What to Expect at the 2018 Armory Show

Amory Show Installation Shot, 2017
Source: The Armory Show, Amory Show Installation Shot, 2017

New York City comes alive this week for the 2018 Armory Show. The show which started in 1994, brings together mover and shakers in the art world from every corner including galleries, artists, collectors, and art lovers alike. This is one of the largest contemporary art fairs held in the US, and the 2018 show is slated to be one of the most ambitious yet. Located on Piers 92 and 94 of the Hudson River, this year’s fair will take place from March 8-11th.

Who’s Attending?

The show boasts over 190 galleries from 30 countries; and will feature a range of works historical to contemporary works created by both established and emerging artists. Some newcomers to this year’s show include 80m2 Livia Benavides from Lima, BANK in Shanghai, Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong, and Yamamoto Gendai located in Tokyo among others. There will also be an additional 37 galleries taking part in the Armory Show for the first time.

 The Armory Show, LION, Nam June Paik
Source: The Armory Show, LION, Nam June Paik, 2005, mixed media installation. Gagoisan Gallery.

Who’s Generating Buzz?

Every year, there are always specific works that generate a buzz around them. One piece that will be of interest to art goers in 2018 will be a solo exhibition by the pioneering artist Nam June Paik. Paik, who came to fame in the 1960s, was a multimedia artist who is considered to be by many the father of video art. Paik’s exhibit will  include a never before seen the installation at the Gagosian booth and in turn will help to introduce his work to the next generation.

Source: The Armory Show, Untitled, Tara Donovan, 2018
Source: The Armory Show, Untitled, Tara Donovan, 2018. Bottle caps, installation detail.

Another piece that will also generate a lot of attention is an installation by Tara Donovan. Donovan, who is an NYC based artist, has come to be known for her large-scale installations that use everyday objects. Donovan’s latest commission for the fair Untitled, consists of tens of thousands of clear plastic tubes. Touching on larger issues of movement, perception, and transparency, this latest piece by Donovan is one of her most ambitious yet. The installation can be found in Pier 94 located in the Town Square section. Additionally, there will also be a solo exhibition of Donovan’s work located at Pace Gallery’s booth.

The Armory Show, JR Unframed
Source: The Armory Show, JR Unframed, An immigrant family views the Statue of Liberty from the Ellis Island Immigration Station dock revu par JR, courtesy of National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument, U.S.A, 2014

What’s Returning?

This is also the second iteration of the Platform Series put on by the Armory Show which commissions large-scale works and installations by emerging and established artist. This year’s edition is curated by Jen Mergel, Vice President of Programming for the Association of Art Museum Curators. The 2018 Armory Show Platform series tilted The Contingent, features fifteen sites specific pieces by a range of artist including Amalia Pica, Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley, Berndnaut Smilde, and Wilmer Wilson IV among others. It will also feature debut works by lmgreen & Dragset, Sir Richard Long, Mary Sibande, and Wang Xing. The various works will be scattered around the Pier 92 and 94 spaces. There will also be another large-scale installation by the artist JR which will use archival photos from Ellis Island as well as other materials to transform the exterior space of Pier 94.

What’s New?

The 2018 Armory Show will also feature the inaugural Curatorial Leadership Summit. The summit is chaired by Naomi Beckwith curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. According to the press release the day long summit “will convene top global curators for a daylong program that aims to foster innovation in the curatorial landscape.” The summit will consist of invited curators as well as artist and professor Coco Fusco and independent curator Olga Viso.

There will also be Armory Live, a series of talks happening throughout the four-day event. Some highlights will include: a panel talk on “The Future of the Gallery Model” featuring Evan C. Beard, Marianne Buboes, Owner and Founder, Marianne Boesky Gallery; Andrea Danese, Co-founder and CEO, Athena Art Finance; Marguerite Hoffman, Collector; Wendy Olsoff, Cofounder, P.P.O.W Gallery and moderated by James Tarmy, the Art Market Writer for Bloomberg happening on March 8; on March 9, Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries will be giving the keynote address for the fair on the topic of “exhibition making in the 21st century”; on March 10, pioneering feminist performance artist Carolee Schneemann will be in conversation with New School Professor Kenneth White among others.

Why Visit?

The Armory Show has continued to be one of the premier contemporary art fairs year after year and the 2018 edition is no different. Over the last two plus decades it has remained an epicenter of arts and culture and is continuing to push the contemporary art world into new and bold directions.

The Armory Show will take place Thursday, March -Saturday March 10th from 12-8pm. On Sunday, March 11 the fair will be open from 12–6pm. It is located at Pier 92 and 94 711 at 12th Ave at 55th Street.

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About the Author:

Anni Irish has been a contributing writer to several online publications including Boston based publication, The Dig, New York Arts Magazine, and ArteFuse among others. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.