i-D: the 2019 armory show was a colour-drenched dreamscape

By March 13, 2019 News

i-D highlights 8 artists of note, from Ariana Papademetropoulos’s hallucinogenic 70s-inspired interiors to Jamel Shabazz’s photographs of 80s Red Hook.

Incredibly, this was the Armory Show’s 25th year. Originally conceived to buoy a stagnant art market, and held at the Gramercy Park Hotel (in the rooms!) it’s now utterly massive, taking over piers 90-94, and crammed with galleries from 33 different countries. The opening was similarly crammed, although I was thrilled to spot Paul Rudd, who has also aged fantastically while not sacrificing any of his artistic appeal. Somehow, wandering the corridors of art world power, the show felt endless. This is despite it having been condensed, due to Pier 92 being structurally unsound (which presented one with visions of people types with thick rimmed spectacles floating in the Hudson) and thus part of the fair being moved to Pier 90.

Catastrophe averted, this year featured a fantastically diverse and thought provoking array of work, from the legendary 60s artist Faith Ringgold’s quilts dedicated to black activists, to Jeffrey Deitch’s presentation of Ai Weiwei’s lego zodiac animals, to The Breeder’s eclectic selection of cutting edge Greek art. And Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Thayou’s enormous hanging sculpture made of hundreds of plastic bags served as both convenient meeting point, and beautiful, depressing monument. Below, we present some of i-D’s highlights.

ACA Gallery — Faith Ringgold
Ringgold began her career in the mid 60s, and this incredible retrospective at ACA is rich with work from across her life (on Wednesday, the artist herself was sat in the booth receiving visitors). Her Black Light series, which examines black skin, was given particular prominence (and the eight segment piece looked particularly monumental), alongside activist prints and her quilt work. Ringgold’s quilts are part of the American canon, and these were especially moving and personal: one devoted to self portraits and another showing a trio of black activists.

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