armory-weekNew York – March 6th – March 9th, 2014

Once again the week has arrived where the titans of the art world (global art world) flock to NYC for Armory Week to take in the art work and show off the art wares.  Parties, social climbing, art writers, buyers, dealers, artists, and gallery inbetweens swap stories and mingle in converted warehouses, armory’s, post offices, and climate controlled piers along the Hudson river.

The week takes it’s name from the Armory Show, which is the grandaddy of all of the week’s fairs, but any seasoned art traveler will now that the Armory is just the tip of the art fair iceberg.  Satellite fairs pop-up and take orbit, each with it’s own respective gravity and collector base, trying to pull the titans toward them, and each year the satellites either get larger, or fizzle out.

We all know that in NYC, time is money.  Rather than spend a lot of both shuttling yourself around town without any direction as to which fairs  (and social affairs ) might appeal to you, we at have created this handy guide to NYC Armory Week.

Listed in descending order from Most to Least expensive:


THE ARMORY SHOW:  March 6th – 9th 

General Admission: $40  |   Students – $20  |  Armory / VoltaNY Dual Pass: $50

Wednesday March 5, 5pm – Midnight @ MoMA | The Armory Party $175 – $10,000 Tickets
Thursday March 6, 12pm – 7pm
Friday – March 7, 12pm – 7pm
Saturday – March 8, 12pm – 7pm
Sunday – March 9, 12pm – 7pm

Featuring: 200+ Of The largest art galleries in the world showcasing their artist’s most sellable work, the worlds top collectors, art writers, etc.  Art wise you will see: Lots of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Neon, Random Artists In Costume, Collage, Interactive Art, New Media, Photography, Performance art, etc..

Celebrities / Celebrity Artists I’ve Personally Spotted Here: Peter Max

Unofficial Art Patriarch: Kenny Scharf & Damien Hirst.
Notable Artists / Gallerists Associated With This Show:  Damien Hirst, Barry McGee, Kenny Scharf, Tracey Emin, John Wesley, Jenny Holtzer, Olaf Breuning, Yayoi Kusama, Julian Opie. Nancy Chunn, Marina Abrovonich, Kehinde Wiley, Retna, Ryan McGuinness, Nick Cave, Chuck Close, Gagosian, Chitra Ganesh, David Kramer , Kim Jones, Pierogi, Warhol, Basquait, etc.

Coolest thing I’ve seen here: The variety of Blue Chip and Museum Artists’ work in one place.
Possibility of Live Nudity: Not Good

Ever Seen Live Performance or Live Art at The Armory Show? Yes, I’ve seen a Marina Abrovonich performance, although it was with an actor not Marina.  Live drawing by Ai Kowada Gallery’s Fukuhara.  Also weird performance artists doing their thing in the crowd.

The Scoop on The Armory Show From An Artiholic:
This is the one show all the satellite shows revolve around.  It has anywhere from 200 – 300 international galleries represented in a given year, and is a lot to take in, and a lot of walking.  Make sure to wear your comfy shoes and prepare to see a lot of neon, glitter, and museum quality presentations.  The sculptures are as polished and pristine as it is possible to make them, the wall paint is flawless.  If you go to as many of the art fairs as I do will start to feel like you walking through a brand new IKEA after a while (the scale of the two piers are enormous) .  If while you are seeing world class art in this familiar Big Box Store format your eyes  become blurred and the work starts to become indistinguishable from Norwegian furniture, take a seat in their cushy bar areas and get a drink.  You don’t need to push your eyes that far, the brain can only accept so much eye candy before it goes into shock.

For the price of admission you get access to both the Modern show, and the contemporary (each with it’s own pier), so you can see work from older masters, as well as the masters that are still alive and working today (based on which pier you are checking out).

Positives: Buying the Armory / Volta NY combo ticket for $50 is the best deal in town.  There is a shuttle bus between the two venues, and you get to experience the opposite worlds of the big box store IKEA experience of the Armory, along with the intimacy of Volta NY. You will be seeing the best most sought after artists in the world hanging in a show that is only up for an extended weekend, buying frenzy is a thing to behold.

