Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Armory Week | The Armory Show: the Business of Art

The 2013 Armory Show just opened a few hours in its most recent usual location at Pier 92 and Pier 94.
The Armory show  was founded in 1994 by the late art dealers Colin de Land, Pat Hearn together with Matthew Marks and Paul Morris as the Gramercy International Art Fair, (from its initial location in the Gramercy Park Hotel). The art fair in 1999 moved to the 69th Regiment Armory, from where it took its current name The art fair intent was to bring together worldwide galleries and the name was also an homage to the 1913 exhibition of the same name that also took place in this building, presenting works by avant-garde European artists together with Americans. counterparts. Many different art genres were brought together including legendary names as Vincent van Gogh, Marcel Duchamp and Edward Hopper.
The 2013 Armory Show press conference included Mayor Bloomberg who focused on the economy of the Armory week in term of related revenues brought citywide by this major art event. The mayor delivered statistics about the NYC art world in terms of commercial values. Not surprisingly there was no mention about art as expression of human creativity and the mayor ended his presentation with " A lot of fun and great for the economy"
Only three question were taken at the end of press release, and fortunately I was not able to ask mine. Here it goes:
  • Could you please explain the relationship, if any, between business related art events, such as the Armory Week, and public art? 
  • And how do these events, have an impact in the city communities which are not part of the art world - thinking of art events such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude 1995 "gates" which were a great examples of art in the city public spaces, seen and enjoyable by everybody, outside the galleries, museums or fairs' white boxes.
  • Are the revenues from the Armory Week having an effect on public art development?
Mayor Bloomberg at the Press Conference

The fair’s section "Armory  Focus: USA" curated by Eric Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh,was quite predictable. Disappointing and predictable The commissioned project by Liz Magic Laser, was also predictable and disappointing as execution.