Art Fair Preview, news summary and schedule: The Armory Show and Armory Week 2011 Begins in New York City

This week the Armory Show is being held once again on the west side at piers 92 and 94. In just 12 years, the Armory Show has developed into one of the most important and determining shows for the global art market, offering an array of the world’s foremost galleries and a program of art events and exhibitions only to be found during this dynamic week in the city.  In recent years however, more and more satellite fairs have emerged near the Armory Show and even farther afield in the Lower East Side or Brooklyn.  Many of these fairs seek to claim the status as the alternative art fair to the Armory Show and many of the migration of certain galleries from the main fair to these new upstarts substantiates their impact and relevance.  In the end, though the dispersion of the center of gravity for Armory Week can be daunting, or as the Financial Times recently wrote of the week, “Manhattan feels fragmented as a fair destination.”  However, if one has the time, the offerings of the week overall are impressive.  Below is a summary of some of the goings on, along with certain highlights from art openings and events of the week.

More text and images after the jump…

Fair-goers stroll down a section at The Armory Show: Contemporary Art via Artnet

Divided into two parts, Modern and Contemporary, the Armory Show boasts various large-scale installations, outdoor areas and VIP-exclusive amenities. Each year, The Armory Show commissions an artist to provide images for the fair as part of the visual presentation of the fair.  The commissioned artist of the year subsequently provides exclusive images and the cover for the catalog, which is printed in full-color and prized as a collector’s item. Previous commissions have included Karen Kilimnik (2002), Barnaby Furnas (2003), Lisa Ruyter (2004), Jockum Nordström (2005), John Wesley (2006), Pipilotti Rist (2007), Mary Heilmann and John Waters (2008), Ewan Gibbs (2009), and Susan Collis (2010).

Last year’s catalog, via the Armory Website

This year, The Armory hosts a new section entitled “Armory Focus,” which serves to feature an important art community each year.  This year’s focal point is Latin America and will include 21 of Latin America’s premier galleries. In correspondence with Armory Focus: Latin America, The Armory Show is hosting additional Latin American-themed events, and has commissioned Mexican artist Gabriel Kuri, who uses commonplace objects to convey political and sociological themes, to create the visual identity for the 2011 fair.
Mona Hatoum‘s Bourj at White Cube (To be exhibited at pier 94)

In 2010, 222 contemporary dealers and 76 dealers in Modern art traveled from 94 cities and 31 different countries to exhibit their collections. Last year the show received 60,000 visitors (increasing 7% since 2009), 56% of which traveled from areas outside New York City, and a third from outside countries.

A KAWS work that will be for sale at the Armory, via Honor Fraser

Additionally this week, dozens of other art institutions throughout New York City will organize public events under the umbrella of Armory Arts Week, including a host of other fairs such as Scope, Pulse, the ADAA’s Art Show, and Fountain to name a few. VOLTA NY, the sister-show of Armory, specializes in single-artist showcases and will be exhibiting for its seventh year since its foundation in Basel in 2005. The American counterpart, though less traditional than other art fairs, maintains a tighter focus on the artist and integrity of art presentation.

The ADAA Art Show displays a wide range of art, from new and contemporary to traditional pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries. It’s located on Park Avenue at 67th street, and will be open from March 2nd to the 6th. Galleries such as Marian Goodman and David Zwirner will present a highly curatorial selection of works.

Gabriel Orozco, Untitled (2009) via Marian Goodman Gallery

The Independent Art Show, a smaller venture in Chelsea, was created in an attempt to down-size from the sprawling atmosphere of the other shows. It features art displayed in divided sections instead of booths, lending it an atmosphere of one giant gallery. The Independent is located at 548 W 22nd St New York, NY.

Following last years success,  Dependent Art Fair has emerged as a one-night only event showcasing various different collectives such as Canada, Audio Visual Arts, Cleopatra’s, Ramekin Crucible, and Silvershed. It will take place on Friday night, March 4th, at the Sheraton Hotel at 160 w. 25th street from 5-9 pm.

