Armory Week 2011: A Guide To The Art Fairs

NYC is buzzing with art as Armory Week 2011 is officially underway. Now in it’s tenth year at the enormous 208,000 square foot space at Piers 92 and 94, The Armory Show is the centrepiece of the week, showcasing emerging and established artists from more than 250 modern and contemporary galleries worldwide.

In addition to the massiveness of the Armory Show, Armory Week comprises a dozen or so other art fairs that kick off today around New York, including some inaugural fairs this year. A daunting task to figure it all out, particularly for the uninitiated, here’s a guide to the biggest and most interesting art fairs and what you can expect.

The Armory Show
Piers 92 and 94, Midtown Manhattan on the Hudson River between 52nd and 54th streets
March 3-6

There are two parts to the show, each occupying a pier of its own. The Armory Show – Contemporary, at Pier 94 (West 54th Street) and The Armory Show – Modern, at Pier 92 (West 52nd Street). Combined they feature some of the most established contemporary and modern galleries from around the world. With over 250 galleries being represented, it’s the largest art show in America. Be prepared for some serious admiring since works will carry high price tags. Access to both sections is $30. Dual admission to Volta, the Armory’s sister fair, can be purchased for $40.

7 West 34th Street (between 5th and 6th Aves), 11th floor
March 3-6

80 galleries from 23 countries were selected to present one artist each. California’s Carmichael Gallery is featuring an installation by street artist Mark Jenkins, which transforms Booth A1 into an “unconventionally furnished family room”, a new series which includes five and a half life-size sculptures. $15 admission or if you plan on attending The Armory Show as well, save $5 and purchase both day passes for $40.

Pier 66 Maritime, 26th Street & 12th Avenue in the Hudson River Park
March 3-6

Fountain’s sixth year is its biggest yet. “An alternative exhibition of avant-garde galleries and art collectives”, Fountain is featuring 20 art projects and 30 performance artists in a series of live action works in their unique space: an old maritime vessel. A particularly special installation is the 100 foot long street art installation stretching along the entrance and exit—a massive collaborative installation by a number of street artists. $10 Admission

Metropolitan Pavilion
125 W 18th Street
March 3-6

Pulse’s focus is on large-scale sculptures and installations, giving exhibitors space to present pieces too large for their booths and visibility to unrepresented artists. NYC’s Joshua Liner Gallery, as they have in the past, is featuring a piece by David Ellis, one of the founding Barnstormers, which is definitely worth a look. $20 admission.

Moving Image
Waterfront New York Tunnel
261 11th Avenue, between 27th and 28th streets

In its first year, Moving Image’s selection of international commercial galleries and non-profit institutions will present single-channel videos, video sculptures, and other larger video installations. Admission is free.

Verge Art Brooklyn
Multiple Locations throughout DUMBO, Brooklyn
March 3-6

Also in it’s first year, Verge’s mission is to showcase Brooklyn’s art community. Art and music at nine locations throughout DUMBO including gallery exhibitors, resident DUMBO galleries and Brooklyn Art Now participants are presented in two themes: 40 participants for “Material Issue: Artist’s Projects Spaces” and 50 artists for “Tomorrow Stars: The Art Brooklyn Open Call Exhibition”. Admission is free.

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