Five Things To See At The Armory Show In New York
“The Gallery” by Ms Wang Xin, 2014-ongoing. Photograph courtesy of de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong
The exhibits to check out at the 2018 art fair.
If we’re talking the globe’s leading art fairs, there’s a number of eye-popping spectacles that are hard to beat. The ultra-Instagrammable Art Basel – happening every year in Switzerland, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong – never fails to draw in the millennial crowd with its diverse range of works and schmoozy parties. The same goes for Frieze in London and New York, which thrives on its contemporary art offerings. But in New York City alone, few events attract international galleries and buyers more than the Armory Show, now in its 24th year.
This year’s Armory Show, from 8 March until 11 March at Piers 92/94 in Midtown Manhattan, will feature 198 galleries, with more than 31 different countries represented. In addition to the individual gallery showcases, the fair will also offer panel discussions and curated exhibits. Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be – check out the five must-see attractions below to maximise your art-viewing experience.
Focus, curated by Mr Gabriel Ritter
Every year, a special curator at the Armory is chosen to display a selection of new works and artists from different galleries. This year, Mr Gabriel Ritter, curator and head of contemporary art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, will do so in the exhibit Focus. With 28 galleries presenting solo or dual-artist works, this section is the best way to cram in a lot of different cultural perspectives into a short amount of time – time is money, after all, and you have a lot of ground to cover.
Every day during the fair, a series of interactive talks or panels will be shown under the Armory Live programme, held at the Armory Live Theater on Pier 94. These programmes are the best way to break up the day and clean the palette in between gallery viewings. In addition to chats with prolific artists such as Mr Hermann Nitsch and Ms Carolee Schneemann, one can expect a wide range of discussions and topics, including the art world’s role in the current economy, political activism, and more.
Platform, curated by Ms Jen Mergel
Crafted by Ms Jen Mergel, the Platform exhibit will showcase large-scale artworks and installations, as well as site-specific commissions. In other words: the bigger, the better. Highlights to watch for: Ms Mary Sibande’s Cry Havoc (Pier 92, Town Square), a South African artist whose sculptures critique the stereotypical depiction of women. Cherokee and Choctaw artist Mr Jeffrey Gibson’s piece Without You I’m Nothing (Pier 94, Champagne Lounge) is another highlight, which merges traditional indigenous dress with a contemporary twist.
Ms Wang Xin
Though it’s near impossible to take in all of the Armory Show’s distinctive artists, you certainly won’t want to miss the work of Chinese artist Ms Wang Xin, brought to the fair by the Hong Kong-based de Sarthe Gallery (Pier 94). Platform exhibitor Ms Xin is particularly known for her graphic installations, where she uses bold slogans and neon lighting to offer criticism on the art world. But the best part? Her installations are typically finished in millennial pink – see “The Gallery”, pictured above – meaning #nofilter needed.
Mr Derrick Adams
The works of New York-based artist Mr Derrick Adams will be showcased at the fair’s Presents section, which presents emerging artists and galleries less than 10 years old. Brought to the show by London-based gallery Vigo (Pier 94, booth P1), you’ll want to explore Mr Adams’ exuberant multidisciplinary works ranging from paintings to sculptures and videos – the artist offers a fascinating take on the black American experience.