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TEXAS' BEST K erry Inman is one of two Texas dealers, both based in Houston, to step upon the prestigious Armory stage. In the exhibition section, Solo, devoted to a single and singular artist, Inman Gallery presents a tightly curated body of work by former Texas artist Demetrius Oliver, currently based in New York. With residencies of renown including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Core Program and the Studio Museum in Harlem, Oliver promises to make an impact at The Armory Show with his signature photographs spanning 2003 to 2006. These potent, reductive images culled from his own body pack a visceral impact, pairing enigmatic undertones of Surrealism with 19th-century Transcendentalism. Another Houston trailblazer, this time of the Latin American modern and contemporary vanguard, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino devotes its booth to María Fernanda Cardoso. The Venice Biennale-exhibited talent, born in Colombia and based now in Sydney, Australia, is obsessed with the natural world, both flora and fauna. Cardoso's current subjects are Maratus jumping spiders, which she supersizes in photographic prints; the ongoing series, "Spiders of Paradise," delights and surprises the viewer with the vivacious creatures' colorful paint jobs. "I have enlarged the [spider's] abdomen using cutting-edge technology so they are displayed at a size that would allow humans to perceive their utmost detail and beauty," the artist says. "What fascinates me about the small is that it's even more complex than the big." NATIVE AMERICANS IN FOCUS G uest curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi, chief curator of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, has been tapped to organize one of the Armory's innovative thematic sections, entitled Focus. Al-Khudhairi zeroes in on artists who investigate and question the future — seeking answers for the world of tomorrow as to economic, ecological, and sociopolitical responses. Highlighted within Focus are topics presented by Native Americans: Head to NYC-based Sargent's Daughters to see Wendy Red Star's rendition of a Crow Fair Parade for a fresh world order. Catch MacArthur Genius Fellow Jeffrey Gibson's totemic and talismanic works on handmade elk-hide drums, at University of Wisconsin's fine art publisher, Tandem Press. PLATFORM FOR CHANGE W e love the vitality of The Armory Show and its immersive Platform section, devoted to installations and site-specific projects. To this end, former Blaffer Art Museum (Houston) curator — currently curator in charge of contemporary art and programming for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco — Claudia Schmuckli curates this always eagerly anticipated section of the fair. Schmuckli's topic is both intimate and prescient: Ecologies of Care, from the self to each other to our environment. Among the nine headliners are the captivating figurative sculpture of Documenta- and Venice Biennale-exhibited Yinka Shonibare, CBE, a British-Nigerian artist who addresses colonialism at James Cohan; and 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz, known for his global activism and performative projects, at Jane Lombard Gallery. Previous page, from left: Demetrius Oliver's Seminole, 2005, at Inman Gallery. María Fernanda Cardoso's Actual size XI Male Maratus bubo, 2021, at Sicardi|Ayers|Bacino. This page: Above left: Kehinde Wiley's Portrait of Jordan Phillips II, 2020, at Roberts Projects. Above right: Tracey Emin's I Am the Last of My Kind, 2019, at Galleria Lorcan O'Neill. Left: Jon Key's Chosen Family No. 14, 2021, at Steve Turner. THE GREAT KEHINDE + DISCOVERING KEY N o art fair is complete without its icon. Don't miss a grand Baroque statement by Kehinde Wiley, Portrait of Jordan Phillips II, 2020, at L.A. dealer Roberts Projects. And here's a newcomer who's both collectible and recommended: Alabama-born, Brooklyn-based Jon Key. Key utilizes stylized imagery and a controlled palette (red, green, violet, and black) in autobiographical paintings that comment on his identity as a Queer black man from the Deep South. Check out his canvas Chosen Family No. 14, 2021, at Steve Turner. The Armory Show, Thursday through Sunday, September 9 through 12, at Javits Center, New York; info and tickets, 60

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