Negatives: The size and scope of this show can be daunting and overwhelming to a beginner, just start at one side and work your way through it to the other side, move to the next row and do it again.  Think of it like a giant supermarket, but instead of cereal and canned goods, you are looking at artwork worth 10’s to 100’s of thousands of dollars by artists you have seen at The Whitney and The Met.  You will not see these galleries taking to many risks. At SCOPE, The Unfair, and Fountain artists aren’t paying the insane per-square-foot rates as at The Armory so they can go edgier.  This show is squeaky clean – most booths on a factory produced precision.  If you prefer to see a little of the artist’s hand (blood, sweat, and tears) mixed into the paint, you might want to check out some of those other fairs.

Location: Piers 92 & 94:  711 12th Ave New York, NY (@55th Street & the West Side Highway)

View Our Armory Show Photos From Previous Years



SCOPE ART FAIR:  March 6th – 9th 

General Admission: $25  – Student $15

Thursday – March 6, 3pm – 6pm (Platinum VIP Preview Gala)  –  6pm – 9pm (First View Benefit & Press)  $100
Friday – March 7, 11am – 8pm
Saturday – March 8, 11am – 8pm
Sunday – March 9, 11am – 7pm

Featuring: Drawing, Collage, Sculpture, Painting, Performance Art, New Media, Neon, Photography.

THIS YEAR’S SCOPE (SPOILERS): SCOPE Art Fair NY 2014 VIP Opening Reception Was Packed (Photos) – Artiholics

Celebrities / Celebrity Artists I’ve Personally Spotted Here: Ron English

Unofficial Art Patriarch: Ron English.
Notable Artists / Gallerists Associated With This Show:  Augusto Esquivel, Jordan Eagles, Karim Hamid, Ron English, Banksy, Luke Chueh,  Russell West, gilf! Hiroko Tsuchida, Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, Andrea Stanislav, HuskMitNavn, Kikyz 1313, Camille Rose Garcia.

Coolest thing I’ve seen here: Performance art piece where a female artist walked around the fair nude from the waste down.
Possibility of Live Nudity: It’s Possible.

Ever Seen Live Performance or Live Art at SCOPE? Occasional Live Painting, Occasional Live Performing Installation, Occasional Live Music.

The Scoop on SCOPE From An Artiholic:I’ve personally attended the 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 incarnations of the fair.  It’s one of the satellite fairs that didn’t have a permanent home until 2013 and was constantly competing with Pulse as they have very similar vibes, that is until Pulse decided to slide into May and be a part of Frieze Week, thus freeing Scope up to take control of the more serious emerging contemporary art galleries.  I watched this fair bounce from Lincoln Center, to a tent on the West Side Highway, and finally to it’s current NY location in the giant post office building Skylight at Moynihan Station next to Madison Square Garden.

Scope is a good dowsing rod for what trends are most likely to be prevalent thought-out all of the art fairs during Armory Arts Week.  Mostly pretty good art, there are some major international galleries represented, as well as a lot of NYC talent.  Scope is what galleries at Fountain aspire to graduate up to.

Positives: A ton of good work, lots of roaming artists, friendly gallerists.  The show has really come into its own since Pulse left.  A good mix of low and high brow to appeal to a wide audience.  Gets a lot of solid press, and a lot of sales.

Negatives: Some galleries are obviously not yet ready for prime time and stick out like a sore thumb.  When you start to notice trends, you will see them repeated and repeated in multiple booths. Location is far from Armory. 

Location: Skylight at Moynihan Station 360 West 33rd Street, W 33rd St, New York, NY 10001

View Our SCOPE Photos From Previous Years



THE ART SHOW:  March 5th – 9th 

General Admission: $25

Wednesday – March 5, 12pm – 8pm
Thursday March 6, 12pm – 8pm
Friday – March 7, 12pm – 8pm
Saturday – March 8, 12pm – 7pm
Sunday – March 9, 12pm – 5pm

Featuring: Solo Shows, Museum Quality Gallery Shows, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Collage, Photography

Celebrities / Celebrity Artists I’ve Personally Spotted Here: John Leguizamo

Unofficial Art Patriarch: Andy Warhol & James Rosenquist
Notable Artists / Gallerists Associated With This Show:  Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Rosenquist, Henri Matisse, Mark Rydan, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, George Condo, Ray Johnson, Phil Guston, Wim Delvope, Sperone Westwater, Charles McGill.

