Anthony Haden-Guest reviews the Armory Show and all of its satellites. He sees a “notable” trend toward absence among the biggest names:
Many hefty New York galleries were no-shows at the Armory, among them Pace, Marian Goodman, Michael Werner, David Zwirner and Gagosian (each choosing to show elsewhere or at no fair at all), and that meant that many artists who have seemed ubiquitous features of the Global Artscape—Takashi Murakami, Anselm Reyle, et al.—were conspicuous by their near total absence. I saw no striking Warhols and no Jeff Koons, for instance. Indeed, apart from outbreaks of Mel Ramos here and there, Pop and post-Pop, once the fairs’ emblems, were a diminished presence.
So did Armory 2011 signal that the model of the art fair as a system for delivering high-end merchandise to the extravagantly well-heeled is passé? Hardly. The change is a reflection of the fact that the auction houses (and their private sales arms) are increasingly wresting four-star goods away from the dealers. “And people don’t want their art to be overexposed. Burned,” said the Rhinebeck dealer, Stephen Mazoh. “There’s a ceiling to the number of millions somebody will spend at an art fair. It’s to do with discretion. At an art fair, the prices are known.”
Art Fairs Give Ground to Auction Houses (NY Observer)