Fair  September 3, 2021  Jonah Goldman Kay

Must-Sees at The Armory Show & Beyond This Fall

Image courtesy of the artist and Marlborough, New York.

ALSOUDANI, Ahmed, Untitled, 2016. Acrylic, charcoal, and colored pencil on canvas. 76 x 173 in.

This year and last, most art fairs have dramatically scaled back their in-person offerings. NADA went completely virtual back in September 2020, while Frieze plans to open this October with half of its regular roster. Not so with The Armory Show, a stalwart of the New York art fair circuit. When it opens in its new location at the Javits Center on September 9, The Armory Show will have close to 200 exhibitors—more than it had last year. While several of the biggest names are notably absent this year (including Gagosian and White Cube), there’s still more than enough on offer.

Hollis Taggart

Gene Davis (1920-1985), Untitled, 1979. Acrylic and graphite on canvas. 45 3/8 x 70 1/8 inches.

From Hollis Taggart’s focus on forgotten female artists, to the edgy, interdisciplinary works at 303 Gallery’s booth, this year’s exhibitors have taken radically divergent approaches to their offerings. We’ve selected a few of our favorites to help guide you through this year’s Armory Show. After you’re done at the fair, be sure to visit nearby galleries to see additional works by the fair artists, as well as several excellent group shows.


303 Gallery

Lisa Spellman’s well-known gallery has commissioned several works by gallery artists, including Rodney Graham, Tala Madani, and Doug Aitken. Graham’s practice has long revolved around an exploration of Western culture, while Aitken takes an interdisciplinary approach to creating emotive experiences. Madani’s paintings often feature groups of men engaged in fictive rituals that reference her own Iranian-American identity. Together, the three artists share an interest in the constructed absurdity of cultural behavior.

© Rodney Graham, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York.

Rodney Graham, Untitled, 2021.

Just off the High Line at 21st Street, 303’s main gallery is exhibiting several of Rob Pruitt’s recent works. Best known for his glitter-soaked paintings of pandas, Pruitt’s works often transform personal experiences into charged, universal statements. The show, These Are the Days of Our Lives, opens September 10 and runs through October 30.



Marlborough, the eighty-year-old mainstay, had quite a year. In June, the gallery announced it would shutter its New York branch amid an ongoing clash between members of the family that owns the gallery. Luckily, they chose to keep the gallery open and are now coming to The Armory Show with a series of works on canvas by Iraqi-American painter Ahmed Alsoudani and a pair of bronze sculptures by Michele Oka Doner.

Image courtesy Marlborough Gallery

OKA DONER, Michele, Without the Reef, 2016. Cast bronze, unique. 80 x 28 x 32 in.

On view at Marlborough’s retooled Chelsea space are two group shows, both of which include works by Alsoudani and Doner (through September 11). A Day At The Beach offers a retreat from the fair’s crowds, featuring beach-related works by Jackson Pollock, Katherine Bradford, and Alex Katz. WILD AT HEART offers several artists’ takes on ways to re-engage with the physical world after the pandemic and includes work by Ivana Bašić, Justin Lowe, and Enzo Cucchi.


Hollis Taggart

The post-war powerhouse’s booth features a selection of works by Abstract Expressionist, Post-War, and Contemporary artists. This year, the gallery has focused on the works of women artists producing in the post-war period. Among the highlights are a beautiful abstract work by Michael (Corinne) West, one of the unsung heroes of Abstract Expressionism, and an elegant abstract work by photorealist painter Audrey Flack. Other artists exhibited include Leon Berkowitz, Gene Davis, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, Vivian Springford, and Idelle Weber.

Hollis Taggart

Audrey Flack (b. 1931), Still Life, 1951. Gouache on paper. 23 3/4 x 18 3/4 inches.

On September 11, Hollis Taggart’s Chelsea location will open a solo show featuring new works by Hollis Heichemer. Heichemer’s expressive paintings take an abstract, lyrical approach to her surroundings. The show is up until October 9.

About the Author

Jonah Goldman Kay

Jonah Goldman Kay is a writer based between New Orleans and London.

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