fashion will fall favorably on Olistki's reputation and he will command millions for the Spray Paintings in the next 10 years.
It was wonderful to see Simon Linke's brilliant paintings of Artforum ads from the 1980s. These have always intrigued me for both the subject matter and how they are painted. There were more recent small ones that private dealer Mosher was featuring in her booth.
A Peruvian artist named Patrick Tschudi had some interesting animations of contemporary life and stills from same in the Gallery Lucia De La Puente from Lima. These representations featured a world inhabited solely by black people and were fascinating to look at. Patrick Wilson's abstract paintings from California were selling out at Suzanne Vielmetter's booth. I first saw his work several years ago on a trip to California and he is doing some wonderful things with surface. They are a study in virtuosity. The formats recall classic and contemporary abstraction from Diebenkorn to Halley but they way they are painted are quite unique. They seem manufactured in an auto body shop but instead of high gloss they have a magical matte finish. They are good paintings and far better than almost anything else I saw all weekend, but I'm not yet convinced they are major works.
For the first time in years, I ventured to the American Art Dealers (ADA) Show at the 67th Street Armory. Now I remember why I stopped going. Nothing too inspiring besides spotting a spry 80 year-old Yoko Ono. Mary Corse, Wayne Theibaud looked great but Kiki Smith's awful and embarrassing dog and butterfly wall bronzes at Pace made more than one dealer wince. Everyone hated them. With these works, Kiki Smith sets a new low for HORRIBLE and WRETCHED art.