The Armory Show 2018

 Photo by Jennifer Calais | Courtesy of The Armory Show.

Photo by Jennifer Calais | Courtesy of The Armory Show.

The Armory Show will open in Manhattan on Wednesday, March 7 and run until Sunday, March 11. How is this fair an integral part of the New York City art scene and the global art world at large, and what can you expect from this cultural nexus in its 24th year?

The rise of the international art fair serves to signify the state of the art market. The tens of millions of dollars in sales amounted at these fairs spotlight what emerging artists have made a name for themselves, and point to the diversified interests and tastes present in the contemporary market. With these weeklong worldly affairs occurring throughout the year and throughout the globe--from New York to London, Hong Kong, and more--art fairs certainly demonstrate an unprecedented pinnacle of globalism in the art world. Despite the dawning of rich, thriving art scenes in cities such as Miami and the historically traditional central scenes such as Paris, New York city is still considered by most to be the art capital of the world. New York City is home to the most galleries, museums and art institutions worldwide, and is a magnet for the renowned and the aspiring in all things artistic. 

Part of the city’s cultural fabric is The Armory Show, New York City’s premier art fair. The Armory Show was first established in 1994 when it was called the Gramercy International Art Fair and held at the Gramercy Hotel. In 1999, it was renamed “The Armory Show” and took place at the 69th Regiment Armory, the site of the 1913 Armory Show infamous for being the first public presentation of controversial new art forms by the likes of Duchamp, van Gogh, and Picasso.

 Photograph by Teddy Wolff | Courtesy of The Armory Show.

Photograph by Teddy Wolff | Courtesy of The Armory Show.

 Photograph by BFA | Courtesy of The Armory Show.

Photograph by BFA | Courtesy of The Armory Show.

Today, The Armory Show is held annually on Piers 92 & 94 in Manhattan. It features over 200 leading international galleries as well as special commissions and public programming aimed at inspiring and supporting the visual arts. The show is split between the two piers: Pier 92 is the Modern sector dedicated to the finest masterworks of the 20th century. Pier 94 exhibits contemporary works by living artists within two sections called Armory Presents and Armory Focus. Armory Presents includes gallery presentations of single or dual artists from within the past ten years. The Armory Focus section highlights art of a different geographic area or thematic perspective each year; this year, Gabriel Ritter has curated an international selection of art of the past 40 years addressing the body in contemporary art with regard to modern technology. The second edition of Armory Platform will also stage large-scale works and installations across the two piers. Armory Live interactive programming will include talks, events, and screenings both online and at the fair to foster engagement with the fair and encourage greater dialogue and patronage for the arts.

Notable satellite fairs that will take place during the same week as The Armory Show that are also well worth a visit include; VOLTA located at Pier 90, a fair comprised of solo-presentations by the galleries of leading and emerging international artists, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) located at 550 Washington Street in West Soho, the Art Dealer's Association of America (AADA) located at Park Avenue at 67th St and last but not least, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, an annual platform that invites curators to present artworks under a unified theme. 

Words by Michelle Costanza