Armory Week 2018: Your Go-To Guide for All the Art Fairs

Here's everything you need to know.

Armory Show 2017. Photo courtesy of Sean Zanni/PMC.
Armory Show 2017. Photo courtesy of Sean Zanni/PMC.

It’s official: Armory Week is upon us, bringing with it a full slate of gallery openings, museum exhibitions, parties, and other events. For those fearing art fatigue, however, take heart: This year’s schedule is slightly lighter than usual, thanks to a snag in scheduling that saw the Armory Show and the ADAA Art Show spread across two different weeks the first time since 2009. Further lightening the load, Salon Zürcher—which usually holds two New York editions—will only take place in May. The only new addition to this week’s offerings is Collective Design, which is effectively taking over the slot of former Armory Week regular Moving Image New York as it shifts to Frieze Week for 2018.

The Bruce High Quality Foundation, <em>Thank You New York</em> (2009). Photo courtesy of the artists.

The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Thank You New York (2009). Photo courtesy of the artists.

1. The Armory Show
Look for the Armory show to bounce back from the fallout from sexual harassment allegations against former director Benjamin Genocchio under the new leadership of Nicole Berry. There’s a full roster of 198 galleries from 31 countries, 66 of which are new or returning after time off, presenting an overwhelmingly large selection of 20th- and 21st-century art across Piers 92 and 94. Keep an eye out for collages by Yayoi Kusama from London’s Omer Tiroche Gallery and the first US outing from Huang Rui, a founding member of China’s contemporary art movement, courtesy of Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong.

The fair will also be bringing back its Platform sector featuring large-scale works for a second year, curated by Jen Mergel, vice president of programming for the Association of Art Museum Curators. Participating artists include the Bruce High Quality Foundation, Elmgreen & Dragset, Sarah Cain, and JR, who will cover the facade of Pier 94 with images that combine archival photographs of immigrants at Ellis Island with the French street artist’s portraits of Syrian refugees.

Dates: March 7–1
Time: Wednesday VIP Preview by invitation only 12 p.m.–8 p.m., Thursday–Saturday 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Location: Pier 94 and Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue between West 55th Street and West 52nd Street
Price: $47 general admission, or $65 with VOLTA admission; $80 run of show

Kambui Olujimi, <em>A Faint Notion</em> (2016). Courtesy of VOLTA.

Kambui Olujimi, A Faint Notion (2016). Courtesy of VOLTA.

2. VOLTA NY
Once you’re done with the main event, head down to Pier 90 to check out VOLTA, the Armory’s sister fair. Originally from Basel, VOLTA had its first New York edition ten years ago. This time around, it will feature 95 international galleries presenting single artist presentations. We’re looking forward to exploring a special section curated by Mickalene Thomas and collector and art consultant Racquel Chevremont. On Friday, March 9, at 6 p.m., Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Jampol of Newark’s Project for Empty Space have organized a screening of a selection of artist films that deal with topics of bigotry and pain, as part of VOLTA’s Video Wall and VOLTA Cares social activations.

Dates: March 7–11
Time: Wednesday VIP preview 4 p.m.–9 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
Location: Pier 90, 711 12th Avenue at West 48th Street
Price: $25 general admission, or $65 with Armory Show admission

David Diao at Office Baroque at Independent New York 2017. Courtesy of Etienne Frossard/Independent New York.

David Diao at Office Baroque at Independent New York 2017. Courtesy of Etienne Frossard/Independent New York.

3. Independent
The Independent aims to keep things fresh by shaking up its lineup, with 24 of its 57 exhibitors making their debut at the fair in 2018. Always a favorite among the critics, the Independent likens its selection of solo or dual artists booths and historical work to what you might expect to see at a biennial or museum rather than a typical art fair. Expect a number of works in ceramic—Peter Shire at Derek Eller, Ken Price at Franklin Parrasch—and textile—Elaine Cameron-Weir at JTT and Ann Cathrin November Høibo at Standard (Oslo)—as well as a new sound and video program curated by David Gryn of Daata Editions. Keep an eye out, too, for emerging artists. Among those who are having their first New York solo outing are Rebecca Ackroyd (Peres Projects), Issy Wood (Carlos/Ishikawa), Augustin Delloye (Stems), and Christine Wang (Night Gallery).

Dates: March 8–11
Time: Thursday VIP preview 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 12 p.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Location: Spring Studios, 50 Varick Street
Price: $25 general admission; $45 run of show

Macon Reed, A Pressing Conference. Courtesy of the artist.

Macon Reed, A Pressing Conference. Courtesy of the artist.