Coolest thing I’ve seen here: The Egon Schiele / Gustav Klimt exhibit.
Possibility of Live Nudity: Not Good

Ever Seen Live Performance or Live Art at The Art Show? No, this is a serious art fair.

The Scoop on The Art Show From An Artiholic:

This fair is decades older than The Armory Show and has a sterling reputation as presenting some of the best in the business.  Blue chip art, museum art.  Most of what you will find here by artists who’s names you will recognize from your Christie’s and Sotherby’s catalogs.

Positives: You will see museum quality work, amazing drawings and paintings from many dead modern artists, and some current living blue chip artists, as well as original portraits of famous artists.  If you are a fan of really good drawing, and seeing drawings by some of your favorite dead artists, this is a good place to get a glimpse of artwork that exists outside of museums and is sold to private collectors.

Negatives: This is a lot like the Modern section of The Armory Show.  It is old masters, mixed with some more elite contemporary artists.  The crowd is extremely highbrow and it’s easy to feel under-dressed when attending.

Location: Park Avenue Armory – Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York City

View Our THE ART SHOW Photos From Previous Years



INDEPENDENT:  March 6th – 9th 

General Admission: $20

Thursday – March 6, 6pm – 8pm (Private Vernissage)
Friday – March 7, 12pm – 7pm
Saturday – March 8, 12pm – 7pm
Sunday – March 9, 12pm – 6pm

Featuring: Sculpture, Kinetic Sculpture, Collage, Car, Interactive Art, Neon, Animation, New Media, Painting, Photography

Celebrities / Celebrity Artists I’ve Personally Spotted Here: John McEnroe

Unofficial Art Patriarch: Dan Flavin
Notable Artists / Gallerists Associated With This Show:  Ella Kruglyanskaya, Steve Claydon, Thomas Julier, Oliver Mosset, David Shrigley.

Coolest thing I’ve seen here: A random DeLorian with no flux capicitor.
Possibility of Live Nudity: Not Good

Ever Seen Live Performance or Live Art at Independent? No

The Scoop on the Independent From An Artiholic:

To me this fair always felt the least like a fair, and even refused to call itself a fair.  The floors have big open spaces in the middle rather than the sectioned off walls that the other art fairs are known to have, all the galleries share the same light.

Since it started The Independent has always been free admission to the public, and the focus has been more about the art than the selling.  It is many people’s favorite fair because of the amount of sculpture, and minimalism and distinct lack of drawing and painting.  I am in the minority, and the lack of drawing and painting drives me up the wall.

I don’t know exactly what changed with Independent’s business model,  but this year it costs $20 instead of costing nothing to get in ($20 is a distinct price increase from free).

Positives: A ton of big sculptures on four floors.  The possibility of a random car in the middle of one of the floors.  The permanent Dan Flavin instillation on the staircase in between floors is always inviting – not technically part of the show, but a welcome break from the different levels.  Top Floor Cafe, with Roof Access

Negatives: Extreme lack of drawing and painting. Super snobby curators who really don’t want to talk to you, which is another thing that makes this unlike the other art fairs where the exhibitors actually want to interact.  I have hundreds of photos I’ve taken of artists and curators at the various art fairs, and Independent is the only art fair I have taken zero shots of any curators or artists.  I am acting the same as I do at the art fairs but never get approached.  Located in Chelsea it is close to other art openings, but far from The Armory Show piers.

Location: 548 West 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues in the heart of the Chelsea gallery district.

