Fair Mania: Armory Arts Week in New York

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked off Armory Arts Week at the Art Dealers Association of America Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory on Tuesday. Declaring New York the arts, fashion, and financial capital of the world, he praised the week of art activities for drawing some 60,000 visitors that will spend an estimated $44 million. A dozen art fairs, which could cost $145 in total to visit, and take more leisure time than most of us have, are running concurrently. In order to help you navigate the shows, we’ve highlighted what they have to offer.

Jonathan Schipper, To Dust, 2009. Cement, steel, electric motor approx. 64 x 42 x 40 inches. Courtesy Pierogi, Brooklyn at the Armory Show

1. The Armory Show
Piers 92 and 94, 12th Avenue at 55th Street
Thursday, March 4 – Saturday, March 6, 12-8pm; Sunday, March 7, 12-7pm
$30
This year’s fair boasts 209 contemporary dealers, 80 modern dealers, and 6 non-profits. The Armory Show – Modern, which focuses on 20th century works, takes place on Pier 92, while Pier 94 is chock full of current work by a wide array of top-notch, international artists. Berlin is the focus city, a new feature at this year’s fair, and British conceptualist Susan Collins provides the 2010 fair’s visual identity. An excellent program of panel discussions, which are free with the entry ticket, takes place at Pier 92 and at VOLTA NY, the Armory Show’s sister fair.

Shirley Jaffe, X, encore, 2007. Oil on canvas, 82 x 63 inches. Courtesy Tibor De Nagy Gallery, New York at the Art Show

2. The Art Show
Park Avenue Armory
Park Avenue at 67th Street
Wednesday, March 3 – Saturday, March 6, 12-8pm; Sunday, March 7, 12-6pm
$20
The Art Show, which is organized by the Art Dealers Association of America, features contemporary, modern, and master artworks in a variety of media. The 70 American galleries represented in this year’s fair focus on solo and thematic presentations of international artists in a dynamically designed setting.

Maria Friberg, alongside us, 2007, Cibachrome. Courtesy Conner Contemporary Art at Pulse

3. Pulse New York
330 West Street (corner of West Side Highway and West Houston)
Thursday, March 4 – Saturday, March 6, 12-8pm; Sunday, March 7, 12-5pm
$20
Pulse is a cutting-edge fair with some 60 international galleries, featuring solo and group exhibitions. The Impulse section focuses on solo presentations of emerging artists. Large-scale sculptures and installations are sited throughout the show and a video program offers new works by artists of Caribbean and Latin American descent.

Kostas Seremetis, Star, 2009. Mixed media, 66 inch diameter. Courtesy Anonymous Gallery, New York at Scope

4. Scope New York
Pavilion at Lincoln Center Damrosch Park, 62nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue
Thursday, March 4 – Saturday, March 6, 12-8pm; Sunday, March 7, 12-7pm
$20
Occupying a tent in Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, Scope offers an eclectic mix of some 50 galleries from around the world. Additionally, this year’s fair presents a fashion exhibition, organized by Parisian fashion blogger Diane Pernet; a fascinating film program; and a Personal Development Auction, where bidders vie for a chance to win mini mentorships.

Ben Turnbull, Lesson 4, 2009. Whittled desk. Courtesy of Eleven London at VOLTA

5. VOLTA NY
7 West 34th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)
Thursday, March 4, 2-8pm; Friday, March 5 – Sunday, March 7, 11am-7pm
$15
No Guts, No Glory, the title of this year’s show, presents 88 solo projects from a tight line-up of international galleries. Special artist projects are also peppered throughout the lobby, elevators, and bathrooms, while the catalog is designed as an artist book by onestar press. Talks are held in conjunction with the Armory Show.

Left: Steve Ellis, Amanda Lepore Stripping Pen (detail), 2004, oil on canvas, 90” x 14” Right: Justine Lai, Join Or Die (detail), 2006- present, oil on panel, 18” x 24” each. Courtesy of Gawker Artists at Fountain New York

6. Fountain New York
Pier 66 at 26th Street and West Side Highway in Hudson River Park
Friday, March 5 – Sunday, March 7, 11am-7pm
$10
Starting out as a renegade fair, Fountain has established itself as freewheeling, experimental exhibition. The 2010 show features 20 exhibitors, which range from scrappy Williamsburg galleries to Gawker Artists’ NSFW (Not Safe For Work) exhibition.

Carol Bennett, Light. Courtesy of Elisa Tucci Contemporary Art at Red Dot

7. Red Dot New York
Skyline Studios, 500 West 36th Street at 10th Avenue

Thursday, March 4, 12-6pm; Friday, March 5 – Saturday, March 6, 11am-8pm; Sunday, March 7, 11am-6pm
$10
With few international exhibitors, Red Dot features a line-up of 33 small town galleries from across the US.

Yoko Furusho, Children in the Sky. Mixed medium. Courtesy Gitana Rosa Gallery at Verge New York

8. Verge New York
The Dylan Hotel, 52 East 41st Street (Between Madison and Park Avenues)
Friday, March 5 – Saturday, March 6, 12-8pm; Sunday, March 7, 12-6pm
$10
A hotel fair, Verge features 24 diverse exhibitors from Europe, Asia, and the US.

Daniela Kostova, Decadent Eclipse, 2009. Inkjet print on canvas, mattress, tread, wooden blocks, 205 x 142 x 25 cm.

9. PooL New York
Gershwin Hotel, 27th Street and 5th Avenue
Friday, March 5, 6-10pm Vernissage ($20)
Friday, March 5 – Sunday, March 7, 3-10pm
$10
Another hotel fair, PooL offers independent artist projects.

Claire Fontaine, Please God Make Tomorrow Better, 2008.

10. Independent
548 West 22nd Street
Thursday, March 4, 4-9pm
Friday, March 5 – Saturday, March 6, 11am-8pm; Sunday, March 7, 12-4pm
Free
An exciting new event in the former X Initiative and former Dia Center for the Arts space, Independent presents 38 galleries, independent curators, publishers, and nonprofit spaces in an experimental format.

Reinier Gerritsen, Wall street subway no. 323, 2009. Photo pigment ink print, 50 x 100 cm / 100 x 200 cm.

11. Dutch Art Now
The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South
Wednesday, March 3 – Sunday, March 7, 11am-5pm; March 8-14, call ahead
Free
A dozen galleries from the Netherlands offer new work by 33 Dutch contemporary artists, working in a variety of media.

Ji-Won Wang | Buddha_z 7 | 40(H) x 230(W) x 20(D)cm | Urethane, Metallic Material, machinery, Electronic device (CPU Board, Motor)

12. Korean Art Show
la.venue
608 West 28th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues
Wednesday, March 3 – Sunday, March 7, 11am-7pm; Thursday, March 4, 11am-8pm
Free
The Korean Art Show grants visitors the unique opportunity to see the work of emerging and established artists from 24 Korean galleries.