Among the photo-based highlights at the Armory Show are a number of artists making cut-paper photo-based work that is sculptural as it is photographic. South Korean-born, LA-based artist Soo Kim is showing hand-cut inkjet prints at Angles Gallery, delicate, intricate multilayered pieces that play with the ideas of absence and presence and contrast the instantaneousness of photography with the slow process of cutting and layering the paper. Her cityscapes and multi-dimensional images of trees are worth the trip.
A more conceptual approach to photographic paper-cutting can be found at Max Wigram Gallery, where Jose Davila’s series A Brief History of Sculpture fills the outer wall of the booth. Davila took color photographs – akin to tourist snapshots – of such sculptures as Lousie Borgeous’s spider or Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and then carefully cut out the sculptures, leaving only the surrounding area. With touch of smart humor, the Mexican artist explores public space and empty space.
And at Yossi Milo’s booth, in addition to an enormous (94 x 80 inch) C-print of giraffes by Simen Johan from his series “Until the Kingdom Comes,” there are three small, modest pieces by Julie Cockburn. She took found portraits and embroidered a photo that looks like the school photo of a young boy. For the other two, she cut the print into a layered flower shape where the face should be.
There are, of course, more straightforward photographs on view at the Armory as well: Yancey Richardson is showing a stunning Olivo Barbieri from The Dolomites series, a breathtaking view of tiny skiers on a vast snowscape that is a rare example of the sublime in contemporary art. Also at Richardson, five black and white August Sander-liked portraits by South African photographer Zaneli Muholi of lesbian and transgender subjects. And Howard Greenberg Gallery is showing a glowing Edward Burtynski diptych, Nickel Tails, #34 and #35, Sudbury, Ontario, and a wall of classic black and white work by such masters as Robert Frank, William Klein, Bruce Davidson, and the recently discovered Vivian Maier.