On Monday, The Armory Show released the list of exhibitors for its 25th anniversary show that will take place between the 7th and 10th of March 2019, with a VIP Preview day on the 6th. In total, 33 countries will be represented by 194 galleries. 59 of these will be first-time exhibitors, including A Gentil Carioca, Selma Feriani Gallery, Stephen Friedman Gallery, and ShanghART Gallery. As usual, The Armory Show, which has partnered with Athena Art Finance, will inhabit Manhattan’s Piers 92 and 94 for the international art smorgasbord.
The Armory Show is touted as NYC’s premier art fair showcasing only the world’s most important 20th– and 21st-century artworks and artists. To mark the anniversary of the show, several participants from early edition of the show have been welcomed back, including 303 Gallery, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Galerie Krinzinger, and Zeno X Gallery.
In a press release by The Armory Show, Executive Director Nicole Berry said they ‘are thrilled to celebrate this milestone anniversary with so many exemplary galleries returning to the fair, and an exciting and diverse selection of first-time exhibitors that reflect our increasingly international reach.’
If The Armory Show’s name rings a bell from History of Art intro classes, you’re right on the nose, but there’s a bit more to it.
In 1994, New York art dealers Colin de Land, Pat Hearn, Matthew Marks, and Paul Morris organized an international art fair with an unusual location: the top three floors of the swanky Gramercy Park Hotel. At their invitation, dealers and artists from the US and abroad flocked to the hotel marking the inaugural Gramercy International Art Fair and the first ‘hotel-fair.’
British-born artist Tracey Emin’s account of the 1994 experience wraps up the buzz of the show remembering, ‘It was 1994 and my first time in New York. I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep on the flight over, and upon arriving in New York I stayed up partying all night. Jay Jopling had taken two rooms at the Gramercy. One of the rooms, which displayed my work, doubled up as my bedroom.’ The show attracted thousands.
The growing success of the Gramercy International Art Fair required the show to move out of its hotel location in 1999. The fair moved to a larger location at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue. In honour of the new location, the fair changed its name to ‘The Armory Show’ paying homage to the Regiment’s renowned 1913 exhibition by the same name that showcased avant-garde works that revolutionised the art scene.
After two more expansions, The Armory Show landed in its current Pier 92 and 94 setting in 2001.
‘The Armory Show’s origins at the Gramercy Park Hotel are a beloved and important part of New York City’s cultural heritage, and the fair has since become a nexus for the international art world,’ says Berry. ‘As we continue to evolve—engaging more deeply with curators, special artist projects, and thought-provoking programs—we strive to honor the fair’s legacy and look towards its future as New York’s preeminent art fair.’
A full list of The Armory Show’s 2019 lineup can be found here.