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This week, we’ve compiled an easy to use 2012 New York art fair reference guide. They’re all here with limited commentary but we’ve graded them out of a possible five stars based on past experiences and buzz.

It’s not possible to do them all but there’s something for everyone this weekend.

A special thanks to Hyperallergic intern Don Edler for helping to compile this list, which is ordered alphabetically.

     = Must See
    = Worth the trip
   = Good chance you’ll enjoy this
  = If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by
 = If you happen to be in the building for another purpose than maybe you should see it

A view of this year’s Armory Fair.

   ADAA Art Show

When: Mar 7-10, 2011 / Wed–Sat: Noon-8PM; Sun: Noon-6PM
Where: Park Avenue Armory, Park Ave. at 67, Midtown, Manhattan ($20 admission)

Focused on Modern and pre-modern work, this is a long-running fair, everything is expensive, even by art fair standards.

     The Armory Show

When: Mar 8 – 11 / Thur-Sat: Noon-8PM; Sun: Noon-7PM
Where: Twelfth Avenue at 55th Street, Pier 92 & 94, West Side, Manhattan ($15 – $30)

The Big Show. Packed full of blue chip galleries and lots of nonprofit spaces. Admission is reasonably priced as far as head-lining art fairs go. This year’s special section is devoted to Scandinavian art and it’s definitely a highlight.

   The Dependent

When: Saturday March 10, Noon – 8 PM
Where: Comfort Inn, 136 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan (FREE)

Twenty-two galleries will be exhibiting in pop-up spaces throughout the Comfort Inn hotel, be prepared for lines and crowded spaces.

   Fountain

When: March 9: 7-11 PM; March 10 – 11: 1 – 7PM
Where: Armory, 68 Lexington at 25th Street, Midtown, Manhattan ($10 admission)

A wide range of tastes collide at this art fair that has moved into a more traditional venue, this show promises large installations and wall pieces.

    The Independent

When: March 8-11 / Thur: 4-9PM; Fri. & Sat: 11AM-8PM / Sun: 11AM-4PM
Where: 548 W 22nd Street, Chelsea, Manhattan (FREE)

A favorite for many from last year’s Armory week, this “alternative” art fair features several younger, braver galleries and artists.

  Korean

When: Opening 3/7 6-9 PM / March 8 – 11: Thur, Fri & Sat: 11AM – 8PM; Sun: 11AM– 6PM
Where: 82 Mercer Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan (FREE)

Fifteen contemporary Korean galleries

     Moving Image

When: Opening 3/8 6-8 PM / Thur.- Sat: 11AM-8PM; Sun: 11AM– 4PM
Where: 269 Eleventh Ave. at 27-28 Street, Chelsea, Manhattan (FREE)

Focused on moving image work, single and multi channel video, installation and video sculpture. Last year’s installation was great and this year’s should be similar.

   New City

When: March 7-11 / Wed: 11AM-6PM / Thur. 11AM-9PM / Fri – Sat: 11AM-7PM / Sun: 11AM– 5PM
Where: HPGRP, 529 W 20th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan (FREE)

Japanese Contemporary Art: 11 galleries from Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto

  Pool

When: March 9 – 10 / Friday – Sunday: 3PM to 10 PM
Where: Flatiron Hotel, 9 W 26 Street, Chelsea, Manhattan (Suggested donation)

Focusing on unrepresented artist, this show is trying to offer another type of art fair where you can buy work directly from the artists.

  Salon Zurcher

When: Opening Monday March 5 from 5-8PM; March 6-11 / Tues-Sat:11-8 PM; Sunday: 11-5 PM
Where: 33 Bleecker Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan (FREE)

Featuring seven solo shows by seven female artists from seven galleries, these solo-show fairs tend to draw your attention and keep it.

  Scope

When: Mar 8 – 11 / Thur – Sat: 11AM – 8PM Sun: Noon – 7PM
Where: Twelfth Avenue at 57th Street, West Side, Manhattan ($15 – $20)

Scope has a global presence and seems to be getting bigger each year.

  Spring Break

When: March 8 – 11 / Thurs – Sat: Noon – 9 PM; Sun: Noon – 6 PM
Where: 233 Mott Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan ($5 admission)

Set in an old school house, this show will feature pop-up spaces curated by 23 NYC-based curators.

  Theorize NY

When: March 8-11 / Thursday: 5-10PM; Fri-Sun: Noon – 10 PM
Where: Wyndham Garden Inn, 37 W 24the Street, Chelsea, Manhattan (FREE)

Another hotel show, this one is run by artists, again, expect lines and crowds

   Volta

When: March 8-11 / Thursday 2-7PM; Friday– Sunday: 11AM – 7PM
Where: 7 W 34th Street at Fifth Ave, Chelsea, Manhattan ($10 or $15)

Focused on Solo Projects, Volta has had a strong presence in the past

*   *   *

Prepared with Don Edler
Top image via

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.