20 Things You Need To See At New York's Biggest Art Show This Weekend

armory art show

Daniel Goodman/Business Insider

Armory Art Week has arrived in New York, and that means more than a dozen art fairs are flinging open their doors (or tent flaps) around the city.The biggest and most prestigious of these shows, the Armory Art Show, kicks off tomorrow and runs through Sunday, March 11th.

The show fills two piers on the West Side Highway, and if you’re new to the art fair scene, it’s the perfect place to get your feet wet. The Contemporary exhibition at Pier 94 is the highlight of the show: 120 exhibitors from 30 different countries are presenting there, including some of the world’s leading galleries.

Once you’ve had your fill of contemporary art, wander south to the Modern show at Pier 92, where international dealers are displaying works and prints from a bevy of modern artists, from Sol LeWitt to Roy Lichtenstein.

We stopped by the press preview this morning and found countless cool things to admire. Here are 20 things at this year’s Armory Art Show that you simply can’t miss. General admission tickets are $30; students can get in for $10.

The show fills two massive piers on the far west side of Manhattan. Plan to allot an entire afternoon, if not longer, to the art show. And wear comfortable shoes.

Start in the Contemporary section of the fair, at Pier 94. The solo projects lounge is a new feature this year; it showcases the work of 11 young dealers from around the globe.

At Cologne-based gallery Teapot, catch some zzz-inducing performance art by artist Christian Eisenberger.

Clink a martini glass with artist Jennifer Dalton's doppelganger at Winkleman Gallery's booth, which features an interactive life-as-art party scene.

Head back towards the centre of the pier. Galerie Thomas Schulte is exhibiting two sculptures by Alice Aycock, an American artist--stop by for a look.

Massive versions of these spirals, some 24-feet high, will be on display on Park Avenue in 2013.

Check out Andres Serrano's bright silhouettes at Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art. The series, appropriately, is called Anarchy.

Gallery Hyundai, in Seoul, has some amazing pieces on display, like this animatronic sculpture by South Korean artist U-Ram Choe.

But the highlight of the exhibit is this trio of wooden sculptures by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, a political activist who was recently released from prison.

At this point, you'll probably need a break. Guzzle a glass of champagne at the Pommery Champagne Bar before taking a quick look at the show's special Nordic exhibit.

Head over to David Zwirner's spot, featuring a site-specific installation by the German artist Michael Riedel. That's him, posing with his silkscreens.

The installation also includes a wall-size print of Riedel's silkscreens. But the wallpaper won't be purple tomorrow; he will re-paper it in another colour tonight.

Admire the African-inspired crystal sculptures at Galleria Continua's space. They're adorned with unconventional items.

If you can't make it to the Museum of Modern Art's mega-retrospective, get a miniature fix of the photographer's work at the space of Sprüth Magers, a Berlin-based gallery.

By this point, your feet might be a little sore. Seek out one of chairs that fair organisers found on the streets and painted taxicab-yellow.

They're meant to evoke a connection with New York City, said founding director Paul Morris. Each one is stamped with the place and date it was found.

Go eye-to-eye with Osama bin Laden at the exhibition space of Galerie Laurent Godin. Artist Wang Du's installation features 32 busts of the dead terrorist.

Imbibe in some audiovisual art, courtesy of Los Angeles' Michael Kohn Gallery. Each work by Simmons & Burke is accompanied by a set of headphones for your listening pleasure.

Tap dance your way onto the funky floor tiles at Cardi Black Box's exhibit.

The walls in the exhibit aren't boring either.

Round out your time on Pier 94 with a stop at Bruce Silverstein Gallery's space. It features some incredible photography by Zoe Strauss, who currently has a mid-career retrospective running at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Once you've had your fill of contemporary works (and if you aren't completely wiped), head over to Pier 92 for the modern art fair. It's up an escalator, and a little tricky to find.

This year the modern show is focused on rediscovering works from the 1970s, and includes lots of blue-chip pieces. It's far tamer than the contemporary carnival. This bamboo installation by Doug and Mike Starn was once displayed on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visit the giant blue bird floating at the exhibition space of Alan Koppel Gallery, of Chicago.

Inspired to start your own art collection?

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