Among the limited-edition works made by artist Susan Collis for the 2010 Armory Show are, from left to right, “and so on” and “No show,” both created in 2010.
Making art that both celebrates one of the world’s leading art fairs and acts as part of its ever-evolving visual identity is no easy task, but the Armory Show picks one artist each year to do just that. Past commissioned artists have gone for the New York, New York angle (Ewan Gibbs), played it abstract (Mary Heilmann), or served up a steaming platter of kitsch (John Waters). British artist Susan Collis, the commissioned artist for 2010, looks to have taken inspiration from the fair’s gritty set-up stage, when the galleries erect their booths in the cavernous Javits Center, carefully arrange their wares, and hope for the best. Among the limited-edition works Collis created for the fair, which kicks off on March 4, is “The Devil you know” (pictured at right, all works are 2010), a white paint splatter that upon further inspections reveals itself to be a painstaking drawing of the negative space surrounding the outline of a splatter. More wonder hides in “and so on” (above, at left), a would-be dirty rag that is in fact a wisp of linen with “stains” hand woven on a jacquard loom. Finally, “No show” screws with your perception of a wall awaiting art. What appears to be an ordinary screw and a series of holes is actually a silver screw with diamond inset, while the “holes” are inlaid with dusky gems. The three special editions will be sold to benefit the Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Cancer Foundation and the Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Acquisition Fund for The Museum of Modern Art.