A woman looks at a painting during the press preview at the 2013 Armory Show, one of the world's top art events featuring the most influential artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries, at Pier 92 and 94 in New York March 6, 2013. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images).
NEW YORK - Sometimes the art fairs that take place with increasing frequency all around the world can feel largely like a reunion of Chelsea galleries. And now, Armory Arts Week (March 5–10) adds another layer of Big Apple-ness: two large fairs and a bunch of smaller ones are taking over the town, just blocks away from many of the home base galleries.
Of course, both the ADAA Art Show and the Armory Show have also invited dozens of dealers from countries near and far; the Armory Show in particular has an international feel. But make no mistake; this time of year is when the city asserts its undisputed primacy in the art world.
The Art Show (March 6–10)—which confusingly takes place uptown at the Park Avenue Armory—is the smaller, soignée event, with an exclusive feel and 72 galleries. Its Tuesday night Gala Benefit preview, benefitting Henry Street Settlement, is perhaps the most sought after ticket of the week. It bills itself as the nation’s longest-running art fair, and is celebrating 25 years in 2013. Two excellent galleries have been newly added to the mix, 303 and Yossi Milo, and Marian Goodman Gallery’s solo exhibition of Berlin-based filmmaker Tacita Dean is something I am particularly looking forward to.
The Armory Show (March 7–10), named after the famous 1913 groundbreaking exhibition that changed the course of modern art, began in 1994 and now takes place on the piers jutting out into the Hudson River. This year, the contemporary portion on Pier 94 hosts 120 galleries from 30 countries; some significant new Asian entries will be there, including Gallery Hyundai of Seoul and Kaikai Kiki of Tokyo (the collective founded by Takashi Murakami). The smaller modern part on Pier 92 has 71 dealers on hand. The emergence of Frieze New York last May might have taken a bit of the wind out of the Armory’s sails, in terms of cutting-edge bragging rights, but this is still a major event.
And if you want lectures, parties and more art, you have Volta NY, Scope and quite a few other options. Most notable among them is the Independent, an assemblage of 40 galleries notable for its European entries and conceptual art focus. The location? Smack-dab in the heart of West Chelsea. For some visitors, and some of the exhibitors, it will be like they never left.
Read my post about the ADAA Gala coming soon.