This winter while New York City snowbirds are migrating south, flocks of art lovers are migrating to Manhattan’s westside and Pier’s 92 and 94 for New York’s biggest art fair. Founded in 1994 by dealers Colin de Land, Pat Hearn, Matthew Marks, and Paul Morris and renamed The Armory Show in 1999, a record number of visitors are attracted each year along with galleries in both contemporary and modern art. As always contemporary art housed in Pier 94 with 143 exhibitors separated into four sections including: Contemporary, Armory Presents (solo and two-person projects by galleries less than ten years old), Not-for-Profit (museums, arts organizations and not-for-profit galleries), and Armory Focus (a curated section with a global cultural focus). This year Armory Focus is on the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean (MENAM) regions. Selected by Omar Kholeif, Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and cultural partner Edge of Arabia and Education Partner Art Jameel, MENAM consists of fifteen booths, some with solo projects, others presenting multiple artists.
As always, the VIP opening found a flurry of collectors and artists alike scurrying through the long art-filled corridors looking to hand out that next business card, or make a deal on a piece they’ve been eyeing. One of the best parts of The Armory Show is seeing an artwork by an old favorite or discovering something by an artist new to the scene or just on your personal radar. Celebrities come out and actually do a great job of blending in (talking to you Mike Myers) and each year the gallery roster changes. Below are Top Fifteen Picks for 2015 as selected by Katy Diamond Hamer, in no particular order. Will you brave the cold?
Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris
Monitor Gallery, Rome and New York
CRG Gallery, New York
Part of Armory Focus: MENAM
Roberts & Tilton Gallery, Culver City
Johann Koenig Gallery, Berlin
Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York
Aanant & Zoo Galerie, Berlin
MICHAEL E. SMITH
Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York
Kerlin Gallery, Dublin
Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin and Stockholm
Massimo De Carlo, Milano and London
Johann Konig, Berlin
i8 Gallery, Reykjavik
Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles
The Armory Show is open to the public until Sunday, March 8th, 12 pm to 7 pm.
Piers 92 & 94 are located on Manhattan’s west side on the Hudson River (Twelfth Avenue) at 55th Street in the Passenger Ship Terminal complex. The piers are easily accessible by public transportation, taxi, and private vehicle. The nearest subway stop is four cross-town blocks east at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue.