Rare Finds by Asian, Black, Indigenous and Latinx Artists at the Armory Show

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Two animal-like creatures, one red or blue, intertwine, transmitting divine spirits that permeate Japanese traditions. The wiry lines of the intricate figures juxtapose the heavy gilded brushstrokes, which add a luscious texture to the background.

Sacred spirits take the form of wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers, fertility, and other objects and concepts central to life in Japan.

Miwa Komatsu’s An area where everything lives in harmony (2022) acrylic, gold leaf, on canvas sold quickly at the VIP Preview of The Armory Show on Thursday to a buyer from Hong Kong, said Jiyoung Park, Hong Kong manager of Whitestone Gallery, which also has branches in Taipei and Karuizawa.

The 37-year-old artist has gained a prominent following in Asia, and her work was immediately embraced by the first VIP crowds in New York, Park said.

An abstracted face emerges from flowing, gestural brushstrokes that undermine our perception of portrait and identity. The large-format painting forces us to look up close and from a distance, drawing us into the detail of each translucent brushstroke.

Etsu Egami’s monumental oil on canvas Rainbow (2022) sold quickly to a New York buyer on Thursday, Park said. The 28-year-old artist, who has sold-out exhibitions in Japan, China and Europe, knows how to captivate New York with her innovative visual language.

“We have received many requests, especially for Etsu Egami’s works. Many collectors wondered when to expect Egami’s solo exhibition in New York,” said Park. “And we get (a lot of) positive feedback for Miwa’s work.”

Whitestone Gallery showcased the emerging artists along with Yayoi Kusama and unveiled the trajectory of Japanese contemporary art in its women-only booth at Armory.

The Armory Show in New York is closed today and since 1994 has brought together leading international galleries showcasing a wide variety of modern and contemporary art.

We are drawn to Jessica Silverman Gallery’s booth in San Francisco by Rashaal Newsome’s expansive crowds Plow (2022), a multimedia collage in custom mahogany and resin frame with automotive paint. Newsome’s inimitable work, featured in The Black Fantastic, borrows from advertising, the Internet, art history, and black and queer culture to span social practices, abstraction, and intersectionality. Born in 1979 in New Orleans, Newsome lives and works between Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Oakland, California.

“It’s a pleasure to be back in New York. Our booth was visited by major collectors and museum curators during the first hour of the show and it has been non-stop since then,” says owner Jessica Silverman. “The immediate response to our presentation confirms the focus it places on female artists and those who themselves both their own practice – and art more generally – in new exciting forms and expressions.”

We engage in conversation with Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds’ dialogue for social justice and personal freedom to thrive within the tribal community at the booth of the Native American-owned K Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. The multimedia conceptual artist, activist and educator, whose work shares memories of his life in the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations, poured his body into creating primary monoprints and ghost prints.

“We had good sales results on VIP Day Thursday and the show was very good overall,” said K Art Gallery founder and owner Dave Kimelberg. “It’s our debut at the Armory Show and we’re thrilled with the exposure, sales and positive response to our artists and program.”

Reynier Leyva Novo was awarded the $25,000 Annual Pommery Prize for their presentation of: What it is, what has it been? (2020-2022) presented by El Apartamento. I first met Leyva Novo, one of Cuba’s leading conceptual artists, and met their work during the June 2019 press preview of Landlord’s Colors: On Art, Economy at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield, Michigan.