Attending the Art Dealers Association of American 21st annual art show to benefit the Henry Street Settlement, I was most struck by two things: 1. The absolute magnificence and beauty of the Park Avenue Armory itself, and 2. The children’s art displayed behind the refreshment counter.
The gothic revival building on Park Avenue and 66 Street, built in 1880 with rooms designed by Stanford White and Louis Comfort Tiffany, serves today as a red brick castle for arts and cultural events. Just its walls, with peeling paint, seemed so much stronger than any of the artwork — even though there were master works by everyone from Picasso and Milton Avery to Sol LeWitt and Joseph Cornell.
As soon as I got home, I looked up in a journal the thoughts I’d had when I attended the Whitney Biennial in 2006: “There’s a lot of schlock in the world, and a lot of schlock in museums. But it gets you thinking: there’s a lot of art in the world, not just in nature, patterns of light and show windows, but in the detritus under a car or in the street. Or even in the schlock of the world. And it’s that vision that may be in short supply in museums.”