Finally the green shoots! Not just of Spring, but of the great George Osborne-nomics inspired revival of Britain. Everywhere through Mayfair, mysterious Arabs and Russians are hoovering up prime real estate forcing us striving middle-class girls to far-flung suburbs like Clerkenwell. Bonuses are back! The trickle-down effect is bucketing down! This wealth-creation makes me eager to go collecting and where better to start than hopping on a BA Club World business class to New York where early March brings us the Armory, the groovy Independent and the posh ADAA ‘The Art Show’.
First up is the Armory, which having had a bit of a wobble in recent years, seems be regaining fans. I’m eyeing up the special curated section on China and works by Zhao Zhao at Chambers Fine Art. Mr Zhao was once Ai Weiwei’s assistant, and not only has he inherited that nice idea of repeating one’s foreign surname so that westerners remember who you are, he’s also been harassed by the authorities and chucked in prison giving his work the authenticity of oppression that collectors love.
Over at the still painfully hip Independent, I’m looking forward to seeing more works by Norwegian sculptor Yngve Holen at the Neue Alte Bruecke and Gio Marconi stand. Holen’s show at London’s Modern Art in January was a series of mysterious assemblages about planes and sides of meat. Baffling, but what other artist is out there at the moment producing their own parody inflight magazine?
Even more baffling though is 303 Gallery's planned booth at ADAA. There according to ADAA’s press release, 303 will ‘mark the 100th birthday of Ad Reinhardt’ by showing erm, Jacob Kassay, who likes nothing more than looking at nice books on Reinhardt before slapping out another painting. Luckily it’s a Whitney Biennial year, so there’s an opportunity to slip the art fair circuit and head to where real collectors go to check out what’s been curatorially validated and so ready to flip in 18 months time. New Yorker Uri Aran looks interesting, not least because he spent last summer living in Peckham in order to produce works for a lovely show that is just finishing at the South London Gallery.
And then I’ll make sure to check out whatever Diego Leclery is up to, given that the last time I saw him, he was dressed as a polar bear slumped in the corner of Chicago artist’s run space The Suburban, inviting people to sit on his lap. But you can’t take a polar bear back with you on the red-eye to London, so finally I’ll be popping over to my favourite feminist collective-owned bookstore, Bluestockings, where I’ll be looking for some post-queer South Asian poetry. It’s entirely unreadable but perfect for chanting softly in the ear of whichever mentally exhausted collector sits next to me on the flight home, until they start weeping, uncontrollably.
21 February 2014