Buckle Your Seatbelt! It’s the Armory Show

A work by Paola Pivi, exhibited by Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin at the Armory Show

Fair warning: The Armory Show is once again upon us, complete with the modern appendage that debuted last year (The Armory Show – Modern) and a new twist called Armory Focus, created to spotlight burgeoning art communities (first stop: Berlin). Newbies of note at this year’s fair include several galleries from New York’s Lower East Side, among them James Fuentes, Eleven Rivington, and Rachel Uffner Gallery. The fair opens to the public at noon today, but we were able to pop in yesterday, curtsy a greeting to Chuck Close, and speedwalk among the maze of booths to provide you with the following dozen or so works that caught our eye, before retiring to the B&B Italia VIP Lounge and the embrace of a Gaetano Pesce Up 5_6 chair. So in the spirit of Paola Pivi‘s goldfish on a plane, buckle your seatbelt and join us for a splashy Armory Show preview.

It’s hexagons a-go-go at Friedman Benda, which this year moves into the main fair, with Ai Weiwei’s giant 2006 huanghuali wood sculpture. In the background is Gottfried Helnwein’s “The Museum of the Innocents 3” (2009). (All photos: UnBeige)

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? A work by Merlin Carpenter asks those who pass by the Simon Lee Gallery booth.

At Sean Kelly, Joseph Kosuth’s neon work “R.O.C. No Number #4” (1991) gets them gesticulating.

Veruca Salt would approve of Pilar Albarracin’s “Laying Hen” (2006), which moves, clucks, and laughs in the midst of 270 golden eggs at Galeria Filomena Soares.

After last year’s Kenny Scharf-o-rama (mmm…donuts), Paul Kasmin Gallery devotes its booth to the work of James Nares, handily securing our award for Booth We Would Most Like to Live In. Kasmin also takes our Best Booth Chairs award—those aluminum numbers are by Mattia Bonetti, who the gallery represents.

Impressive new work by Hernan Bas, whose “The overly prepped boy (or the approaching glacier)” (2010) is shown by Frederic Snitzer Gallery. Slushy shoes? Head to Kavi Gupta, which brought Theaster Gates’s “House of Shine.”

Galerie Eigen+Art mounts a solo presentation of the work of David Schnell (above and below), whose landscapes play with perspectives in overlapping dimensions. A keen sense of color makes his staggered horizons staggering at any scale.

This man hasn’t lost his marbles. He’s just helping us show you Serge Spitzer’s “Private Matter” (2002-2009), a wood table that appears to be weighed down with reclycled glass orbs, on view at Rome-based Magazzino.

Something for everyone at Sao Paulo-based Luciana Brito Galeria, who offers up Allan McCollum’s “Collection of Fifty Perfect Vehicles” (1985/89).

I know why the caged bird sings. Because it’s being slowly roasted alive inside a neon cage by Su-Mei Tse, on view at Peter Blum Gallery.

When in doubt, taxidermy! Joachim Schonfeldt stacks ’em high at South Africa’s Goodman Gallery with “Four Musicians (Moo, Roar, Chee-ow, Yeeoh),” yours for $300,000.