Saturday, March 9, 2013

Column and Stripe/NYC - The Armory Show [Cleveland Museum of Art]

As many regular readers (or those who pay attention to the "Disclosures" bar off to the right [your other right]) know, I'm involved in Column and Stripe: The New Friends of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Unfortunately travel demands of my real job haven't been conducive to attending all of the great events that our Programming Committee organizes.

Exterior of Pier 92 from Across 12 Ave.
Thanks to a last minute change in schedules for one of my big projects, and a United Fare Sale that made Cleveland to New York a $161 round drip flight (and cashing in some of my Hilton HHonors points for a few nights in one of my favorite hotels -- the Hilton Times Square) I was able to join a group of Column and Stripers 400 miles from home at New York City's Armory Show.

C&S Attendees; Mark Cole center background.
Mark Cole, Cleveland Museum of Art's Associate Curator of American Painting and Sculpture (until 1960) was in New York as well and graciously guided us through Pier 92's Modern Art.

Mr. Cole not only introduced us to some of the dealers who he knows, but also pointed out artists with Cleveland connections and artists who he thinks are significant and would like to see added to the museum's collection to complete the story (he remained mum as to specific works).

After our overview fly-by the group splintered and attacked the show in greater detail. The show which brings together leading art dealers from around the globe and concentrates them on two of the piers of Manhattan's West Side is a little overwhelming. ("Modern" is on pier 92, "Contemporary" is on pier 94)

One aisle of dealers at Pier 94
Although the show is made up of dealers (after all, unlike a museum, the goal here is to sell art), it is curated -- the dealers have to present a proposal months in advance, and from what I understand the cost of exhibiting can push into the high five-figures, so the quality of art is very high across the board. So are the prices -- many, though not all, of the exhibitors have prices listed on the label accompanying each piece, with prices I noticed ranging from about $2,500 to upwards of $370,000 and spanning from the technically simple to the obscenely complex.

It was a wonderful opportunity to enjoy art outside of Cleveland with similarly interested young Clevelanders, and hopefully this will be the first of many trips -- and that Rachel's work schedule will allow her to join in the next trip.

[By the way, any of the pictures should be clickable for a larger version if you so desire]


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