As you move away from the commercial scrum of the Armory Show and on to some of the satellite fairs, gatherings, and installations that dotted the city during this busy week of art, it quickly becomes clear that the overall mood changes – the prepackaged hustle starts to fall away, revealing a calmer brand of art engagement. This year’s Volta NY show transplanted itself to Pier 90, right next door to its gargantuan neighbor/partner, but still managed to retain some of its casual authenticity. As a fair of solo booths, it encourages more measured thinking by design, while also allowing for some more guerilla exposure of lesser known galleries and artists.
From a photographic point of view, the work on view at Volta this year was both refreshingly new and undeniably part of the larger contemporary landscape of the medium – while many of the names and venues were different, the underlying themes and conceptual investigations were generally ones we’ve seen before or have been actively wrestling with of late. Wandering these booths felt like filling in gaps/categories, adding names to existing lists of those using rephotography, playing with three dimensionality, or reworking archival material. Those operating outside these taxonomies felt like more intrepid explorers.
The slideshow below tracks my path through the fair, with each image captioned by a linked gallery name, an artist/photographer name, some additional description/commentary, and a price where appropriate. (A few galleries were showing work recently on view here in New York, and I have generally left these out to avoid duplication.)