View Our INDEPENDENT Photos From Previous Years



VOLTA NY ART FAIR:  March 6th – 9th 

General Admission: $15  |   Students – $10  |  Armory / VoltaNY Dual Pass: $50

Thursday March 6, 11am – 2pm (Guest of Honor) 2pm – 5pm  (VIP / Press Preview)  6pm – 9pm (Public Vernissage)
Friday – March 7, 10am – 8pm
Saturday – March 8, 10am – 8pm
Sunday – March 9, 10am – 5pm

Featuring: Solo Shows, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Collage, Interactive Art, New Media, Neon, Photography

Celebrities / Celebrity Artists I’ve Personally Spotted Here: Delroy Lindo

Unofficial Art Matriarch: Amanda Coulson
Notable Artists / Gallerists Associated With This Show:  This changes every year, as all booths are solo shows.

Coolest thing I’ve seen here: Very focused solo shows that aren’t like the typical art fair.  The ability to see a depth to an artist’s work, unlike the other top tier fairs that would only showcase one or two pieces by each artist.
Possibility of Live Nudity: Not Good

Ever Seen Live Performance or Live Art at VoltaNY? Yes, I’ve seen Break Dancing & Pastry Eating Contests

The Scoop on Volta NY From An Artiholic:
Volta NY rules.  It is the offshoot of The Armory Show so it has the top tier credibility of The Armory, but also has the intimacy that comes with solo shows.  It feels like you are attending 90 gallery openings where the artist is in attendance, and you are the only guest.  You get a real one-on-one experience with each booth and are able to engage with the artists.

It is an invitational show, and all the artists have to be represented by a gallery, so there is no room for amateurs, and no buying your way in.  I have had nothing but positive experiences with Volta NY, and since they moved down to SoHo from their previous residency at  7 West 34th Street they really have the space you need to fit everyone and not feel like you are walking around a fair in a converted office.

Positives: Buying the Armory / Volta NY combo ticket for $50 is the best deal in town.  There is a shuttle bus between the two venues, and you get to experience the opposite worlds of the big box store IKEA experience of the Armory, along with the intimacy of Volta.  This is a show I would love to one day solo in, and you can’t get much higher praise from me than that.

Negatives: If you don’t like meeting artists, or seeing solo exhibits, and prefer to see more salon style gallery showings presenting a diverse group of artists from a gallery’s stable, then you won’t like this show.  If you aren’t planning on attending The Armory, this show is kind of out of the way in relation to the other shows.

Location: 82 Mercer Street., New York, NY  (Between Spring and Broome Streets)
View Our VOLTA NY Photos From Previous Years



FOUNTAIN ART FAIR:  March 7th – 9th 

General Admission: $10 – VIP Pass: $50 – Weekend Pass $15

Friday – March 7, 12pm – 7pm (VIP Press Preview / Open to the public)  7pm – Midnight (Opening Night Reception) Music Lineup: DJ Nick Zinner
Saturday – March 8, 12pm – 7pm (Open to the public) 7pm – Midnight (Saturday Night Event) Music Lineup: THE DEEP!
Sunday – March 9, 12pm – 5pm

Featuring: Solo Shows, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Collage, Interactive Art, New Media, Neon, Photography

Featuring: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Live Painting, Live Performance, Performance Art,  Music, Collage, Car, Interactive Art, Neon, New Media, Photography


Celebrities / Celebrity Artists I’ve Personally Spotted Here: Mia Tyler
Unofficial Art Matriarch: Swoon
Notable Artists / Gallerists Associated With This Show:  Alison Berkoy, The Murder Lounge, Brian Leo, Dave Tree, Casey Porn, Jonny Fenix, Veng, Victor W. Cox, Ryan Cronin, Chris Smith, Alex Emmart, Rob Servo, Leah Yerpe, JMR, Brandon Friend, Christina Ray, Mighty Tanaka, Leo Kesting, Front Room, Munch, Dacia.

Coolest thing I’ve seen here: Nude Body Finger Painting.
Possibility of Live Nudity: Very Good.

Ever Seen Live Performance or Live Art at Fountain? Yes, tons.

