Another Year, Another Armory Show Survival Guide

Here it comes, a marathon week, when the Armory Show and other art fair exhibitions descend upon New York City–some people love it, to others it is a professional duty and a physical endurance test, to be survived as best as possible.

As a freelancer, over the years, The Armory Show has turned into quite an event for me. The Armory Show is New York’s premier art fair (it welcomes over 65,000 visitors annually) and a definitive cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th and 21st century artworks. Staged on Piers 92 & 94, the fair features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions and dynamic public programs. This time of year, it is also freezing cold and windy on the piers; most years, I just pray for decent weather & endurance.

While attending the Armory Show is a great time, it also an event to mentally prepare yourself for. Here is my list of Armory Must Do’s – it will help you get the most out of your day of art overload.

  • Have a decent breakfast before you head out to the shows…don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing time of the year, but it’s long and you need to know it’s not the type of thing you do for an hour and then move on. Which brings me to my next rule…
  • Wear comfortable shoes. I know you see people fashionably arriving to the show and there is nothing wrong with looking good, but trust me, if their heels are over 3 inches, they are not serious. Chances are you are planning to visit other art fairs during the day – New York is an asphalt jungle and nothing will take you down faster than trying to traverse the art fairs in cute heels.
  • Know when to break for a meal; lack of food will cause you to forget just about anything, even if it is great. Personally, I keep granola bars and fresh pressed juice in my bag for quick power snacks.
  • Have patience. The crowds can be overwhelming. The Armory Show takes place across 250,000 square feet of exhibition space. Just remember that everyone wants to see everything – a near impossible feat. Friday is less crowded than Saturday; Sunday is a tossup. The contemporary side (Pier 94) is always the hot ticket, so expect some shoving and long lines for the coatroom.
  • Over the years, my appreciation for art has truly grown. You may not understand it or get what the artist is trying to convey, but you can still appreciate it, and in the end that’s all that matters, because art is not about understanding, but more of a feeling.
  • Most of all, know when to call it quits. If it all starts to blend, you have probably had enough for the day. Save some for tomorrow or even next year – shut it down – go have dinner & drinks and pat yourself you the back and call it a wrap. You survived.

Another Year, Another Armory Show Survival Guide

Location

Piers 92 & 94
711 12th Avenue, New York, 10019

Hours

Thursday, March 2: 12–8pm
Friday, March 3: 12–8pm
Saturday, March 4: 12–7pm
Sunday, March 5: 12–6pm

Your Art Fair Guide for Armory Week 2016

It’s Armory Week and that means gaggles of art fairs will be taking place across New York City.  It’s going to be a whirlwind of amazing art from all over the world, informative talks and lots of Art Star Selfies.  We don’t suggest you try to tackle every fair, choose the ones that interest you the most and pace yourself. Fair fatigue is real–trying to see more art than your brain can process at one time will just ruin the whole experience. Trust us on this… Oh, and by all means, wear comfortable shoes.

 

1. Armory Show

The Armory Show is the daddy of all the fairs.  It’s the big Kahuna with over 200 galleries showing on Piers 92 & 94 for four days of incredible art, engaging talks and daring projects. Walking through both piers can be exhausting, take breaks, and check your coat.  The coat line is so long – one would think they were giving out free drinks – but it’s worth the hands-free next few hours.

DON’T MISS: Brooklyn’s Pierogi gallery will show Jonathan Schipper’s Slow Motion Car Crash, a “choreographed collision” timed to occur during the five-day fair.

jonathan schipper

Jonathan Schipper, Slow Motion Car Crash. Photo: Courtesy The Armory Show.

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday–Sunday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Pier 94 and Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue between West 55th Street and West 52nd Street
$45 general admission, or $60 with VOLTA admission

 

2. Volta NY

Volta is Armory’s sister fair – one that keeps getting better in terms of curation.  Its’ art boutique feel is a refreshing change from the chaos that will be happening at Pier 92 & 94 with the Armory crowd. By spotlighting artists through primarily solo projects, VOLTA NY refocuses the art fair experience back to its most fundamental point: the artists and their works.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90. Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

The Volta fair takes place at Pier 90.
Photo: David Williams, courtesy Volta.

