A Walk Through the Art. The Armory Show 2014

The Armory Show, New York’s annual blockbuster art fair drew thousands of art world VIPs and casual onlookers alike to the city’s Piers 92 and 94 March 6-9, 2014. Featuring over 200 galleries from around the world, the Armory Show is the heart of the near-dozen art fairs around New York during “Armory Week.” Founded in 1994 and initially hosted at the 69th Regiment Armory in Kips Bay (the same location chosen for the famous International Exhibition of Modern Art, i.e. the 1914 Armory Show), the fairs organizers moved to the west side piers in 2001. The Armory is divided roughly into two portions—the quieter Pier 92 houses Modern galleries, while much of the attention is focused on the Contemporary work within Pier 94 and the annual Armory Focus selection, an enclave of curated galleries in the mezzanine adjoining the two piers.  Allowing for a more artist-based emphasis, (it is the artist’s commissioned work that is highlighted as opposed to presenting a gamut of work by artists represented by a single gallery. This year, Philip Tinari, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing selected twenty artists as a sample of the artistically important and commercially successful Chinese contemporary art scene.

The Armory Show is an art fair, with its commercial intent laid bare from start to finish. The addition of seating areas for weary fairgoers and the intermittent commissaries do create abet of a mall-like experience. As opposed to Frieze who supplemented the fair’s’ proceeding with a series of academically vacuous panels and presentations, the Armory, does not pretend to be something it is not. The Armory remains the preeminent showcase for galleries worldwide, and although not all the work is surprising, interesting or even important, with a sample size of this size, there are enough works of interest to keep coming back for more.

See below for a photographic walk through of the 2014 Armory Show. All photographs by Elizabeth Eisenstein.

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by Mary Coyne
in A Walk Through The Art

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