Ghosts (The Haunted Series), 2015, ink on paper

Ghosts (The Haunted Series), 2015, ink on paper

Puppets by Wayne White at Art on Paper, which were part of the 2014 ‘FOE’ installation at York College; cardboard, wood, and acrylic paint. Joshua Liner Gallery, New York. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

Despite Art on Paper’s name, the work at the first-time Armory Week fair includes as many different materials as at any other fair, with art created on paper and art inspired by paper on view.

The fair has a fantastic showpiece installation in the form of Wayne White’s colossal cardboard cowboys, one of which towers just inside the main entrance at Pier 36 on the East River. They were originally on view at York College of Pennsylvania last year as giant puppets. Also greeting visitors is a giant banner of a rabbit drawn by Dave Eggers on the exterior of the pier — the author is showing his illustrations with San Francisco gallery Electric Works — and an indoor installation of giant paper airplanes by Michael Scoggins, who has more oversized, elementary school-inspired notebook paperwork with New York’s Freight + Volume.

Perhaps a little ironically for a fair about art that celebrates paper, quite a few artists on view destroyed paper objects — namely books — to make their work. Most of it is well-crafted, however. Francesca Pastine’s mask made from an issue of Artforum, the X-Acto blades dangling like necklaces, is on view with San Francisco’s Eleanor Harwood Gallery, and Brian Dettmer’s tower of sliced hardcovers reveals a collage of encyclopedia images in the booth of New York’s Jayne H. Baum Gallery.

While the major art cities of the US coasts are well represented at the fair, there are also galleries from Paris, Vienna, Baltimore, Toronto, and elsewhere that don’t often show in New York present. Art on Paper was launched by Art Market Productions, which runs other fairs around the United States like Miami Project, Texas Contemporary, and Seattle Art Fair. If it sticks around for another year, it has the potential to fold some new regional flavor into the Armory Week fair frenzy.

by Allison Meier