Austin Arts at the Armory

Where art history is made

<i>ABC Project: U</i>
ABC Project: U (Photo Courtesy of Sterling Allen)

Every year I pore over websites about the Armory Show in New York City. This was the first, the original American art fair; it is the mother ship, and Pier 94 in March is legendary stuff, where the heroes of contemporary art go to mingle and make art history. I'm thrilled to report that this year, three Austin galleries are attending the large satellite art fairs that now orbit the Armory Show and form Armory Arts Week: Lora Reynolds Gallery at Pulse, Art Palace at Volta, and Okay Mountain at Scope.

Volta NY, on Fifth Avenue and 35th Street, was founded in 2005 in Basel, Switzerland, and features only solo projects. Art Palace will present Sterling Allen's ABC Project, a show of recombined toys and objects that morph into 26 freaky Muppet-like sculptures, one for each letter of the alphabet. "I started with a drawing representing each letter (apple, boat, car, dog, elephant, etc.) and drew it over and over until something different emerged," he writes. "From that new vision came the sketch for the individual sculptures." So he's in good form for the big leagues.

Lora Reynolds Gallery has participated in Pulse in London in 2007 and Miami in 2008, and gallery Associate Director Elizabeth Chiles is happy to be returning for Pulse New York 2009 to show work by Tom Molloy. "We like the Pulse team and think they do a good job of being organized [and] friendly and of attracting quality galleries to participate," Chiles says. "A solo booth is a great way to introduce the work in a thorough way to the fair audience. We also feel that Molloy's work, inspired by current events and in its beautiful craft, can find a strong audience at this time."

Scope is an invitation-only exhibition auspiciously held at Lincoln Center. This is all-important stuff, as the Scope website states: "Introducing artists, curators, and cutting-edge galleries to new audiences internationally has made Scope the most comprehensive destination for the emerging art world available anywhere." Okay Mountain, honored with its first invitation this year, will be showing works by Anna Krachey (Austin), sculptures by Jesse Greenberg (Philadelphia) and Colin Leipelt (Kansas City), and collaborative paintings and drawings by the Okay Mountain collective. Flexing its flexibility, Okay Mountain includes a performance called Poem Store, by Zach Houston (San Francisco), to run the length of the fair.

Congratulations to all of these talented artists and galleries. Way to shine bright on the world stage.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin visual arts, Lora Reynolds Gallery, Okay Mountain, Art Palace, Tom Molloy, Sterling Allen, Anna Krachey

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