Armory Week 2019

From annual shows to highly-anticipated exhibitions, this year's Armory Week promises to be nothing short of beautiful -- and busy. With so much happening all over the city, we consulted our network of art industry insiders for their  recommendations. Read up on what they're looking forward to, and what you don't want to miss. 

Blair Clarke
Founder, Voltz Clarke Gallery

The Armory Show is the staple of the art fairs during the first week of March. My friend Eliza Osborne is the new deputy director for this 25th-anniversary edition of the fair and I’m really looking forward to her influence! My top three for Armory week are: 

1. Public Art Fund’s private viewing of Mark Manders: Tilted Head

I always look forward to Public Art Fund’s commissions and this year’s sculpture is the Dutch-born artist’s largest single cast bronze work to date. Even though the sculptures are metal based, they take on the look of dry clay with their earthy palettes and cracking texture. Our clients and colleague are closely linked with Public Art Fund and it’s just a dash from home and the gallery to the Doris C. Freedman Plaza.

Mark Manders: Tilted Head in progress

2. Jean-Michel Basquiat solo exhibition presented by The Brant Foundation celebrating the inauguration of its new space in the East Village.
It’s always a treat to see original work by Basquiat and the exhibition will show a retrospective of work form the Brant Collection, international museums, and private collections. We are so happy to have a New York location for the Brant Foundation and this opening is the perfect welcoming party.

3. Marianne Boesky Gallery at The Armory - Booth 900
Of course all of the exhibitors selected for the fair have a great variety of work planned, but Marianne Boesky Gallery is at the top of my list. One of the artists they will be presenting is Mattias Bitzer who paints contemporary portraiture, which catches my eye these days as Voltz Clarke just introduced Jeff Chester to our roster doing a twist on the traditional portrait as well. Jeff will be having a show at the gallery during Armory week on March 7th alongside longtime gallery artist Joshua Avery Webster. The show Voltz Clarke is a colorful mix of portraits and abstracts, which Bitzer seems to speak to on a much more muted tone.

Matthias Bitzer, Three, 2018

Linda Mateljan
Creative Director, Ikon Arts Foundation

One of my favorite, and most hectic, weeks of the year in NYC is Armory Week. While the main fair at Piers 92 & 94, offers an incredible visual feast I also love visiting the surrounding galleries for some additional diversity and vibrancy. My picks for Armory Week, 2019:

1. Angela Heisch, TrapezeDavidson Gallery
I first viewed Angela Heisch’s work at Juxtapoz Projects in 2018. Predominately painting in oils on muslin, her work is grounded in abstraction while also incorporating nuances of architectural and anthropomorphic forms. These colors and shapes create both balance and tension and convey a playfulness that, to me, seems to refer to the aesthetics of a 1970s interior.

2. Candida Hofer, In Mexico, Sean Kelly Gallery
Having just returned from ZonaMaco in Mexico City, this show resonates with me. Candida Hofer is known for her large-scale and highly detailed color images of architectural interiors. She captures public spaces that are devoid of human presence, making the viewer hyper-aware of the psychological impact of architecture and architectural forms that often go consciously unnoticed. In the show, she includes a diverse group of buildings from the extravagant Museo Nacional del Virreinato to the Neoclassical order of Palacio de Bellas Artes Ciudad de México, with its Art Nouveau and Art Deco interiors. Truly spectacular. 

Candida Hofer, Hospicio Cabañas Guadalajara III, 2015

3. Hilma af Klint, Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the FutureGuggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim on 5th Ave is the perfect space to show the work of Hilma af Klimt, who envisioned her work on display in a temple. Her paintings blend blossoms-like forms with weaving spirals and swirling lines of hidden text, that elevate abstraction with a spiritual quality. This show is a must-see. The most comprehensive collection of her work ever shown is it both a ‘reveal’ and retrospective.

Hilma af Klint, Guggenheim Museum

4.  Erik Madigan Heck at Staley-Wise Gallery
For those who are still in town just after the fair, Staley-Wise Gallery is showing one of my favorite photographers - Erik Madigan Heck. He elevates fashion photography to fine art. With bold colors, shapes, and juxtapositions, his work is elegant, striking, and imbued with emotion. The show opens on March 14th. 

Christa Carr 
Communications Director, The Glass House

I look forward to the Armory show as this is “la rentrée” moment for the art fair circuit to begin, signaling that spring is around the corner and NYC is buzzing with new art shows and performances. This is a great time for me to connect with friends visiting NYC from abroad and experience exciting shows together.

1. The Noguchi Museum: Akari: Sculpture by Other Means 
This is going to be a beautiful installation. Inspired by the lanterns that illuminated night fishing on the Nagara River, Noguchi worked with local firm Ozeki & Co. to combine the elements of the traditional paper lantern with electricity. He designed a dizzying array of new forms—creating contemporary art by marrying ancient craft with new technology.

