The Armory Show 2022: Textured Works

What to see at this year's inspiring international art fair

Providing moments of invigoration and meditation, this year’s installment of The Armory Show—the acclaimed international art fair born in NYC circa 1994—opens within the sprawling Javits Center to the public today (though preceded by an off-site installation). Inspiration radiates from the network of exhibits, presented by 240 galleries and representing more than 30 countries. This year’s notable sub-sections—Focus, entitled Landscape Undone, curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates and addressing the intersectionality of global crisis; Presents, featuring solo shows or dual presentations from galleries under 10 years old; and the large-scale works of Platform, curated by Tobias Ostrander and entitled Monumental Change—brim with highlights. Across the entire fair, our editorial team found that works of unexpected texture set an exciting new standard.

Tanya Aguiñiga’s “Azulito Sonriente” (2022) and “Barragán Tierno” (2022) / image by David Graver

Tanya Aguiñiga

Presented by Chicago’s Volume Gallery, LA-based artist, craftsperson and performance artist Tanya Aguiñiga transformed ice-dyed cotton rope and synthetic hair into twisting, knotted wall-hung sculptures. Among the multi-textured works, “Azulito Sonriente” (2022) and “Barragán Tierno” (2022) mesmerize with their use of color and form. Vibrant and meticulously crafted, these artworks are unlike anything else at the show.

Aurora Pellizzi’s “Medusa Supina” (2022) / image by Katie Olsen

Aurora Pellizzi

Part of Focus and on display thanks to Bogotá, Colombia’s Instituto de Visión and Lima, Peru-based Revolver Galería, Aurora Pellizzi‘s “Medusa Supina” (2022) combines elements of painting, sculpture, tapestry and traditional craft. Often working with hand-spun maguey (or agave) fibers and naturally dyed wool, Pellizzi instead used plastic bag strips for the majority of this work (though the pieces are latch-hooked onto a maguey structure) which is tactile and eye-catching. Born in CDMX and growing up in both the US and Mexico, Pellizzi balances a sense of playfulness with thoughtfulness and diligent technique.

Diego Cibelli’s “Generosity” (2022) / image by David Graver

Diego Cibelli

A figure in profile, composed of layers of hand-modeled ceramic that rise off the background like mountains on a topographic map, “Generosity” (2022) is the vision of Italian artist Diego Cibelli. Naples, Italy-based Alfonso Artiaco dedicated their entire installation to works by Cibelli, ultimately yielding a stark yet whimsical experience.

Sagarika Sundaram’s “Floating World” (2022) / courtesy of Nature Morte and the artist

Sagarika Sundaram

From NYC-based artist Sagarika Sundaram, “Floating World” (2022) conveys the story of material, technique and much more. The wooly, abstract artwork spills outward and, depending on the viewer, it could depict a cosmic topographical map, innards or a surreal alien landscape. Sourcing natural fibers from small farms, Sundaram then dyes them and compresses them to create mesmerizing, colorful artworks. “I treat textile like a body—rupturing the flat surface, revealing what lies beneath layers,” she says in a statement. “The carnal, painful, ugly, beautiful…” This glorious piece is on show thanks to New Delhi’s Nature Morte gallery.

Keita Miyazaki’s “White Collision” (2022) / image by David Graver

Keita Miyazaki

Composed of car parts and paper, “White collision” (2022) is another wondrous sculpture from Tokyo- and London-based artist Keita Miyazaki. With a confounding tactile shape, the piece is affixed to a wall—and its shadows play a part in the way it is perceived. The work is part of a solo presentation of Miyazaki’s work by London’s Gallery Rosenfeld.

Suchitra Mattai “An Origin Story” (2022) / courtesy of Kavi Gupta and the artist

Suchitra Mattai

Born in Guyana and now based in Denver, Colorado, Suchitra Mattai is of Indo-Caribbean descent and has lived in various countries—all of which influences her artistic practice. Through her rich multi-disciplinary work, she often examines colonialism and its impact on her family and ancestors, while celebrating and honoring the Indian diaspora. Her pieces utilize materials like beads, ribbon, vintage fabrics, pearls and more. On show at the Kavi Gupta booth, “An Origin Story” (2022) has been carefully crafted from vintage fabrics, saris and rope net. “I say I’m a storyteller, but the story does not only come from history. When you’re thinking about what constitutes memory, it’s part truth and it’s part myth,” Mattai says in a statement, “These sari pieces become a way of connecting women of the South Asian diaspora over time, because they’re of different vintages. Being part of a diaspora community, you want to connect back to this past you no longer occupy, or have tangible evidence of.” For those who can’t make it to The Armory Show, she also has a solo show at the Chicago gallery which opens 12 November.

Hero image, detail of Aurora Pelizzi’s “Medusa Spuina” (2022) courtesy of the artist/Katie Olsen