Talk about confusing! The Armory show is at the pier and the AADA show is at the Armory. Why would the AADA want to run their own show at the same time as the Armory show? I can think of two reasons – the cost of participating in the Armory show and the seriousness of buyers. Since the Armory show was full of strollers and teens, not to mention busloads of gawping tourists, it must be enormously frustrating for gallery owners seeing the quality of the gate deteriorate. As an Association, they’re not generating profits for a third party so the decision to mount their own show is a logical conclusion and, I have to say, a very good one. During art show week, the AADA show was the first we went to and the high point of the week. AADA galleries are well established and the majority feature recognized (as opposed to emerging) artists. Timing this year’s show to compete with the Armory show and using their supposed venue was a brilliant decision. This year, there were a surprising number of Motherwell’s available for sale at a variety of galleries. I’m a Motherwell fan, but I was surprised at the volume – but it did make me think about the art forgery scandal which affected the credibility of the now defunct Knoedler Gallery (no blame attached to them as participants). Still, one of the benefits of these shows, if you’re not in the market for a piece of art, is educational. I think of myself as fairly knowledgeable but what I know may be deeper than it is broad, so I’m glad to say that I’ve become a fan of a few more artists and the galleries that represent them: DC Moore Gallery: representing Romare Barden (1911-1988), a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, broadly accepted into the mainstream of American art for his oil and watercolor paintings and collages mixing abstract and realistic elements. Bearden’s earlier work is almost totally abstract. It was not until the 1960’s that he began including African American themes into his work and transitioned into collage for as his primary vehicle for expressing his thoughts. The gallery chose some of Bearden’s abstract works, individually powerful pieces, together an incredible experience. Pace McGill Gallery: representing Richard Misrach (1949- ). a contemporary photographer whose work ranges from realistic to abstract. Misrach’s work is considered both award-winning and ground-breaking, being one of the earliest to adopt very large scale formats, color enhancement technology and new print media. For this show, the gallery selected Misrach’s cloud studies as focal pieces, highlighting his artistry and skill in both B&W and color, not to mention his close attention to cropping. CRG Gallery: representing Ori Gersht (1967- ), an Israeli photographer, who trained and lives in London. Gersht’s work in wide-ranging, including sublime nature studies, deeply insightful portraits, and exploding still lifes. The gallery focused this exhibition on the blasted floral. Gersht flash freezes his subject in liquid nitrogen to preserve their form and color, also to create a hard object to destroy with a bullet. Gersht’s work shows the results of the destructive instinct, whether directed at objects or people. In some ways, it’s a pity that it’s so beautiful, but that’s a matter for philosophy.