March 2–6, 2016
Wednesday 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 12 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Pier 90, 711 12th Avenue at West 48th Street
$22.96 general admission, or $55.11 with Armory Show admission

 

3. Spring Break Art Show

Spring/Break is one of the Armory Week attractions I try not to miss, it unapologetically has fun with art – blocking out the cynical in favor of its ‘Look at what I did Ma’ art school vibe.  This year, the annual curator-driven art show, chose ⌘COPY⌘PASTE” as its theme.  We’re still sad the fair had to move out of the Old School on Mott Street in Nolita (making way for a depressing condo development), to the Moynihan Station. The new space retains that feeling of being sent off to the races – with a familiar three-floor execution of exhibits – room after room of romping and art browsing. The rooms can be a showdown of hit-or-miss aesthetics, but I continue to enjoy the discovery beyond each door.

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd.

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd.

March 2–7
Skylight at Moynihan Station, 421 8th Avenue at West 31st Street
Wednesday–Sunday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Monday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
$10 general admission for advance tickets, $15 at the door

 

4. Scope

SCOPE NY brings an array of contemporary art down to the Piers. Thank goodness SCOPE is staying close to the Armory Show again – nothing like being able to stroll, and not UBER to the main fair. This year they’re promising a new “open-plan” layout and 60 international exhibitors.

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

Erik Jones, Joseph Gross Gallery

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Sunday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Pavilion West 60 galleries, 639 W 46th Street
$35 general admission

 

5. Pulse

Last year, PULSE New York was a bit of a snooze fest. This year the fair is back at its normal location,  Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street.   With the focus on a smaller scale – 45 galleries from four continents.  Hopefully this tightly curated content will play out better than last year’s hodge-podge.

Pulse Art Fair NYC Front Entrance

Pulse Art Fair NYC Front Entrance

March 3–6
Thursday 1:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
$25 general admission

 

6. Art on Paper

Art on Paper returns to Manhattan’s Lower East Side in March 2016, building on the success of the fair’s inaugural 2015 edition. It may be further away from the main fair, but it’s well worth the trip to see how artists are transforming paper into extrodinary works of art.  We’re especially looking forward to the lineup from first-time exhibitors Paradigm Gallery + Studio, representing Philadelphia, PA.

Courtesy of Art on Paper

Courtesy of Art on Paper

March 3–6
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Pier 36, 299 South Street on the East River
$25 general admission

 

7. ADAA Art Show

28th edition, of the Art Dealers Association of America’s annual fair, is back at that glorious Park Avenue Armory space.  With 72 exhibitors of fine art.  Newcomers include Hauser & Wirth, presenting works by the Modernist Italian sculptor, installation artist, and poet Fausto Melotti, and Tilton Gallery, showing new sculptures by Chicago-born artist Simone Leigh, whose work explores female African-American subjectivity.

Courtesy of the ADAA

Courtesy of the ADAA

March 2–6
Wednesday–Friday 12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at East 67th Street
$25 general admission

 

8. Independent

Dont’ go looking for the Independent in Chelsea, the fair has taken up residence in Tribeca’s Spring Studios.  The popular fair’s niche market is international galleries and non-profit institutions.

March 3–6, 2016
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 12:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00p.m.
Spring Street Studios, 50 Varick Street
$25 general admission/$15 for students

 

9. Clio Art Fair

CLIO ART FAIR is a curated fair created with the idea of discovering independent artists and showcasing the careers and achievements of already affirmed creative minds. Labeled the “anti-fair for independent artists,” Clio provides a showcase for artists without gallery representation, selected for inclusion in the fair by a panel of judges.
March 3–6
Thursday 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
508–526 West 26th St.
Free

10. New City Art Fair

This small contemporary Asian art fair, which focuses on emerging artists, is now in its fifth year.

March 3–6
Thursday 11:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
hpgrp Gallery New York, 434 Greenwich Street
Free

CHECKING OUT THAT SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW VIBE

This year, the annual curator-driven art show, Spring/Break chose Transaction as its theme.  That was executed sweetly during the press conference when co-founders Ambre Kelly & Andrew Gori got married at the top of the stairs in a endearingly funny ceremony, where the bride took a phone call in the middle of her vows, directing a wine distributor to the loading dock of their after party location.

Spring/Break is one of the Armory Week attractions I try not to miss, it unapologetically has fun with art – blocking out the cynical in favor of its ‘Look at what I did Ma’ art school vibe.  This year it moved out of the Old School on Mott Street in Nolita (making way for a depressing condo development), to the Moynihan Station.  The new space retained that feeling of being sent off to the races – with a familiar three-floor execution of exhibits – room after room of romping and art browsing.  The rooms can be a showdown of hit-or-miss aesthetics, but I continue to enjoy the discovery beyond each door.

Here’s a list of the rooms we loved walking thru.

