On a sunny spring-like day, amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and resulting omnipresence of hand sanitizer pump bottles, The Armory Show successfully kicked off The Armory Week, the annual cluster of New York art fairs running from March 4–9. Known to many as the “essential New York art fair,” The Armory Show returns to Manhattan’s Piers 90 and 94 on March 5, featuring 183 galleries from 32 countries as well as 33 first-time exhibitors. This year’s trends: ceramics and figurative painting continue to enjoy strong revivals, and representation of female African artists, African American artists, and the African American experience as subject matter prevailed.
Pier 90 features curator-led projects and initiatives such as the Focus section, curated by Jamillah James (Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) which examines revisionist histories; the Platform section, curated by Anne Ellegood (Executive Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), which features seven large-scale works that reflect sociopolitical satire; and the Perspectives section, which re-contextualizes 20th century works in a contemporary setting, curated by Nora Burnett Abrams (Mark G. Falcone Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver).
Pier 94, meanwhile, is devoted to The Armory Show’s longstanding Galleries section, as well as the Presents section—the latter of which shows presentations of works no more than three years old, represented by galleries no more than ten years old.
Given its size, conquering The Armory Show can be a bit of a tour-de-force, but the rewards are many as the fair offers plenty of art for every collector, industry specialist, and art enthusiast. Visitors can take a shuttle between the piers, and if taking in so much beauty makes you hungry, there are plenty of food stands and restaurant pop-ups scattered throughout.
March 5–8; Piers 90 and 94 at 711 12th Avenue; thearmoryshow.com.