For many, The Armory Show’s 2020 VIP preview marked the last moment of normal before the world paused: in a heartbeat, museums and galleries shuttered, art fairs postponed, then cancelled, and dealers rushed to sophisticated virtual platforms. But Thursday morning saw the official emergence from this long hibernation, as the first major American fair returned with VIP hours and fresh September dates at the sprawling Javits Center.
On the one hand, a subdued reality still hangs in the air. Careful pandemic protocols are in place; artists, collectors, and gallery staff are masked throughout the 54,000-square-foot venue. Yet despite lingering uncertainty, the day pulsed with the familiar vitality of the Armory Show, a singularly New York art fair that has a tradition of including younger, exciting galleries, many with lesser known, solo artist booths, alongside traditional blockbuster names and topical, curated presentations in the Focus section. This time, the Armory Show also embodies a singular resilience, launching a grand re-entry to art opening season in the country’s enduring contemporary capital. As they say, never bet against New York City.
Nino Mier Gallery
Fairgoers rightly flocked to Dusseldorf-based Jana Schroder’s solo presentation of large-scale arresting paintings that spans two of the artist’s series, Neurosox and Specshift—both of which investigate the familiar gestures of handwriting, part of a diagrammatic aesthetic she’s perfected throughout her practice. Schroder’s process focuses on repetition, and harkens her professor, the modern master Albert Oehlen. Of her technique, Schroder has said she enjoys setting rules as much as breaking them.