Inside the fair at Pier 92 and 94. Courtesy The Armory Show.
The Armory Show has been trimming the fat since Frieze’s appearance in New York three years ago, cutting back on exhibitors in order to give galleries more space, in addition to tighter control on their curatorial choices. This year’s fair presents 203 exhibitors, 12 less than in 2012 and 71 less than in 2011. Well known blue chippers, including David Zwirner, Marianne Boesky, Michael Kohn and Lisson Gallery have continued their support of Armory Week with their reappearance, joined by other big names like Lehmann Maupin, James Cohan, October Gallery and Honor Fraser. The emerging gallery section in Pier 94, now called Armory Presents, features 17 young galleries, each exhibiting one or two person shows in larger booths -- about 30 square feet bigger than last year’s. Highlights include INVISIBLE-EXPORTS’ presentation of Scott Treleaven, Galerie Max Mayer’s Klaus Merkel and Nicolás Guagnini and Hayal Pozanti presented by Jessica Silverman Gallery.
The legacy is more important than instant gratification, 2013. Courtesy Michael Kohn Gallery.Hayal Pozanti, Sacred Canopy, 2014. Courtesy Jessica Silverman Gallery.
Philip Tinari, the Director of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art was chosen to curate the fifth year of Armory Focus, with an eye on China. Tinari has hand-picked a roster of 17 galleries, half of which will be showing outside of Asia for the first time. Along with the exhibition, Tinari has also organized The China Symposium, incorporating eight discussions about various aspects of contemporary art in China today. The symposium, which will run Saturday and Sunday, will be the most comprehensive discussion of the Chinese art scene that New York has experienced yet. Focus: China was also the influence for this year’s commissioned artist, Xu Zhen. Working in video, installation, performance and photography, Zhen’s work has a special installation and will be the centerpiece for Focus. The Armory Show has also partnered with Citi Bike, and will feature ten bikes wrapped in a pattern piece by Zhen, which will be available in Citi Bike docks near the fair.
Xu Zhen, Under Heaven, 2014. Courtesy the Armory Show.
New York based curator and writer Isolde Brielmaier has curated a program of panel discussions for Open Forum at T: The New York Times Style Magazine Media Lounge at Pier 94 that run from Thursday through Sunday. Impressive members of all aspects of the art world will weigh in on curated issues, including artist Duane Michaels, designer Jonathan Adler, gallerist Sean Kelly, and curator Christian Viveros-Faune.
Visitors and exhibitors will notice a more sleek fair design, handled once again by New York firm Bade Stageberg Cox. With the theme of “Thresholds,” the firm has designed a space that connects one world to the next, including a special entrance to Pier 94, a layered screen VIP Lounge and a scrim-encased staircase between the Modern and Contemporary sections. In addition to the redesign, the firm has also commissioned five furniture projects that incorporate locally produced sustainable furniture. Bigger and better, the Armory Show is showing Frieze that it has no intention of backing down in its role as New York’s art fair.
“Thresholds” fair design concept. Courtesy Bade Stageberg Cox.
Along with the Armory Show are a host of other exciting goings-on during Armory Arts Week. Check out our list below.
Scope's Pavilion at Skylight at Moynihan Station. Courtesy SCOPE Art Show. Outside Volta's venue at 82 Mercer. Courtesy VOLTA.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (MILK), 1970-1980. Courtesy Christie’s Auction House. David Salle, Painting for HCA, 2007. Courtesy Phillips Auction House.
Isa Genzken, Schauspieler (Actors) (detail), 2013. Courtesy Museum of Modern Art. Zhang Huan, Family Tree, 2001. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Laurie Simmons, Blue Hair/Red Dress/Green Room/Arms Up, 2014. Courtesy Salon 94 Bowery. Logan Hicks, The Rescue, 2014. Courtesy the artist.
Follow MutualArt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mutualart