The Armory Show 2015 Modern Section
By YELENA FURMAN, MAR. 2015
The 17th edition of the Armory Show, New York’s premier art fair, was held March 5-8 on the Hudson River Piers. The unusually cold weather did not deter crowds of quality collectors. The exhibitors strut their best artworks in both the Contemporary section on Pier 94 and the Modern above on Pier 92. This Armory, the special international Focus MENAM (Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean) and Special Projects made for a cohesive and visually inspiring exhibition throughout the fair. Privileged to work alongside the gallerists, curators and artists in the Modern Section, I was able to get their perspective on participating in Armory 2015 by asking one question: “How has this fair experience been for you?
Michelle Wong, the Associate Director at the Grey Art Gallery and co-curator of the special project inspired by the Armory Focus MENAM, which presented works by Parviz Tanavoli from the NYU Art Collection.
“This is our first fair and it was really great. We had a lot of people very interested, that didn’t even realize that NYU had a fine arts museum and a collection like this. We had a ton of traffic and its really wonderful. Everyone is so interested in the collection and everyone here has been so awesome - we wish we could do this every year!
We sold five prints, the artist donated ten with the proceeds to go to the Grey Art Gallery. We have three or four possible purchases, there is interest and they will let us know in the next day or so.”
Timothy Hill, Director, Hill Gallery (Birmingham, Michigan)
“This fair brings out some of the most interesting comments by collectors that are serious about art. I’m impressed by the amount of knowledge and experience people have with looking at work here. That’s one of the reasons we love doing the fair. Every year it works out and people come in that are really serious about looking at art so it’s nice.”
Andrew Kalman, Crane Kalman Gallery (London)
“I can’t wait to come back in 2016, I love New York, I love Armory 2015, love the organizers; treated so well and we did some business too so we are flying back to London with a grin on our faces.”
Thiago Gomide, Director, Galeria Bergamin (São Paulo, Brazil)
“It was great, we had a great time and we meet some great people, some good collectors, we made very good business so we are happy. Next year we will be here again.”
Andrew Edlin, Andrew Edlin Gallery (New York)
“I think we had a great crowd, a lot of very interesting reactions, people coming into our booth seem to feel it was refreshing seeing a lot of self taught outsider artists and they seemed very well informed about it too. We had a very good fair and plan to come back next year.”
Paul Geerlings, Gallery Assistant, Leslie Smith Gallery (Amsterdam)
“We are here from Amsterdam, it is our first time showing at the Armory Show Modern section. We are quite happy to be here, I was excited to come in the first place and think the turnout was really good. We made some interesting new relations, and had a great show at the end of the day. What I found really interesting about this show is the staff and organization is really friendly and approachable.”
Karen Marks, Director, Howard Greenberg Gallery (New York)
“We felt very important being the only photography booth on this Pier. Also, I think that a lot of people are very happy to see us up here.”
James Barron, James Barron Art (Kent/Rome)
“We did really well, and the Armory fair is getting better and better. The physical plant is much better then it was years ago. The fair was a bit in danger about 4 -5 years ago and it has become pertinent again. In particular, I think the Armory Show Modern has become very important because of quality, it has become more selective and harder to get into the fair. People are taking bigger booths, the trend is, everyone is going to take a bigger booth and it will become even more selective and it will be an even better experience for collectors. Collectors feel swamped with all the choices, so the Armory refining their selection is extremely important. I must say the 12-foot walls make a huge difference. When they are 10 feet it looks slightly cheap and you were restricted in what you could exhibit and even if its just small works it fits on the wall better and it looks better.”
Carlo Massoud, Lebanese designer, launched the limited edition Arab Dolls: Maya, Zeina, Racha and Yara, as part of a special project for Armory Modern, presented by Carwan Gallery (Beirut).
“Armory was one of the best surprises of my life so far. I am very happy to be part of this event and especially in this booth next to all the Fontana’s and Picasso’s. I’m very glad to be here, it was a lot of fun working with everyone.”
Leon Tovar, Leon Tovar Gallery (New York)
“I think it was actually very important for us. We have new clients, new people, we are super happy. We saw a lot of new people, even against this weather. I was really happy with the Modern section and the quality of the art fair.” WM
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Yelena Furman is an art consultant and dealer in New York City.