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Day One: The Armory Show

Amy CoulterWell, I made it. Even though I had a confirmation from the Armory Show press office, I was still not so sure I'd get in. No problem. It's pretty exciting seeing all the art world movers and some shakin'. Lots of limos lined up outside for press day: must be the bloggers.

The show is a total overload. Somewhere around 200 galleries from around the world. I took a walk through both piers, 92 and 90, just to get a feel for the whole show. Then I backtracked, taking notes and as many pictures as possible. What shouldn't have surprised me was all the red dots showing up next to the artwork. For a press preview, there were a lot of sales. Apparently there were $43 million in sales last year, and it was looking that way by 3 o'clock yesterday.

Touring through the Armory Show is similar to going through Chelsea, but on one level and gallerists can't hide. Several really don't want to have to go through such indignities, so they stay glued to cell phones, talking to very special people. Some surprised me by being quite cordial.

Some memorable art: Jake and Dinos Chapman's works on paper at White Box and images from My Giant Coloring Book at Paragon Press (both London). Ida Applebroog at Ronald Feldman, here and here. Kerry James Marshall at Jack Shainman (sold by 2 pm), a series of wash drawings by David Godbold and here at the Kerlin Gallery (Dublin), and Amy Coulter at Leslie Tonkonow (shown here). Alex Katz was everywhere, especially at Gallerie Ropac (Paris) with New Pink, and there was Lee Lozano At Hauser/Wirth (Zurich), and Kenny Schachter's glowing booth.

This is just a bit of what I saw yesterday. Some work is forgettable, childish dribble (with red dots). But there's lots to see, and if you're in the New York area, this is a perfect way to get a feel for what's going on in galleries and what is selling. At a minimum, the people-watching is worth the $20 fee. I'm going to the preview for The Scope Art Fair now.

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