Thursday, March 10, 2011

Steven Bindernagel & Tomas Espina @ The Armory Show (Revised)

If you are an important dealer, artist or gallery, you’re there, but, the Armory Show isn’t just for the art connoisseur, it’s also for the lovers of art and for all of the people who participate in the art world. Although the scale was large, if one looked hard enough, they could find something that they adored and if one walked quickly enough, perhaps, see the entire show.

The Armory Show “Focus” was on Latin America this year. One could feel the honesty of the art from the often under-represented countries. The art was refreshing and evolved, coming from a newfound hotspot that is the Latin American art market. The smokey, sooty black and white piece titled “Big Bum” by Tomas Espina, on display with the Ignacio Liprandi Arte Contemporaneo, is filled with historical and cultural connotations. The work is often violent taken from military or political conflicts Tomas sees on the news. He creates with gun powder, then lites it on fire, a process called “drawing expanded.”

One of the notable collections was from Steven Bindernagel on display with the CRG gallery. Bindernagel does magnificent watercolor on a fairly large scale. The color palettes are bright and vibrant, however his methods of mixing watercolor to the point of muddiness make portions of the work dark and sullen. It’s like walking along a New York City street, busy and bright and yet ridden with the filth at our feet. While the paintings are abstract the geometric shapes and lines bring a sense of reality and balance and allow the viewer the comfort of recognition in each piece. Each precise line and shape make you feel like you’re actually looking at a land or cityscape. The nuances created from the unpredictable watercolor washes being aloud to play on the canvas give the viewer a sense of freedom. There’s a level of playfulness that Bindernagel exudes in each piece and he allows the viewer to really enjoy and take part in that.

The Armory Show really was a sight to behold, and every type of creative mind that exists was represented, whether on display, sitting in a booth or wandering through the crowd. Tomas and Bindernagel were just two of the many, many powerful works and collections on display. The Armory Show really did prove itself a worthy place to be: a place that harbors the best contemporary art in the world.


  1. My late grandfather, Edvin Strautmanis, has a piece in The Armory Show. He did large abstract expressionst/action paintings in the 70s in his SoHo studio, showing on occasion at Allen Stone Gallery.

  2. Delete comma after "artist" in the first sentence. Delete comma between "gallery" and "you're" in second sentence. The Armory Show is for the art connoisseur ... with big bucks! However, us little people can find joy in the show too, I suppose. Maybe put the words "that is" at the beginning of the statement in the parentheses - to make it read more clearly. Maybe put the word "a" before "$30" or put "for" after "$30". I like the opening thought - funny.

    By the word "their", at the end of the second paragraph, are you referring to people themselves or the art? I'm kind of joking here, I'm pretty sure you mean the art. Maybe tweak the sentence a little to help those of us (me) who will forever be confused by random pronouns.

    The capital "T" used to describe the layout of the show would be a confusing reference to those who did not actually attend. Delete the comma after "Bindernagel". Capitalize "gallery" because it is paired with its proper name - CRG. In the last sentence of paragraph three, the word "aloud" should be spelled "allowed".

    Paragraph four: your statement "every type of creative mind..." I question because, for example, rocket scientists are creative, but they were not featured in the show. It's a broad statement, maybe you could add "in the art world" or something. Delete "really did" in the last sentence and turn "prove" into "proved".

    The writing describes both good and bad aspects of the show. It's well written with clever moments and personality.