Galerie’s Ultimate Guide to Armory Week
Here’s what not to miss at all the great art fairs in New York this week
Armory Week returns once again, signaling the beginning of the spring arts season. This year, the show is being partially relocated, and Volta has been canceled—though many of the galleries that were set to show there have a Plan B. And there’s still plenty more for art lovers to see during the week. Here’s your guide to this year’s fairs and the must-visit highlights.
The Armory Show
The Armory Show is predicted to look and feel slightly different this year. Just a week before the fair’s opening, one of its two locations, Pier 92, was determined to be structurally unsound, forcing a last-minute change to Pier 90, where Volta, Armory’s sister fair, was set to take place. As a result, Volta was abruptly canceled. However, many of those galleries will be showing at Plan B, a pop-up fair for the displaced dealers of Volta. (More on that below.)
Under the directorship of Nicole Berry, the Armory Show celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. As part of the festivities, a handful of the original participants will be returning, including 303 Gallery and Zeno X, and a number of special projects have been announced. As always, expect a sprawling array of international galleries focused on top-tier 20th- and 21st-century art, but be sure to look out for the special curated sections, including Platform and Presents. Conceived by Sally Tallant, Platform is inspired by the 1939 New York World’s Fair with a series of large-scale commissions by such artists as Siah Armajani, Ryan Gander, Xaviera Simmons, and Pascale Marthine Tayou. Presents, on the other hand, spotlights young artists and offers visitors a chance to discover the next wave of emerging talent.
Independent New York
Returning to Spring Studios in Tribeca, the Independent art fair’s tenth edition will feature over 50 exhibitors—21 of whom are showing there for the first time, including Tokyo’s Take Ninagawa and the neighborhood’s own Ortuzar Projects. The brainchild of Elizabeth Dee and Matthew Higgs, the fair sets itself apart by upending the traditional fair model: Don’t expect aisles or the usual booth presentations here. To maintain its freshness, the fair rotates 30 percent of the exhibitors annually.
This year, there is an interesting group of historic artists, including a solo presentation by Austrian-Romani painter Ceija Stojka at Paris’s Galerie Christophe Gaillard; 1960s Bay Area artists Franklin Williams and Fred Reichman at Parker Gallery and the Landing, respectively; and Mexican artist Eduardo Terrazas’s colored yarn-based works at Timothy Taylor. There will also be a selection of overlooked female artists from the past decades, including Gertrude Abercrombie at Karma and Renate Bertlmann at Richard Saltoun.
Organized in lighting speed, Plan B is an emergency pop-up art fair for the displaced dealers of Volta, organized by gallery director David Zwirner and collector Peter Hort with help from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and dealer Quang Bao of 1969 Gallery. The event will take place at Zwirner’s 19th Street location and at 534 West 21st Street, which is being lent by a silent patron. At press time, roughly 20 galleries had signed on.
SPRING/BREAK Art Show
The cool kid on the block, Spring/Break is known for its curator-driven model and wildly unexpected venues. This year, directors Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly have selected the theme of “Fact & Fiction” to explore the tug-of-war between the two and their “alternatives.” The series of approximately 85 curated presentations will take place in the wood-paneled former Finnish and Liberian embassies at 4 Times Square, appropriately located between the United Nations headquarters and Trump World Tower. Don’t miss the accompanying outdoor art show comprising four site-specific outdoor sculptures by Noah Scalin, ICY and SOT, Michael Zelehoski, and Devra Freelander and Gracelee Lawrence, on view at the Times Square Broadway plazas.
Art on Paper
This year’s edition of Art on Paper, which is dedicated to paper in all its forms, features 85 galleries as well as a number of special projects. Several galleries originally planning to exhibit at Volta managed to score last-minute booths at the fair, including Miami’s Mindy Solomon, which is showing collages by artist Glenn Barkley.