2. Brooklyn Museum Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Devoted to the iconic painter and the first in the United States to display a collection of her clothing and other personal possessions. This is a not to be missed exhibition that is sure to be inspiring.

Nickolas Muray, Frida on Bench, 1939

3. A Feast of Cunningham- 92Y.
Celebrating its 25th season, the 92Y Harkness Dance Festival honors the Centenary of Merce Cunningham. The festival’s opening weekend features dances by the master, himself: Includes many performances including Jonah Bokaer Choreography who performed for the opening of the Glass House in 2007 and again at the Glass House Summer Party in 2017. The festival runs from March 1-30, 2019.

4. Lucio Fontana: Spatial Environment (1968) 

El Museo del Barrio presents a fun and immersive installation by artist Lucio Fontana’s 1968 Spatial Environment [Ambiente Spaziale]. Conceived in relation to the artist’s innovative Spatialism movement, starting from 1949. El Museo follows the exact specifications of the artist’s final work in the series, originally conceived and presented at documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany shortly before Fontana’s death. The installation coincides with the exhibition at The Met Breuer Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold (on view January 23 through April 14, 2019)

Chelsea Petronko & Rachel Cole
Co-Founders, Vernissage

A few highlights at The Armory Show that we are looking forward to seeing are...

1. Robin F. Williams, Fighters (Study), 2018 

Robin F. Williams utilizes a variety of techniques, including oil, airbrush, and the staining of raw canvas, to create lush, deeply textured paintings. Fighters 2018, a pastel work on paper depicts two androgynous cisgender women interlocked in a dispassionate, violent struggle. Updating the Cain and Abel narrative for the 21st Century, this work uses twin figures to illustrate the psychology of aggravation and conflict. With three solo exhibitions at P.P.O.W, Williams has garnered critical recognition for her contribution to figurative and feminist painting, noting the complexity of her compositions, masterfully varied techniques and the psychological depth of her narratives.

2. Louise Bonnet, Untitled, 2018
Geneva-born and LA-based Louise Bonnet explores melancholy, nostalgia, and displacement in her of cartoon-like, meticulously-rendered portraits. Exaggerated proportions and incongruous scale amplifies her depiction of emotions, increasing their intensity and complexity in their absurdity. There’s a waxy, balloon-like feel to Bonnet's surrealist universe; it’s a place where people drip, melt, rise, fall, swell and stretch. Though not exclusively, Bonnet often opts to obscure the eyes of much of the figures in her works and does so in a variety of ways. Sport headbands, bowl-cut hairdos, fringe, even strange condom-like hats are all used, alone or in tandem, to cloak the eyes and leave her protagonists blind. Or so it may seem. The artists herself has said that she ‘finds eyes tricky because they soak up all the attention as the brain tries to read the face’. This given becomes clear that it is not the characters in her work that Bonnet wishes to blind but us the viewer, Bonnet is directly cutting off our ability to read these figures, stopping dead the possibility of knowing something about them and their psychological states. A testament to her new-found acclaim and growing international reach, Bonnet’s major painting, Cyclops, 2018 was recently acquired by LACMA.

3. Jim Campbell, Eroding Plane, 2016
Jim Campbell is featured in the current exhibition at the Whitney Museum, “Programmed: Rules, Codes and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018”. Like Rath, Campbell’s work is included in many prominent public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many others. In 2017, Campbell completed a permanent, 130-foot tall LED installation at the crown of the sixty-two story Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

4. Nicolas Party, Double Portrait, 2019 
Nicolas Party was born in Switzerland, and lives and works in Brussels and New York. 

Nicolas Party, Double Portrait 

Show Schedule

The Armory Show
March 7-10
Piers 92 and 94, 12th Avenue at 55th Street The Armory Show is New York’s premier art fair and the center of Armory Week. The fair features 20th- and 21st-century artworks as well as presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions and public programs. Buy tickets here.

Art on Paper
March 7-10 
Pier 36, South Street
Art on Paper's focus is on contemporary art in which the use of paper—either as surface or material—is the main focus. Art on Paper returns to Pier 36 with 80 galleries featuring top modern and contemporary paper-based art. The fair's medium-driven focus lends itself to significant projects and unique moments, having become an important destination for the arts in New York City. Buy tickets here.

NADA New York Gallery Open
March 4-10
The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) New York Gallery Open is a new initiative to bring visitors, collectors, curators, and critics into over 50 art galleries, non-profits and alternative spaces around New York City throughout the week. Learn more here.

Scope New York
March 7-10
125 W 18th St, Metropolitan Pavilion
SCOPE’s New York edition brings a focus on international emerging contemporary art and multi-disciplinary creative programming to the fair. Buy tickets 

The ADAA Art Show
February 27-March 3
643 Park Ave, Park Avenue Armory  
Organized annually by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), The Art Show offers collectors and interested buyers the opportunity to engage with thoughtfully curated exhibitions in an environment that encourages active conversation with the gallerists and artists. Buy tickets 

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