Ahead of the 2019 edition of The Armory Show, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, set for March 7th through March 10th, the show announced on January 31st that it had created a new prize called the Gramercy International Prize. Named for the original title and location of The Armory Show, the new annual prize marks the milestone anniversary and aims to support and promote young, trail-blazing New York galleries. The initiative will go to galleries who have yet to be represented at the show focusing on up and coming lights.
The prize for winners is quite enticing and honours the longstanding spirit of The Armory Show. Galleries honoured with the prize will receive a booth, at no cost, in the upcoming fair and a solo or dual-artist presentation, which will offer space for the gallery to obtain exposure and experiment in a fair setting without the heavy financial risks often involved in the fair circuit.
This year, The Armory Show’s jury selected Ramiken as the recipient of the inaugural Gramercy International Prize. The gallery will exhibit two artists with works by Darja Bajagić, which will include paintings created on printed and sewn canvases, and sculptural works from Andra Ursuţa’s series Vanilla Isis. Collectively, Bajagić and Ursuta’s works hinge on themes of extremism, sexuality, and politics, which both artists are known for and often incite controversy in today’s world.
This year, the jury charged with deciding on the first recipient of the Gramercy International Prize included: Stefano Basilico, Collector and Advisor; Clarissa Dalrymple, Independent Curator; Nicole Klagsbrun, Owner and Founder, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery; Andrea Rosen, Owner and Founder, Andrea Rosen Gallery; and Lisa Spellman, Owner and Founder, 303 Gallery.
In the press release for the prize, Nicole Berry, executive director of the show said:
‘The founders of The Armory Show—originally named the Gramercy International Art Fair—sought to provide an alternative platform for contemporary art through presentations by artists who challenged the status quo […] In the spirit of our founders, we are honored to offer this new prize to a gallery committed to showing a robust and experimental program of emerging talent in the hopes that they too may continue to push the boundaries of contemporary art practice.’
This year’s Armory Show will also highlight the legacies of two of its founders, Pat Hearn and Colin de Land with presentations by Andrea Fraser and Renée Green. The show will also boast talks with a number of art world leading lights including artist Betty Tompkins, Whitney Museum of American Art curator Elisabeth Sussman, and art critic Ben Davis among a number of other artists, writers, editors, curators, and art world professionals. A full list of Armory Live events is expected to be released later in February.