The atmosphere felt undeniably chic and cool as the 2022 edition of The Armory Show opened its doors to VIPs on Thursday afternoon. Now in its second year at the Javits Center and in its September slot, the New York fair was blessed with excellent breezy weather and an increased audience due to the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions for international exhibitors and attendees.
The fair was also timed well to coincide with New York Fashion Week and the U.S. Open—concurrent events known to draw culturally minded out-of-towners into the city. There were celebrity sightings (like Jared Leto and Roxane Gay), record sales, and fashionable attendees—all of which contributed to the indisputable buzz that permeated in the air. The Armory Show executive director Nicole Berry put it well when she told Artsy towards the end of the day, “New York is back!”
The vibrant crowd and late summer placement of the fair reflects a growing desire from the art world to broaden its space to outsiders, while still retaining its curatorial rigor. The latter was seen in the show’s thoughtfully curated sections, including Solo, Focus, Presents, and Platform. Particularly notable is the work of curators Carla Acevedo-Yates, Mari Carmen Ramírez, and Tobias Ostrander, who organized the Focus and Platform booths to highlight works by Latinx artists and work about Latin America, presenting deeply engaging and eye-catching work, largely by emerging artists.
To help navigate the best that The Armory Show 2022 has to offer, we share here 10 booths that are not to be missed.
Main Section, Booth 214
With works by James Little, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Mary Sibande, Devan Shimoyama, Suchitra Mattai, Beverly Fishman, Esmaa Mohamoud, Allana Clarke, Deborah Kass, Kour Pour, José Lerma, Jaime Muñoz, Alisa Sikelianos-Carter, Miya Ando, Su Su, Michi Meko, and Sherman Beck
Kavi Gupta continues to impress audiences, with this year’s dynamic group presentation that reflects not only the gallery’s incredibly diverse roster—both in terms of artists’ nationalities and use of materials—but also its ability to attract artists who generate hype. This was evident in the first five minutes of the show’s opening, when a James Little painting, Thespian Stories (2022), sold to a private collector. At the age of 70, Little is having a moment in the art world as a Black abstract painter who received renewed attention after his inclusion in the year’s Whitney Biennial.
Chanelle Lacy, director of artist relations and programming at Kavi Gupta, remarked on the vitality of the fair’s current edition. “Last year was still really guarded, everyone was a bit tense coming right out of the pandemic,” she said, while “this year the energy is renewed and exciting.” She noted that the collector interest has been a mixture of both institutional and private individuals, with collectors largely based in the U.S. and Japan.
By the end of the day, the gallery sold Devan Shimoyama’s Winning Love By Daylight (2022), Tomokazu Matsuyama’s Think So Shiver Trouble (2022), and Beverly Fishman’s Untitled (Pain, Pain, Anxiety, Pain, GERD) (2022), all priced from $80,000–$100,000.