The Armory Show Reviews

This year, the gallery had the honor of participating at The Armory Show, where we presented Abel Barroso’s ‘Emigrant’s Pinball’ in the Platform section curated by Eric Shiner; former director of The Andy Warhol Museum.

Barroso’s interactive installation was highly sucessful, generating a lot of attention from the public and the media.

Dowload the fair recap and Newsletter HERE.

Below are some clips from press:

Abel Barosso, Emigrant’s Pinball Machine (2012). Mixed media installation. Installation view: The Armory Show, New York (2 — 5 March 2017). Courtesy the author.

Far more significant, and indeed one of the more compelling political works in the entire fair, was the Platform sector’s Abel Barroso’s Emigrant’s Pinball Machine (2012) which was up on the Pier 92 mezzanine. This is an installation of seven slightly undersized pinball machines handmade from rough timber and painted in a cartoonish manner with black paint. Barroso lives and works in Cuba and his subject is how dependent an emigrant’s fate is upon pure luck. In one machine, the emigrant progresses simply from the south to the north; in another, an airport immigration hall is represented as a daunting obstacle course; and in a third the emigrant gains experience in border crossing. In all of them of course, the outcome is dictated by where a rolling wooden ball finishes up.

So, what would President Trump make of this edition of The Armory Show? If works of art are simply regarded as a particular—and particularly expensive—category of luxury goods, which is apparently how many of the fair’s dealers and visitors regard them, then presumably the president would have had no problem with a fair of this kind. Art changing hands for sums of money, way in excess of what they cost to make, can only be good for the economy, after all. But if art encourages its viewers to stop and think, particularly about issues of race or gender or cultural and national identity, as was the case with a number of booths and works on show, then the man in the White House might not have approved. To this end, perhaps there was good reason for the balance The Armory Show struck between politics and business in 2017.—[O]

Full article HERE


Abel Barroso, Emigrant’s Pinball, 2012

  • Installation view of Abel Barroso, Emigrant’s Pinball, 2012, at The Armory Show, 2017. Photo by Adam Reich for Artsy.

Barroso’s timely installation is composed of seven wooden pinball machines and sits tucked away on the mezzanine of Pier 92. Each pinball machine is almost dioramic, filled with drawings, text, and sculptural elements that playfully illustrate the emigration process. Visitors can push the machines’ levers to experience the process figuratively.

“You have to go through each of the pinballs to migrate, to get accepted in a country,” said Fernanda Torcida of the work. It was previously shown at Torcida’s Pan American Art Projects in Miami as well as in the artist’s solo show at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in his home city of Havana.

—Casey Lesser

Full article HERE