Art fairs can often feel like animated GIFs, their endlessly cycling patterns of repeating graphics occasionally catching viewers’ eyes, but always eventually numbing their minds. This year’s Armory Week in New York City has some slight variations from 2016 — the disappearance of Pulse, NADA joining the ranks — but in many ways it’s business as usual for the art market. In light of that repetitiousness, we’re going to do our best to convey as much as we can about this week’s fairs through animated GIFs.
As you hustle around town, don’t forget to stay hydrated and follow Hyperallergic on Instagram for pics from the fairs all week.
ADAA Art Show
When: March 1–5 / Wednesday–Friday: noon–8pm; Saturday: noon–7pm; Sunday: noon–5pm ($25)
Where: Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan)
The Art Show isn’t the place to go to see risky, sink-or-swim experimental works, it’s where you can catch showpieces by modern masters and thoroughly vetted living artists before they disappear into private collections or turn up in museums. Dress to impress — and act accordingly.
When: March 2–5 / Thursday, Friday: noon–8pm; Saturday: noon–7pm; Sunday: noon–6pm ($47)
Where: Piers 92 & 94 (Twelfth Avenue at West 55th Street, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)
The week’s largest fair, with 207 exhibitors split up into five categories — including the new “Platform” section for really big art — the Armory Show is switching things up a bit this year. There will be less of a clear distinction between its modern and contemporary sections, and the regional focus sector is gone; in other words, everything will bleed together more seamlessly. Yay?
Art on Paper
When: March 3–5 / Friday, Saturday: 11am–7pm; Sunday: noon–6pm ($25)
Where: Pier 36 (299 South Street at Clinton Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
In addition to its 84 participating galleries showcasing drawings, prints, and sculptures crafted from paper and pulp, this year’s Art on Paper boasts a pair of site-specific installations simulating domestic spaces made entirely from paper (by Pablo Lehmann and Timothy Paul Myers with Andrew Barnes), and another replicating the night sky above (by Valerie Hammond). In other words, it will be a bit like exploring a world made entirely of paper.
Clio Art Fair
When: March 3–5 / Friday, Saturday: 10am–8pm; Sunday: noon–6pm (free)
Where: 508 West 26th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan
A self-styled “anti-fair,” the Clio Art Fair returns to Chelsea this year with an as-yet unknown number of participating artists showcasing their work.
When: March 3–5 / Friday, Saturday: noon–7pm; Sunday: noon–6pm ($25)
Where: Spring Studios (50 Varick Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)
Falling somewhere between NADA and the Armory Show on the hip-to-safe spectrum, Independent has a tendency to feature a mix of known quantities and pleasant surprises. This year’s slate of 52 exhibitors, most hailing from New York, promises to maintain the fair’s aura of classy eccentricity.
When: February 27–March 2 / Monday–Wednesday 11am–8pm; Thursday: 11am–4pm (free)
Where: Waterfront New York Tunnel (269 Eleventh Avenue, Chelsea, Manhattan)
Moving Image is usually the calmest of Armory Week’s top-tier fairs, where you can go sit and spend time with some excellent video art. However, among this year’s nearly 30 featured works are six virtual reality projects and four augmented reality works, so the user experience won’t be quite as sedentary as in years past (this is a good thing).
When: March 2–5 / Thursday: 4–8pm; Friday, Saturday: 11am–7pm; Sunday: 11am–5pm ($20)
Where: Skylight Clarkson North (572 Washington Street, Soho, Manhattan)
The perennial cool kids fair has moved up from its usual slot during Frieze Week in May to join Armory Week. In addition to its 100 exhibitors, NADA New York boasts a series of talks organized by Kickstarter and a special program on drag performances.
When: February 27–March 5 / Monday: 6–8pm; Tuesday–Saturday: noon–8pm; Sunday: noon–7pm (free)
Where: Zürcher Gallery (33 Bleecker Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)
The lineup for this month’s Salon Zürcher — an endearing satellite fair that pops up every March and May in Zürcher Gallery on the Lower East Side — features an eclectic selection of six galleries (four from Europe, one from China, and one from Provincetown, Massachusetts), including, most intriguingly, one from Oslo called Demon’s Mouth.
When: March 3–5 / Friday, Saturday: 11am–8pm; Sunday: 11am–7pm ($25)
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)
I’d never choose to set foot in Scope, but there’s something comforting about the fact that it’s there every year — this time with 69 exhibitors — showing its reliable mix of “edgy” street art, heavy-handed, selfie-baiting sculpture, tacky photorealist painting, and other syrupy wonders.
When: March 1–6 / Wednesday–Monday: 11am–6pm ($15)
Where: 4 Times Square (entrance on 43rd Street, Midtown, Manhattan)
We don’t normally play favorites, but Spring/Break is our favorite Armory Week fair, which is why we feel comfortable expressing our concern that it might lose some of its charm in the move from the endearingly dilapidated Farley Post Office to the sleeker surroundings of a Times Square office tower. That said, if any art fair is going to make Times Square freaky again, this is the one.
When: March 1–5 / Wednesday: 7–10pm; Thursday–Saturday: noon–8pm; Sunday: noon–5pm ($25)
Where: Pier 90 (West 50th Street at Twelfth Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan)
Those looking to see a lot of art without their eyes dropping out should visit Volta, which this year (its 10th) boasts 96 exhibitors, but restricts participants to solo or two-artist booths. Another attraction is the special exhibition, curated by critic Wendy Vogel, of artists dealing with body image and identity politics. It’s not a total escape from the optical overload of fair week, but it’s a start.