Since its conception The Armory Show has been one of the most important art events in New York City, as well as one of the leading contemporary and modern art fairs internationally. For fifteen years now the show has graced Piers 92 and 94 on the Hudson River each March. It has gathered together artists and galleries from all over the globe, giving them a place to display their work and make connections that could very well be impossible without the fairs existence.
From its debut in the Gramercy Park Hotel in 1994 the fair has grown immensely, evolving with each passing year. Due to its increasing size it was temporarily relocated to the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue, to which it now owes its current name. It has continued to expand, moving from the Armory to the piers on the Hudson, which is has called home ever since.
With its massive reach it is no surprise that last year alone the Armory Show hosted 228 exhibitors – made up of local and international artists and galleries. It is with this global reach that the Armory Show holds a unique footing in the world of art fairs. The vast array of artists and galleries provides a comprehensive look at what is occurring in other countries in regards to the arts. It also allows people who might have never met a chance to connect. Galleries are able to network with artists from different countries, buying beautiful pieces of art to display. Meanwhile artists, both well known and up-and-coming, are able to interact with one another and make themselves known to the galleries.
The Armory Show offers all who come hundreds of different sights. However, with its ever-evolving structure the Armory has taken a step further in making its fair more accessible. This past show the fair teamed up with Paddle8 to create an online, virtual tour of the exhibits. This tour has now opened the doors for people all over the world, and not just those fortunate enough to be able to visit New York City. Now anyone can see the art on display, the performances, and the other various events with just a click of the mouse. Not only that but it allows galleries that had not been able to attend the chance to see what artwork is available, giving artists even more of a chance to connect with art enthusiasts all over the world.
Broken up into countless of different sessions, the Armory Show has something for everyone. The main two exhibitions will be The Armory Show – Contemporary and The Armory Show – Modern. Together they showcase what many would consider the most important art of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Modern show – located on Pier 92 – will have been a staple of the Armory Show for six years as of 2013. This section showcases world-renowned galleries who specialize in collecting Modern art. Each gallery featured in the Modern section contains artwork that holds a historical significance in the realm of modern art. Unlike the Contemporary section the Modern section takes up the entirety of Pier 92. It is not broken up into different sections.
The Contemporary – located on Pier 94 – is of course full of contemporary art from all over the globe. The exhibition is world renowned, becoming the perfect place for artists to premier new pieces. Perhaps more important though is that the Contemporary is the place to showcase international galleries, as well as the place to find the up-and-coming artist, and as of last year the brand new section – Solo Projects can also be found there. The Contemporary is also the home to the Armory Focus show.
Unlike the rest of the Contemporary and the Modern, the Armory Focus is an invitation-only section of the fair. For three years – as of 2012 – this portion of the show has focused on thriving art communities that are not well recognized. Last year the Armory Focus featured work from the Nordic Countries, recognizing the regions importance in the art scene. The show featured 19 galleries from the Nordics, each piece of art displayed or performance scheduled highlight the engaging and dynamic work of Nordic artists.
The Armory Show is an innovative experience, raising the bar for art fairs around the world. The best of the best is gathered, regardless of notoriety, and given the opportunity to shine. Between Pier 92 and 94 there is something new and exciting for everyone.
In 2013, the unique work of Angel Orensanz will also be on display, so don’t miss it!