Free ft. Oliver Jeffers curated by Marc Azoulay

We caught artist Olivers Jeffers in the midst of his dipping performance.  Jeffers and his assistants fill a custom built box with gallons of colored paint – the painting is then submerged and lifted out. It’s positioned over a thick sheet of paper impregnated with Jeffer’s handwritten words – excerpts from the sitters interview – these too disappear beneath the spread of the paint.  An esthetically pleasing yet haunting reminder that words too like images can be a fading memory.

Photo Mar 03, 5 04 25 PM

Oliver Jeffers, Dipped Painting Performance

 

Bazaar Teens curated by Dustin Yellin

I found Dustin Yellin nailing stale bread to a wall in a dank and musty room that carried nauseating smells of dirt, and coffee. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders when I asked him what was going on. “Go in and find out,” he said.  I went through the maze of rooms taking it all in, and laughing to myself at the reactions of the other onlookers.  After stepping outside into the hallway, I googled it, reading quickly as I navigated the space a second time. Apparently, Yellin shredded ten grand from an anonymous donor.  The shredded money I saw being collaged onto canvases painted the shade of poop by artists clad in white plastic jumpsuits were going to be sold for ten grand a pop and the money used to send artists in need to school. I wondered if it was all a stunt, who would buy them, and praytell whose bright idea it was to paint canvases the shade of crap.

I don’t care what it was supposed to mean – I had fun nailing bread to the wall with Yellin and watching the mayhem ensue.

 

Photo Mar 03, 3 41 45 PM

Photo Mar 03, 3 44 47 PM

Bazaar Teens installation, curated by Dustin Yellin

The Dead People Dead Flowers / Anne Nowak curated by Cassandra M. Johnson

Nowak collects dead flowers from graveyards and makes cyanoprints  – breathing new life into the flowers, she gives the sentiments of the living more time for the ones passed on.

Anne Nowak_Photo Mar 03, 6 44 58 PM

Installation by Anne Nowak, curated by Cassandra M. Johnson

Anne Nowak_Photo Mar 03, 6 41 34 PM

Installation by Anne Nowak, curated by Cassandra M. Johnson

Mail Art by Riitta Ikonen, curated by Yulia Topchiy

Over the past 11  years, Riitta Ikonen has been sending her grad school professor postcards constructed from a wide range of materials.  This visual diary of tangible objects defies what you think can be posted through the mail system.  They’re not an ordinary range of objects, but a thoughtful documentation of materials that reference the specifics of her time and locale.

Mail Art_Photo Mar 03, 6 11 56 PM

Mail art by Riitta Ikonen, curated by Yulia Topchiy

Mail Art_Photo Mar 03, 6 11 16 PM

Mail art by Riitta Ikonen, curated by Yulia Topchiy

 

Greed is Good / Fall on Your Sword curated by Andrew Gori & Ambre Kelly

Greed Is Good is an ‘immersive audio/visual wizard of oz-like spectacle of flying Champagne bottles, a giant sphere, original FOYS score and video’ based on Gordon Gecko’s speeches in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film, Wall Street.

Fall On Your Sword_Photo Mar 03, 6 57 27 PM (1)

Fall On Your Sword, “Greed Is Good,” curated by Andrew Gori & Ambre Kelly

 

After the Fire is Gone Installation by Cate Giordano, curated by Eve Sussman & Simon Lee

Photo Mar 03, 6 50 21 PM (2)

Installation by Cate Giordano, curated by Eve Sussman & Simon Lee

Cate Giordano_Photo Mar 03, 6 52 03 PM

Installation by Cate Giordano, curated by Eve Sussman & Simon Lee

Form & Formlessness: Objects and the Body curated by Peter Gynd

Taezoo Park

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd

Taezoo Park_Photo Mar 03, 6 14 39 PM

Installation by Taezoo Park, curated by Peter Gynd

Annulus curated by Corey Oberlander and Lindsey Stapleton

Leah Piepgras_Photo Mar 03, 6 29 22 PM

Leah Piepgras under Cloud Mantle, curated by Corey Oberlander & Lindsey Stapleton

Photo Mar 03, 6 33 27 PM

Leah Piepgras _Cloud Mantles, curated by Corey Oberlander & Lindsey Stapleton

Christine Sciulli’s “Propulsion Field 4022″ light installation, curated by Tracy Causey Jeffrey

Christine Sciulli_Photo Mar 03, 6 34 34 PM

Christine Sciulli’s “Propulsion Field 4022″ light installation, curated by Tracy Causey Jeffrey