Eric Shiner Curates at the Armory Show

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When Eric Shiner was approached last summer by the Armory Show to curate its new Platform section, he didn’t have to think twice. “It was a chance to engage with artists I always wanted to work with,” says Shiner, the former director of the Warhol Museum who is now a senior vice president of contemporary art at Sotheby’s. Platform stages installations and site-specific commissions that are too large to be contained within the square footage of a typical gallery booth, but Shiner’s effort, entitled An Incident and featuring 13 artists, is about more than just scale. “I wanted to create a series of incidents to break up the fair routine. Encountering the projects gives people some breathing space, but also creates moments of joy and even fear,” he says, noting that the latter emotion was in response to Sebastian Errazuriz’s contribution: a large piano suspended from the ceiling over crowds at the champagne bar. “At the base level,” says Shiner of his selection, “it’s important that we remember what brought us here in the first place – the art.”

Eric Shiner Curates at the Armory Show

  • Yayoi Kusama, Guidepost to the New World, 2016. Victoria Miro Gallery, London.
    With her signature polka-dot motif, Kusama’s Guidepost to the New World is an 11-part cast-aluminum installation manufactured specifically for The Armory Show. The elements are placed on Pier 94 in a new open-plan lounge area that perfectly accommodates installations like this one.

  • Dorian Gaudin, Missing you, 2016.Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York and DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin.
    Fascinated by movement, French-born, New York-based Gaudin has contributed a large-scale kinetic sculpture. The handcrafted, self-roving structure rolls along a 20-foot path, creating a sense of expectation and heightened awareness from bystanders.

  • Jun Kaneko, Untitled, 2016. Edward Cella Art & Architecture, New York.
    Kaneko, well known as a ceramicist is also a painter. His site-specific, freestanding painting-installation is 9 feet high by roughly 63 feet in length – almost as long as the space it occupies at the end of Pier 92. “When people first see it, they think it could be a wall,” says Shiner. “But then you realize it’s a painting, and it’s a great surprise.”  


  • Patricia Cronin, Tack Room, 1997–98.
    The artist has restaged an elaborate mixed-media installation that was first shown 20 years ago at White Columns in New York to critical acclaim. Combining equestrian equipment both innocent (horse-show ribbons) and erotically charged (rope, riding crops), with paintings and bronze sculptures, Tack Room addresses class, power and desire, among other themes. “I didn’t see it when it was at White Columns, so I was thrilled to have enough space to show it here,” says Shiner.


  • Fiete Stolte, Eye, 2014. Albertz Benda, New York.
    The Berlin-based artist will engage visitors with an interactive photo booth that uses a built-in camera and arranged mirror to create unique portraits that can be acquired for a nominal fee. More works by Stolte, who seeks to capture life’s ephemeral moments in various mediums, are on view through Armory weekend at Albertz Benda gallery.


  • Douglas Coupland, Towers, 2014. Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto.
    Installed right at the entrance of Pier 94, the Canadian artist’s vivid, playful cityscape constructed with Legos is an undeniable crowd-pleaser. “I’ve always wanted to do something with Doug, and thought this particular piece would be incredibly popular,” Shiner explains.


  • Sebastian Errazuriz, The Awareness of Uncertainty, 2017. Cristina Grajales, New York.
    The witty, Magritte-like title of this large piano suspended over the Champagne Lounge on Pier 94 perfectly captures fairgoers’ reactions. “I was watching people’s reactions yesterday,” notes Shiner, “and they either refused to stand under it or quickly moved as soon as they realised it was there.” 


  • Abel Barroso, Emigrant’s Pinball, 2012. Pan American Art Projects, Miami.
    The Cuban artist’s seven-part interactive installation will activate the Pier 92 Mezzanine Lounge where visitors can play a fictional pinball game that employs New York iconography and gameplay to pose question about migration and cultural identity.  


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