4. SPRING/BREAK Art Show
Curators take control at the cool kid’s art fair, which for the second year will see artists transform a buttoned-up Times Square office building into all manner of unexpected installations and exhibitions. The theme this year is “Stranger Comes to Town,” inspired by a quote attributed to Tolstoy, but also inspired by the US’s contradictory fear of outsiders, despite being a nation of immigrants. It seems safe to expect plenty of references to the present administration, such as in Macon Reed’s A Pressing Conference, a brightly colored cardboard and plaster installation that replicates the White House press room. The project, curated by former PULSE Art Fair director Helen Toomer, is designed to encourage resistance to Donald Trump’s messages of fear and misinformation and will feature twice-daily performances at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Dates: March 6–12
Time: Tuesday VIP preview 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Wednesday–Monday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Location: 4 Times Square (entrance on West 43rd Street)
Price: $15 general admission

Eric Wesley, <em>The Bell, Cahokia</em> (2016). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Eric Wesley, The Bell, Cahokia (2016). Photo courtesy of the artist.

5. NADA
The New Art Dealers Alliance founded NADA New York, a nonprofit designed to bring attention to new voices in contemporary art, in 2012. In its second Armory Week outing, NADA will feature a selection of special programs such as The Bell Mannahatta—Eric Wesley’s follow-up to The Bell, Cahokia, which transformed an abandoned Taco Bell into an art venuepresented by presented by Red Bull Arts New York. Brooklyn’s Transfer Gallery is presenting a virtual exhibition, “Transfer Download,” that touches on issues of power and technology.

Dates: March 8–11
Time: Thursday VIP preview 12 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Location: Skylight Clarkson North, 572 Washington Street
Price: $20 general admission; $40 run of show

Installation view of <em>Intermediate States</em> by Kristen Wentrcek and Andrew Zebulon. Photo by Bekka Palmer, courtesy of Collective Design.

Installation view of Intermediate States by Kristen Wentrcek and Andrew Zebulon. Photo by Bekka Palmer, courtesy of Collective Design.

6. Collective Design
The only new fair on the Armory Week schedule, Collective Design, now in its sixth year, straddles the line between art and design, with historical art objects as well as experimental contemporary works. We’re intrigued to see what Kristen Wentrcek and Andrew Zebulon will come up with for the entryway this year. The duo recently converted their studio into a limited-access art installation intended as an antidote to the crowded art opening, so we’re expecting something cerebral involving repurposed industrial materials. There will also be a special presentation from the 2018 Collective Influence honoree, Milan-based designer and architect Johanna Grawunder.

Dates: March 8–11
Time: Thursday VIP preview 12 p.m.–8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Location: Skylight Clarkson North, 572 Washington Street
Price: $30 general admission; $60 run of show

Nicole Doran, <em>Collective Destiny</em> (2017). Photo courtesy of Spinello Projects.

Nicole Doran, Collective Destiny (2017). Photo courtesy of Spinello Projects.

7. SCOPE
A veteran satellite fair in its 16th New York outing, SCOPE returns to its convenient location on West 18th Street for the second straight outing. There are 60 international galleries, but they don’t get booths, with an open-plan layout that sees each dealer’s presentation blend seamlessly into the next. For SCOPE Special Projects, Anthony Spinello, co-founder of Miami’s hit all-female fair, will present “Materiality,” an exploration of intersectional feminism featuring four of the fair artists: Nathalie Alfonso, Nicole Doran, Juana Valdes, and Clara Varas.

Dates: March 8–11
Time: Thursday VIP preview 3 p.m.–9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Location: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street
Price: $25 general admission

Timothy Paul Myers & Andrew Barnes, <em>Understory</em>. Courtesy of Walter Maciel Gallery.

Timothy Paul Myers & Andrew Barnes, Understory. Courtesy of Walter Maciel Gallery.

8. Art on Paper
Now in its fourth year, Art on Paper will offer paper-based art from 80 galleries. On the main floor, Understory, a major project from Timothy Paul Myers and Andrew Barnes from Walter Maciel Gallery offers a life-size installation of common household object wrapped in pale pink felt.

Dates: March 8–11
Time: Thursday 6 p.m.–10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Location: Pier 36, 299 South Street on the East River
Price: $25 general admission, $50 run of show

Salvador Dalí, <em>Overpainted Photographic Cutout Portrait</em>. Courtesy of Biblioctopus.

Salvador Dalí, Overpainted Photographic Cutout Portrait. Courtesy of Biblioctopus.

9. New York International Antiquarian Book Fair
With the ADAA scheduled for a week earlier than usual, the Park Avenue Armory will hold the 58th edition of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America’s New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. A book lover’s dream, the offerings include rare books, maps, manuscripts, and other ephemera, with work by artists including Oskar Kokoschka, Salvador Dalí, and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, to name just a few.

Dates: March 8–11
Time: Thursday 5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.; 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.
LocationPark Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at East 67th Street
Price: $25 general admission, $45 run of show

Work by Carlo Sampietro. Courtesy of the artist.

Work by Carlo Sampietro. Courtesy of the artist.

10. Clio Art Fair
If you’re an independent artist without exclusive New York gallery representation, the best way to get your work out there during Armory Week is Clio. It “seeks to foster a dialogue that transcends prescribed geographies, hierarchies, and markets; and to further opportunities for greater expression of new media and ever ground-breaking content.”

Dates: March 8–11
Time: Thursday, VIP Preview 6 p.m.–9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.–6 p.m.
Location: 335 West 35th Street
Price: Free


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