NEW YORK — Pier 94, Booth 901, Focus section, seems like an odd place to find Gagosian Gallery at this year’s Armory Show. After all, the megadealer is usually given front-and-center treatment at contemporary art fairs. And it’s not because he needs the 20-percent discount that Focus-invited galleries enjoy.
Nonetheless, the gallery delivers another blockbuster show, courtesy of tens of millions of dollars worth of late Andy Warhols. They are set against eye-popping, wall-to-wall lavender self-portrait wallpaper designed in 1978 and identical to that shown at the Brooklyn Museum in 2010. “We wanted this to be a special installation of Warhol's art,” said Virginia Coleman, the gallery’s head of public relations. Being in the Focus section, apparently, is fine with them.
Among the paintings on view is one of the artist’s camouflaged self-portraits from 1986. Recent auction results for these works top out at $12.3 million at Sotheby’s in 2007, before the crash. Though the gallery declined to comment on prices, art market experts value them today at around $20 million.
The show-stopper is a massive, 33-by-7-foot green camouflage canvas — an ink silkscreen created in 1986. It looks a little bit like snakeskin. Either way, it has serious wall power and is bound to be a hit to the more than 60,000 visitors who annually make their way through the Armory Show’s doors.