- Sure beats a mint on your pillow, right? (Sculpture by Quinn Taylor for Specific Object.)
There were several new art fairs this Armory Week, but none was quite so ephemeral, inventive and buzzed-about as The Dependent, for which 16 galleries, non-profits, collectives and project spaces each got one room on the 12th and 14th floors of the Sheraton Four Points at 160 West 25th Street on Friday evening from 5-9pm. When I showed up shortly after 5pm there was a ten-person line for the elevator, but when I left two hours later the queue stretched down the block. Here's what all the fuss was about.
I apologize in advance for misattributions and omissions, very little was labeled and checklists were often hard to come by—feel free to note any mistakes in the comments and I'll revise accordingly.
- These two Gremlins-like sculptures by Jonathan Torres took over the Paradise bathroom.
- The Silver Shed room had shiny mylar over the headboard and closet, and some indecipherable text message codes.
- More of the Silver Shed room.
- Also in the Silver Shed room, playing on a TV over which a pizza had been draped (it was picked at over the course of the evening), was this very amusing art world-ridiculing video.
- A spread from the first issue of "Screw: The Sex Review" (ca. 1969) in the Specific Object bathroom.
- In fact, bathroom installations tended to be the best part of The Dependent. Clever placement made this otherwise unremarkable portrait quite memorable.
- More inventive bathroom installations, these paintings adding much-needed texture and color to the generic tiling.
- This shower curtain installation in the Evil Freaks bathroom looks like a Tauba Auerbach, right?
- An architectural model of a gallery in a bathroom occupied by a gallery; how meta!
- The bathroom in Cleopatra's room was filled with plants by Alex Da Corte.
- A sculpture of a monkey was using the bathroom in the Canada hotel room.
- Some of the bed installations were very creative too, like this one in Williamsburg gallery Soloway's room.
- Richmond, Virginia gallery Reference used their two-bed suite for a spread of irreverent Reid Ramirez merch, including "RR" monogrammed bikinis and baby clothes, and "Expressionist Paintbrushes."
- Colleen Asper's two paintings in the poster project 2-UP's room came in their own suit-cases.
- Also in the 2-UP room, Zerek Kempf's short video "Weight of Fall (Waltz)" was projected onto a pillow.
- This ridiculous new hotel bedspread by Radames Figueroa in the Paradise room seems like a good note on which to end.
In closing, the event was fun and the atmosphere excellent, but the art was mostly mediocre and in any case impossible to engage with properly due to cramped quarters and, as the evening wore on, limited oxygen/intense heat. Hopefully next year this promising fair will find a bigger space—or at least a nicer hotel.