The cold this morning was gnawing, all the more frustrating because of how late in the season it’s happening.Bitter, unforgiving.
And speaking of,
This weekend is The Annual Armory Art Fair. Born out of the inspired idea ten years ago on the part of a number of young galleries (my own Included) to stage an art fair in The Gramercy Hotel, it has grown into a sprawling extravaganza that takes over two piers on Manhattan’s west side.
My gallery is hanging some new works of mine in their booth so I’m going over there tomorrow to check on them and hopefully to escape before I become too despairing. Art Fairs are like the biggest opening you ever imagine crossed with an episode of Bargain Hunt: tons of people, divided into two groups: those who you don’t want to see amd those who you don’t want to see you in that setting. The pile up of booth after booth makes you feel like galleries and artists are interchangeable, and the prohibitive costs for the galleries to participate makes them have to bring and show those things that they are most sure of selling. So you get to see the most conservative consumable things. All in all it’s too cluttered and too filled with anxious energy for me to derive much pleasure from it.
There has been a trend in recent years for art fairs to increasingly become the focus of intellectual curiousity and supposed excitement. This in my mind is one more example of the art world making itself more into something like the fashion world with the art fairs serving as the equivalent of the spring and fall season shows. When ever a market begins to regard its own churnings as the source of “energy” and “interest”, it means that there isn’t much going on within the discipline itself. Remember the art world’s auction fixation of the late ’80s? Or the mega record indusrty deals of the same time? Both were signals of flagging creativity in the field.