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Even though New York City has some of the best museums, art galleries and cultural centres in the world, it’s now that time of the year when the artistic offer becomes even richer (for the rich, of course). Eight art fairs are taking place from March 8 to 11, each one with its own idiosyncrasy. Nevertheless, it’s The Armory Show that started it all, which is why it’s popularly called Armory Arts Week.

The currently huge event started in 1994, so we can expect an over-the-top celebration for its 25th anniversary next year. Nevertheless, it’s still 2018, and the present is what interests us now. With almost two hundred galleries from more than thirty countries worldwide, this year’s edition is something not to miss, especially because of its well-curated and extensive program and sections.

As always, the art world’s elite will be present at Piers 92 & 94. But we must highlight that some of them were absent in previous editions and are now coming back. Among them, massive galleries like Perrotin, Gagosian, and Regen Projects. Also, other established ones like Pearl Lam participate for the first time ever. There must be something in New York’s air… As for artists, big names (or brands, as you prefer) will also be there: Yayoi Kusama, JR, and Tara Donovan among others will have their works exhibited – and even commissioned installations. As well, key figures like Hermann Nitsch and Hans Ulrich Obrist will be there to participate in talks and conversations regarding the art world and the art market.

Actually, we’ll start our shortlist of recommendations with Hermann Nitsch’s talk on March 8 at 5 pm as part of Armory Live, a program of panels and talks between artists, curators, and other professionals related to the industry. The avant-garde and provocateur Austrian artist, who shook Europe’s (and the world’s) society in the 1960s together with Günter Brus and Otto Muehl, will have a conversation with writer Robert C. Morgan about his radical five-decade career. Also, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpetine Galleries (London) and art maverick, will give a keynote on Friday 9 at 3 pm about exhibition making in the 21st century.

But let’s get to our favourite part: the visual one. The main, core section is Galleries, and as abovementioned, major ones are participating. Among those we’re more excited to see, there is the never-before-seen installation of the late Nam June Paik at Gagosian Gallery. In Presents, the place where twenty six young galleries – less than ten years old – will showcase their emerging potential, is hosting the likes of Whatiftheworld Gallery exhibiting South African photographer Athi-Patra Ruga and Vigo Gallery presenting multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams.

Focus, curated by Gabriel Ritter, examines the impact of technology in the representation and mediation of bodies in contemporary art. There are several proposals that look exciting, but the most remarkable one, is the solo presentation of Tabita Rezaire at Goodman Gallery. Nevertheless, we must also include Rafale Lozano-Hemmer’s body of work exploring hyper-surveillance with Madrid-based gallery Max Estrella, as well as Tony Oursler’s work questioning technology’s capacity of reanimating the past, presented by Redling Fine Art.

To finish, the very spectacular installations and large-scale artworks commissioned for public spaces at Piers 92 and 94 as part of the second edition of Platform will include pieces by pink lover Chinese artist Wang Xin, South African female activist Mary Sibande, and irreverent/iconoclast JR. 
The Armory Show will take place from March 8 to 11 at Piers 92 & 94, 711 12th Avenue at 55th Street, New York City.

Arnau Salvadó
Teddy Wolff | Courtesy of The Armory Show

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