Currently celebrating its 60th year, the Art Dealers Association of America opened this year’s edition of its annual fair, the Art Show, last night at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. The opening was part of a benefit gala benefiting the Henry Street Settlement.
Gathering 78 exhibitors from its membership, this year’s Art Show is as elegant as ever, with an emphasis on solo presentations highlighting the work of under-recognized historical artists like Pacita Abad, Geoffrey Holder, and Toshiko Takaezu, as well as ones for important living artists like Rafael Ferrer and Joana Choumali.
Below, a look at the best booths at the 2022 edition of the ADAA Art Show, which runs through Sunday.
Antonio Henrique Amaral at Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Mitchell-Innes & Nash is presenting the work of Antonio Henrique Amaral, whose estate it has just recently began working with. Amaral’s work shows a debt to the surreal paintings of Tarsila do Amaral, a pioneering Brazilian modernist who happened to be a distant relative. Having come of age in Brazil during the country’s dictatorship, Amaral, who died in 2015, filled his art with fierce but subtle political stances. Many of the works on view here are from the ’90s and show the artist’s turn toward environmentalism, advocating against the deforestation of the Amazon. These are powerful works that feel as timely as ever.
Pacita Abad at Tina Kim Gallery
One of the first things you see when you walk into this year’s Art Show is Tina Kim’s booth, dedicated to the work of the late artist Pacita Abad. Soon to be the subject of a major retrospective at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Abad is in superb form in this presentation, titled “I have given it color,” a small primer on various bodies of works the late artist created over a multifaceted career that spanned some three decades. Of particular note are two large-scale painted tapestries that include elements like cowrie shells, mirrors, and buttons that add to the richness of these works.
Geoffrey Holder at James Fuentes
Having just opened a Hilton Als–curated survey of Geoffrey Holder at his Lower East Side gallery, James Fuentes is presenting a booth dedicated to the artist’s portraits. At first glance, the frames that hold these works might appear to belong to another era. That, however, was Holder’s point. He was fascinated with gold borders, and even collaborated with a local Downtown New York framer to make them specially for his pieces. The portraits on view here, not of actual sitters but subjects culled from his imagination, envision elegant Black women, New Yorkers with impeccable fashion and glamorous accessories. One piece shows a woman in a sheer white top, which is rendered in the same way a Dutch Renaissance painter may have depicted lace.
Yoko Ono at Galerie Lelong & Co.
One of the more political works on view at this year’s Art Show is by none other than Yoko Ono, whose prescient art has always sought to force its viewers to think about the society they live in. For a presentation titled “The Bronze Age,” Lelong is showing works by Ono that she first conceived in the ’60s and then revisited in the ’80s during the preparation of a 1989 solo show at the Whitney, her first museum presentation in 20 years. One of them, Object in Three Parts, consists of three forms of contraception. Works like it took on a different resonance two decades on from the sexual revolution of the ’60s, especially at the height of the AIDS crisis and the conservatism of the Reagan administration. So she cast them in bronze.
As she told the New York Times on the occasion of the Whitney show, “There seemed like a shimmering air in the 60s when I made these pieces, and now the air is bronzified. Now it’s the 80s, and bronze is very 80s in a way—solidity, commodity, all of that. For someone who went through the 60s revolution, there has of course been an incredible change. … I call the pieces petrified bronze. That freedom, all the hope and wishes are in some ways petrified.’”
Toshiko Takaezu at James Cohan
Included in the main exhibition of this year’s Venice Biennale, which closes at the end of the month, the late Toshiko Takaezu is an under-known artist whose star is on rise in the lead up to a major survey of her beguiling ceramics at Queens’s Noguchi Museum in 2024. After studying under the mother of American ceramics, Maija Grotell, at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, Takaezu sought to push her medium to its limits through the creation of these closed vessels. They meld craft with sculpture and, through their beautiful glazes, with painting, too.
Alfonso Ossorio at Michael Rosenfeld
An artist who was friends with many artists of the New York School in the postwar era, Alfonso Ossorio used his art to wrestle with the clash between his Catholicism—he was raised in a devout Filipino American family—and his homosexuality. One such example comes from his “Congregations” series, which Ossorio began in ’60s after he had stewarded Jean Dubuffet’s Art Brut collection for a decade at his East Hampton home up until his death in 1990. These exuberant mixed-media assemblages—composed of seashells, shards of colored glass, beads, pieces of driftwood, shingles from his house, and much more—nod to the ecclesiastical definition of “congregation.” They are knockouts.
Rafael Ferrer at Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Miami’s Fredric Snitzer Gallery has a tight survey of the 89-year-old Puerto Rican artist Rafael Ferrer, who is now based in Greenport, New York. For this presentation, the gallery, which will also do a solo show for Ferrer during Art Basel Miami Beach later this year, has brought together a grouping of painted portraits from the 1980s to 2020—a surprising choice, given that this is an artist better known for his Minimalist and Conceptual artworks. Some sections of these striking portraits have loose brushwork, while others have a tight flatness.
Joana Choumali at Sperone Westwater
After staging Joana Choumali’s first U.S. solo show earlier this spring, Sperone Westwater has brought to this fair seven new entries in her ongoing “Alba’hain” series, which takes its name from an Agni word that “denotes the powerful energy that comes with the first light of morning,” according to a release. With this in mind, Choumali, who is based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, departs on her daily walks at 5 a.m. and continues on until 7 a.m. Along the way, she photographs the changing light of the sky and the people she passes. She then transfers these various photographs (at different scales) to canvas to create quiet, meditative compositions that seem to glimmer just as the sky would at dawn.