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Reynier Leyva Novo awarded Pommery Prize at The Armory Show 2022

Reynier Leyva Novo 'What it is, what it has been' (2020-2022). Photo by Vincent Tullo.

Rare Finds By Asian, Black, Indigenous, And Latinx Artists At The Armory Show

Natasha Gural


Sep 11, 2022, 06:16pm EDT


Two animal-like creatures, one red or blue, intertwine and convey divine spirits that permeate Japanese traditions. The sinewy lines of the intricate figures juxtapose with the heavy gilded brushstrokes, layering lavish texture on the background. 

Sacred spirits take the form of wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers, fertility and other objects and concepts central to life in Japan. 

Miwa Komatsu’s An area where everything lives in harmony (2022) acrylic, gold leaf, on canvas sold quickly at the VIP Preview of The Armory Show on Thursday to a buyer from Hong Kong, said Jiyoung Park, Hong Kong manager of Whitestone Gallery, which also has locations in Taipei and Karuizawa.

The 37-year-old artist has gained a prominent following in Asia, and her work was immediately embraced by the first-day VIP crowds in New York, said Park. 

An abstracted face emerges from fluid, gestural brushstrokes that subvert our perception of portraiture and identity. The large-scale painting compels us to look closely and from a distance, drawing us into the detail of every translucent brushstroke. 

Etsu Egami’s monumental oil on canvas Rainbow (2022) sold quickly to a New York buyer on Thursday, said Park. The 28-year-old artist who has sold out exhibitions in Japan, China, and Europe, has captivated New York with her innovative visual language. 

“We have received many inquiries, especially for Etsu Egami’s works. Many collectors were wondering when they can expect Egami’s solo exhibition in New York,” said Park. “And for Miwa’s work, we are getting (much) positive feedback.”

Whitestone Gallery presented the emerging artists alongside Yayoi Kusama, revealing the trajectory of Japanese contemporary art in its women-only booth at Armory. 

Closing today, The Armory Show in New York has brought together world-leading international galleries showcasing a wide range of modern and contemporary art since 1994. 

We’re drawn into San Francisco-based Jessica Silverman Gallery’s booth by the elaborate multitudes of Rashaad Newsome’s Squad(2022), a multimedia collage in custom mahogany and resin artist frame with automotive paint. Newsome’s inimitable work, featured in The Black Fantastic, borrows from advertising, the Internet, art history, and Black and queer culture to straddle social practice, abstraction, and intersectionality. Born 1979 in New Orleans, Newsome lives and works between Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Oakland, California. 

“It's a pleasure to be back in New York. Our booth was visited by major collectors and museum curators during the first hour of the fair and it’s been nonstop since," said owner Jessica Silverman. "The immediate response to our presentation affirms the focus it places on women artists and those who are pushing forward both their own practice—and art making more generally—into new exciting forms and expressions.”

Installation view of Jessica Silverman Gallery at The Armory Show. Courtesy of Jessica Silverman, ... [+]PHOTO BY TIM JOHNSON

We engage with Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds’ dialogue for social justice and personal freedom to thrive within the tribal community at the booth of Native American-owned K Art Gallery based in Buffalo, New York. The multi-media conceptual artist, activist, and educator, whose work shares memories of his life on the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations, poured his body into creating primary mono prints and ghost prints. 

“We had good sale results on the VIP day Thursday and the fair has been very good overall,” said K Art Gallery founder and owner Dave Kimelberg. “It’s our debut at the Armory Show and we’re very happy with the exposure, sales and positive response to our artists and program.”

Reynier Leyva Novo was awarded the annual $25,000 Pommery Prize for their presentation of What it is, what it has been (2020-2022) presented by El Apartamento. I first met Leyva Novo, one of Cuba's leading conceptual artists, and encountered their work at the June 2019 press preview of Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield, Michigan.