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Gallery Hyundai, Park Hyunki, Untitled, 1978 installation. Image courtesy of The Armory Show
Gallery Hyundai, Park Hyunki, Untitled, 1978 installation. Image courtesy of The Armory Show
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Highlights of the 2018 Armory Show

Picture of Christine Lee
Art Writer & Art Advisor
Updated: 12 March 2018
The Armory Show’s 24th edition opened at Piers 92 and 94 in New York City on March 8, 2018. With 198 galleries from 31 countries, the Armory Show remains a leading cultural destination for discovering and collecting modern and contemporary art. Director Nicole Berry showcased a curated selection of artworks alongside innovative programming and theme-based sections: “Insights,” “Presents,” “Focus,” and “Platform.” From JR’s highly-anticipated public art project to captivating installations, we highlight some of the most exceptional artworks from this year’s Armory Show.

JR’s So Close, in partnership with Jeffrey Deitch

French photographer JR began his career as a graffiti artist, and has since garnered international recognition for his large-scale installations of people integrated into their public environments. He often depicts his photographed subjects engaged with architecture to bring awareness to political, social and cultural issues that directly impact the selected region. For the Armory Show’s “Focus” section, JR, in partnership with Jeffrey Deitch and Artsy, created So Close, a large-scale photo installation that manipulated archival photos of Ellis Island immigrants to showcase images of refugees from the Syrian Zaatari camp.

Armory show JR-4
JR’s ‘So Close,’ presented by Artsy and Jeffrey Deitch at the entry to Pier 94, replaces the faces of immigrants passing through Ellis Island with those of current Syrian refugees. Image courtesy of The Armory Show

Mary Silbande at Gallery Momo

South African artist Mary Silbande lives and works in Johannesburg. Through her photography and sculptural works, Silbande critiques the stereotypical depictions of black women in South Africa. In her Armory Show installation titled Cry Havoc, Silbande narrates her family’s history of being forced into domestic work by the Apartheid State. Her grandmother is represented in blue as the oppressed worker, and the authority figure is in purple, referencing the 1989 Purple Raid Protests.

Mary Silbande installation shot photo by Christine Lee
Mary Sibande’s ‘Cry Havoc’ (2014), presented by Gallery Momo as part of the Armory Show’s “Platform” series. Photo by Christine Lee

Pieter Vermeersch at Galerie Perrotin

Pieter Vermeersch was born in 1973 in Kortrijk, Belgium, and currently lives and works in Brussels. Time, space and color are three elements central to his site-specific installations, which create a meditative and ephemeral space through large-scale color gradations and fade-outs. In his Armory Show exhibition, contrasting hues are juxtaposed with small, geometric marble pieces to create a contrast between the light of his chromatic paintings and the solid stones.

Pieter Vermeersch_photo by Christine Lee
Installation view of Pieter Vermeersch’s ‘Untitled (from A-series and B-series)’ at The Armory Show, Galerie Perrotin, 2018. Photo by Christine Lee

Gabriele Beveridge at Parisian Laundry

Hong Kong-born, London-based artist Gabriele Beveridge received a BFA in Photography from Falmouth College of Art, and holds an MFA in Fine Art Media from the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Exhibiting in the art fair’s “Focus” section, Beveridge utilizes found objects and images, embellishing the old with newly-fabricated hand-blown glass and metal parts representing the body. The artist creates multi-dimensional assemblages that explore representations of beauty.

Gabriele Beveridge, Common Day (I), 2018. Photo by Christine Lee
Gabriele Beveridge, Common Day (I), 2018. Photo by Christine Lee

Angel Vergara at Axel Vervoordt Gallery

Angel Vergara was born in 1958 in Mieres, Spain, and lives and works in Brussels. The multidisciplinary artist works in video, drawing, painting, installation and performance art. His most recent series challenges the limitations of an image through video works that combine painting, photography, and moving images.

Angel Vergara, installation view. From Scene to Scene, exhibition at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels 2017. Courtesy of Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Angel Vergara, installation view. From the ‘Scene to Scene’ exhibition at Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels 2017. Courtesy of Axel Vervoordt Gallery

Ken and Julia Yonetani’s Crystal Palace at Mizuma Gallery

Ken and Julia Yonetani’s visually and conceptually powerful works comment on people and their environments, bringing awareness to contemporary environmental issues by engaging their audience in a meaningful dialogue. The duo’s installation titled Crystal Palace (2013), was created in response to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan. The 31 chandelier pieces in the installation are refitted with UV bulbs of neon green, representing the 31 nuclear nations of the world in varying dimensions that correspond to the number of operating nuclear plants in that nation.

Ken and Julia Yonetani_Crystal Palace Installation shot_Photo by Christine Lee
Ken and Julia Yonetani’s ‘Crystal Palace’ installation view at The Armory Show 2018. Photo by Christine Lee

Ken and Julia Yonetani’s The Last Supper at Mizuma Gallery

Ken and Julia Yonetani’s The Last Supper is made of salt from Australia’s Murray River, symbolizing both earthly toxicity and the feast before the afterlife. The artist duo worked in collaboration with the scientists at Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre, and studied their concerns about increasing levels of salinity in Australia. Five hundred and fifty tons of salt were utilized to create this installation.

Ken and Julia Yonetani_The Last Supper installation at The Armory Show 2018_Photo by Christine Lee
Ken and Julia Yonetani, ‘The Last Supper’ installation at The Armory Show 2018. Photo by Christine Lee

Andreas Schmitten at Konig Galerie

German-born artist Andreas Schmitten is known for implementing staging strategies that captivate his audience. Many of his large sculptures are encased in glass to create a barrier between the object and the viewer. Schmitten’s visual language is both abstract and geometric, utilizing a palette devoid of emotion that evokes utility, function, and distance.

Andrea Schmitten Prop, 2017. Wood, polyurethane, fabric, lacquer, metal. 215x125x40cm. Photo by Christine Lee
Andrea Schmitten, ‘Prop’ 2017. Wood, polyurethane, fabric, lacquer, metal. Photo by Christine Lee