Nearby, Scope Gallery will offer a wide perspective of artists, focusing on work in a global context and striving to show the most innovative and creative artwork possible. Scope is located 355 West 36th Street, and will follow the general schedule of Armory Art week.
Yayoi Kusama, Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow to be shown at Victoria Miro (Pier 92)

Pulse Contemporary Art Fair, held annually in Miami as well as New York, takes place just 15 minutes from the Chelsea Gallery area, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in the flat-iron district. It hosts about 50 galleries, and combines emerging and established artists in one setting. The preview for VIP parties and press will be held from 10 am–1 pm on Wednesday, March 3rd at 125 W. 18th street.

Verge Art Fair, Brooklyn’s answer to Armory Art Week, kicks off with an opening night party on Thursday, 3 March, 2011, from 10:00 pm to 4 am and admission to the fair will be free all week. The main gallery exhibitors are located at 81 Front Street, and an exhibition curated by Loren Munk and James Kalm entitled “Brooklyn Art Now: 2011″ will take place nearby at 111 Front street.

Another alternative fair, Fountain Art Fair takes place on the water at Pier 66, at 26th Street, on an old barge also known as the “Frying Pan.”

Moving Image hosts “Moving Image 2011: an art fair of contemporary video art,” showing a variety of international and non-profit single-channel videos, video sculptures, and other larger video installations at its Waterfront New York Tunnel address, 269 Eleventh Avenue, between 27th and 28th streets. The fair runs March 3 – 6, 2011, with an opening reception Thursday night from 6-8.
In SoHo, the RED DOT Art Fair is hosting its Korean art show, a collaboration of Galleries Association of Korea and Korea International Art Fair (KIAF). Open throughout the weekend at 82 Mercer Street, there is an opening reception from 6-9 pm on Thursday, a cocktail party at The Strand Hotel on Friday from 9-11 pm, and a digital installation on the Manhattan Bridge Saturday night at 6 pm.

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled (Ocean Park), (1974) to be shown at Danese

Other selected events to occur during the week include:


The annual BOMB Bash 2011: Conversation as Collaboration at Marlborough Gallery, West 25th street; March 1,  7-10 pm

José Parlá‘s solo-show “Walls, Diaries and Paintings” at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, 505 W 24th Street.


Kazimir Malevich opens at Gagosian Gallery in the Upper East Side, 980 Madison Ave; Reception March 3rd from 6 to 8 pm, running through April 30.

The FLAG Art Foundation: Josephine Meckseper opens her new works on 9th floor space, along with Sinbad: 98 paintings by Gerhard Richter, on the 10th floor; through May 26, 2011.

Inka Essenhigh will lecture at SVA at the Visual Arts Theater, 333 W 23 st., 7pm

David Wojnarowicz‘s show “Spirituality” highly relevant following recent events the National Portrait Gallery this past December at PPOW Gallery, 535 W 22nd Street, 3rd floor; March 3 – April 9, opening reception March 5, 6-8pm.
Marcel Dzama Book Signing, “Behind Every Curtain” at David Zwirner, 525 W 19th Street; March 5, 4-6pm
Rirkrit Tiravanija “Fear Eats The Soul” opens at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, 620 Greenwich Street; March 5

Martin Kippenberger “Eggman II” at Skarstedt Gallery, Ltd, 20 West 79 street opens Saturday, March 5, from 6-8pm.

Outside views of one of the sites of Armory Art Fair via the Armory Website

Related Links:

Armory Show [Main Page]
VOLTA NY [Main Page]
Armory Art Week [Main Page]
Pulse Art Fair [Main Page]
Scope Art Fair [Main Page]
Dependent [Main Page]
Independent Art Fair [Main Page]
Verge Art Fair [Main Page]

Related Articles:

If You Liked Independent, You’ll Love Dependent (Maybe)! [ArtInfo]
19 Questions for Official Armory Show Artist Gabriel Kuri [ArtInfo]
Above and Beyond [The New Yorker]
Lower East Side Story [Financial Times]
Times Square Getting Public Art Installation [Wall Street Journal]

-L. Streeter

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