The Scoop on The Fountain Art Fair From An Artiholic:
I love fountain, it is such a fun fair to attend and you get a lot of bang for your buck.  Lots of good artists, also a lot of not so good, but the needles in the haystacks are in the numbers at this fair.  This is truly the independent fair as usually it’s one artist, or a group of artists splitting a booth on their own.  No galleries need be involved, although a lot of booths are represented by galleries.  It’s one of the cheapest art fairs for artists to get work in (per square foot) so the bar is set a little lower than a Scope or Pulse, and leaves the door wide open to untrained artists, street artists, and Brooklyn artists on the rise.

You will see a lot of drawing at this fair, a lot of painting, and a lot of pop.  I have heard it referred to many times in art circles as “amateur hour” but there are generally some stand outs in the masses, and as years go by you will start to see artists who got their start at Fountain’s careers shoot them up to larger galleries, and land them larger exposure at the top tier fairs like Scope and Volta.

You will be likely to meet a lot of artists if you wander around this fair, as most booths are artist run.  It is a great way to talk to artists and have them talk to you about their work.  Almost everyone is friendly and open here, and there is very little pretension.  You will find a few street artist wanna-be-banksies aka Mini-Banksys, who don’t want to have their photo taken, which is annoying as fuck, and almost comical.

When I  first attended this fair in 2009 it was on the frying pan pier.  In a tent that leaked when it rained.  There was a basement floor called the Murder Lounge where a small collective of Greenpoint artists would always show together. Fountain in gaining credibility and exposure has moved several avenues over to the Lexington Ave Armory and now has a solid foundation and doesn’t have to worry about dark clouds.They still have a section of the new location called The Murder Lounge, but it’s more of just a tribute.
Fountain is a 1917 work widely attributed to Marcel Duchamp. The scandalous work was a porcelain urinal, which was signed “R.Mutt” and titled Fountain. Submitted for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Fountain was rejected by the committee, even though the rules stated that all works would be accepted from artists who paid the fee.  The exhibition took place in the building where The Fountain Art Fair now resides almost a hundred years later.

Positives: A lot of fun, a lot of really great artists and a lot of good drawing.  Live painting, performances, music.  It is almost like getting a first glimpse into the unsigned talent of the art world.  You see what bubbles up from Brooklyn, Queens, and the outer boroughs before it gets snagged up by the machine.  The Friday opening night reception is the most fun you will have at any of the art fairs with open bar and live music – it becomes a party – and I will see you there.  If you are a fan of drawing, street art, illustration, comics, lowbrow, or graffiti, you will really enjoy yourself.  If you are a collector you can find a great deals on artwork by emerging artists here, and fill your apartment for a fraction of the price you would have to pay at the other fairs.

Negatives: Depending on your perspective, you will either come away loving, or hating Fountain.  If you like drawing and painting, you will have a good time.  If you really enjoy The Independent, you will probably not like Fountain so much.  If you are looking for Museum Quality work, you will not like Fountain.  It is very unpolished, but that’s what gives it it’s underground handmade charm.  Although I have a great time at Fountain it is one of the lower tier fairs and doesn’t get much love from the mainstream art press, but art blogs and Scene and Alt magazines like Paper are all over it. 

Location: Centrally Located at the 69th Regiment Armory (Lexington Avenue & 26th Street)
View Our Fountain Photos From Previous Years




THIS YEAR’S SPRING/ BREAK (SPOILERS): SPRING/BREAK Art Show Is Your Elementary School On Psilocybin- Artiholics



THIS YEAR’S CLIO ART FAIR (SPOILERS): The Clio Art Fair 2014 Inaugural Show Opening Reception- Artiholics

THIS YEAR’S (UN)FAIR (SPOILERS): THE (UN)FAIR is Back, Bigger, & More Popular Than Ever – Opening (Photos) – Artiholics





Written by
Cojo Art Juggernaut

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Artiholics, Art Sucks, and the soon to be launched podcast Artist In Repose, Cojo "Art Juggernaut" (Colin C. Jorgensen) is a NYC based artist, art writer, and occasional photographer.

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