The Armory Show 2012

The Armory Show 2012 20

The Armory Show
Piers 92 & 94, New York City
March 8 – 11

In little over a half-year, March 8 -11, 2012, to be precise, one of the most influential contemporary art fairs in the USA will be held in New York City – The Armory Show.

The Armory Show celebrated its debut in 1994. At the time, it was called the Gramercy International Art Fair, and from its very beginnings it has concentrated on the manifestations of art in the 20th and 21st centuries. Every year at Manhattan's event venue, Piers 92 & 94, the Armory Show brings together more than 200 contemporary and modern art galleries, not only from the New World, but from Europe and Asia as well. Art experts, specialists and passionate collectors are invited to check out the latest trends in the art world and to get up close to the masterworks themselves. The structure of events at The Armory Show is made up of two concurrent thematic sections – Contemporary Art and Modern Art. Pier 92 will host the The Armory Show – Modern, where well-known galleries that concentrate on the movement of modern art in the world market will show, whereas Pier 94 will continue its own tradition of being the annual platform for new and lesser-known artists and their recent creations in the context of contemporary art. 

The Center of Attention for Armory Focus – Scandinavia

In 2012, the Armory Show will change course and head to the northern end of Europe, plundering the art-rich waters of the various regions of Scandinavia. The art fair's VIP section, Armory Focus, will be held at Pier 94, and will this year feature art from the Nordic countries, which promises to be a thrilling tale. Galleries visible at Armory Focus will represent Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. For the first time in the three-year-history of Armory Focus, organizational duties will be in the hands of a guest-curator, Jacob Fabricius, the director of the Malmo Art-hall (Malmö Konsthall) in Sweden.

Katelijne De Backer, the executive director of The Armory Show, notably emphasizes the churning creative energy in the Northern regions' artistic community. The widely-populated web of Scandinavian art experts, artists, curators, collectors and museum and gallery representatives in both the Scandinavian and global art scenes indicates their relevant importance in world-wide art events. It stands to mention that this year's chosen region of Armory Focus is home to such valued art specialists as Olafur Eliasson (Denmark/Iceland), Eija-Liisa Ahitla (Finland), Ragnar Kjartansson (Iceland; represented his country at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009) and Guido van der Werve (The Netherlands), who, with their vital presence, have become part of New York's art scene as well.

Armory Focus was established in 2010 as a complimentary part of the main festival to ensure that every event would be unique. In 2010, Berlin's art galleries and their collections of German-made art were at the center of attention. This last spring, Latin America, and the initiatives of its leading regional galleries, were put on center stage.

Theaster Gates. Low Backs (Brown and Black). 2010
Photo: Young Sun Han

Commisioned Artist for 2012

Theaster Gates (1973), who lives and works in Chicago, has been chosen to be the commissioned artist for The Armory Show 2012. Inspiration for the fair's visual identity will be sourced from the aesthetics of Gates' art. The politically active works of Gates – artist and city planner – are a reflection on the history of Chicago. The tradition to select an annual commission began in 2002.

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