This Weekend: Art writer Morgan Everhart selects five exceptional booths showing female artists during this September’s Armory Week in NYC.
The art world is back with vengeance this week in New York City and there’s a level of excitement we haven’t seen in years. Whether you’re strolling through the fairs or visiting receptions, rooms and streets are filled with people. There’s so much to see in so little time— we’re highlighting some artists at The Armory Show you should beeline for.
1. Katrina Pisetti and Joshua Allen’s Velvet Other World is a fascinating collaboration between artists
KAPP KAPP gallery, New York
Booth P32, The Armory Show
Kapp Kapp, run by twin brothers Sam and Daniel Kapp, just opened their New York gallery at the beginning of this year. The gallery is dedicated to building insightful, vibrant, and intimate exhibitions. They have certainly done so with their presentation of Velvet Other World at the fair.
These charcoal drawings explore themes of body transformation and protection through ornamentation. Velvet Other World is a collaboration between Josh Allen (b. 1995, Andover, MA) and Katrina Pisetti (b. 1996, Austin, TX). Velvet Other World studies the figure, costume, and opulence in their enchanting black-and-white charcoal universe. Seeking to transfigure their ghostly silhouettes through material ornament, Velvet Other World reconsiders the human relationship with the body and dissects the constructive and protective nature of dress. At once a fascination and critique, Velvet Other World depicts grandeur, royalty, drama, and luxury within their fairytale-like narratives. Allen received his BFA in Illustration and Printmaking and Pisetti in Printmaking, both from the Rhode Island School of Design, where the two met. Allen and Pisetti began their collaboration under the moniker Velvet Other World in 2021.
2. Lucia Vidales
Proxy Co Gallery, Parallel Oaxaca
Booth F30, The Armory Show
This year, The Armory Show has worked with curator Carla Acevedo-Yates to highlight Latin American and Latinx artists at this year’s Focus booths, a section for solo and dual artist presentations. Proxy Co Gallery has partnered with Parallel Oaxaca to present multiple artists, and Lucia Vidales is one not to miss. The Nation’s art critic Barry Schwabsky notes some arching feelings in her work in his 2021 review: “There is some anxiety and depressiveness in Vidale’s canvases, but it’s mostly tempered by a witty self-consciousness and fuel for an infectious ardor.”
3. Alicia Henry and Virginia Chihota
Tiwani Contemporary London
Booth 225, The Armory Show
Tiwani Contemporary’s dual presentation of Virginia Chihota and Alicia Henry is one of the strongest booths at the fair. The artists observe the encounters and estrangements between the self and the community through drawings, printmaking, and sculptures, generating compositions that effectively are introspective.
Virginia Chihota produces unique serigraphic works on linen and paper. Her abstracted figures (often women) are depicted within environments navigating rites of passage, kinships, and emotions. Alicia Henry uses pattern-cutting techniques to produce mixed-media elements from recycled fabric, leather, painted wood, and paper to assemble wall-based compositions to examine the dynamics of the social milieu.
4. Evita Tezeno
Luis De Jesus, Los Angeles
Booth 423, The Armory Show
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is another wonderfully curated booth, featuring June Edmonds, Nicolas Grenier, Laura Krifka, Vian Sora, and Evita Tezeno—shout out to Dallas-based artist, Evita Tezeno, for making some of the most earnest pieces at the fair. Tezeno’s collage paintings employ richly patterned hand-painted papers and found objects in a contemporary folk-art style. Her work depicts a cast of characters in harmonious everyday scenes inspired by her family and friends, childhood memories in South Texas, personal dreams, and moments from her adult life—and influenced by the great 20th century modernists Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and William H. Johnson—scenes of joy animate her vision of a Black America filled with humanity.
5. Janaina Tschäpe
Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, Los Angeles
Booth F3, The Armory Show
I felt an immense sense of relief seeing Janaina Tschäpe’s work highlighted at Sean Kelly Gallery’s booth, near the entrance. Her work sets an experimental, passionate tone for the rest of the fair. Sean Kelly Gallery’s entire booth is dynamic, featuring painting, sculpture, photography, and works on paper by an international roster of artists.
Tschäpe often incorporates themes of aquatic, plant, and human life to suggest dreamlike, abstract landscapes that blur perceptions of illusion and reality. Referencing interests in myth, morphology, and the mysteries of aquatic states, Tschäpe has developed a distinctive language of abstraction in which organic forms are imbued with a remarkable quality of luminosity. Her distinctive compositions convey a sensation of movement, their biomorphic shapes and gestural marks functioning as emotive signifiers of her interior thoughts.
Her carefully nuanced canvases and drawings include imagery evocative of the natural world suggesting growth, transition, and metamorphosis. Tschäpe’s paintings in particular contain innumerable layers of information accrued through the meticulous application of media including watercolor, casein, colored pencil, and pastel. In her work, there is a dynamic tension between the loose, luscious forms that pervade the canvas and the precise systems of markings that often overlay and unify these compositions.
About the fair:
The Armory Show at the Javits Center, located at 429 11th Avenue New York, NY 10001, presents the world’s leading international galleries, showcasing works from modern masters and cutting-edge contemporary artists.