If the galleries of Chelsea, in New York, are the art world’s designer boutiques, then the Armory Show, the giant art fair that runs all this weekend, is its Bloomingdale’s—maybe even its Century 21: There are unique treasures to be found, if you dig long enough, but most of what’s on view is predictable stuff meant to appeal to all comers. Everyone admits that the redesigned show looks less trade-fair grim than in previous years, but it’s not obvious why you’d prefer to spend your weekend at the Armory, out on two piers on midtown’s far western edge, than browsing the city’s best galleries.
Here, however, are a few works of contemporary art that caught my eye and kept my attention for longer than most others did at the fair. If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have seen them. That’s reason enough to have gone.
--By Blake Gopnik