The old guard (and even a few young’uns) turned up for the gala opening of the 2010 ADAA Art Show at the Park Avenue armory, the most exclusive flea market in town. All of the sterling galleries were there, showing their best wares in the forms of Andy Warhols, Pablo Picassos and Henry Moores. Nostalgia seeped through the stalls for a time when one put on their best pearls for a visit to your dealer, who welcomed you into his space on 57th Street with a private viewing of their best modern paintings—and, if the time was right, a single malt scotch on the rocks.
This year nine newcomer galleries made it past the rigorous (albeit mysterious) application to be included in the jewel showcase of New York’s art week. Among those anointed with new membership was Blum & Poe, the Los Angeles-based gallery that brought a solo show of fresh-faced Matt Johnson’s sculptures. As Jeff Poe bravely noted, “It’s interesting to take a young artist and put him in the context of this fair. It mixes it up and fucks up expectations of what you’re supposed to do.” Johnson, for his part, was in his element. “You look just like Duchamp!” a collector crowed as the artist greeted her, placid in his corduroy suit jacket. Not bad for a hometown boy. LEFT: MARIAN GOODMAN, MARVIN ROSS FRIEDMAN, ADRIENNE BON HAES.
It was hard to find anyone without a nametag that signaled his or her position as “chairman” or “patron” of some organization connected to the event. But no one was as proud of the fair as Adam Sheffer, chairman of the 2010 Art Show committee and a partner at Cheim & Read. His enthusiasm was contagious: “We’re in an interesting moment for the art world because slowly what is happening is that the avant-garde is becoming the establishment.” How slow change will come varies from fair to fair.