Bettina's Take: The AADA Art Show and The Armory Show

It's a big week for the art community.

The AADA Art Show, benefiting Henry Street Settlement held its gala preview last night. Prestigious galleries, including Sperone Westwater, Acquavella, and Pace were exhibiting their finest. Collectors with a keen eye, including George Farias, Carol Mack, Leonard Lauder, Alexia and Baird Ryan, Beth DeWoody, and Michelle and Asher Edelman came to admire works by Cindy Sherman, David Wojnarowicz, and many other artists, both established and up and coming.

"That's Mel Bochner, he's the current big thing," said a visitor who prefers to remain anonymous, referring to a painting of ornery comments written in various shades of white. "Everyone was talking about him at Miami Basel, and his paintings that say 'BLAH BLAH BLAH.'"

The Armory Show holds its preview and vernissage today. The show features the work of 2012 commissioned artist Theaster Gates, and a focus on the Nordic countries: 19 Scandinavian galleries are included in this exciting and prestigious group of exhibitors from around the world.

John Waters, Michael Stipe, Thelma Golden Paola Schulhof, Anh Duong and Todd Eberle wisely got an early start before the crowds arrived and made it a challenge to see the works. The Pommery champagne bar was full at 1 PM, with art world revelers having a sip of bubbly under a pink neon sign by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson that said SCANDINAVIAN PAIN. Helsinki hangover? Lisbeth Salander? Bad Danish pastries? But I digress...

On to the Spruth Magers booth, a superb collection of works by Cindy Sherman, George Condo, Barbara Kruger, and Jenny Holzer. The Leila Heller Gallery was showing a powerful series of canvas paintings with video and sound projection by Iranian artist Farideh Lashai. Barcelona-based Galerie Senda had a most fascinating piece on display, a Botticelli double portrait that is constantly changing features thanks to an algorithm that acts as a pendulum.

There were nods to Warhol everywhere, big names from London (Whitechapel), Paris (JGM), a Tokyo gallery that featured 3D anime, and much more.

The AADA Art Show and the Armory Show are both open through March 11.

Photo: Anh Duong