Twenty-seven years ago — nearly a decade before Art Basel came to American shores — a micro art fair, The Armory Show, was born that would go on to shape both the New York and U.S. collecting scene for decades to come. It eclipsed the then-dominate Art Expo in Chicago and built a brand, with curatorial chops and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Just four dealers participated that first year, setting up in rented rooms in the art-filled Gramercy Park Hotel. The fair expanded, with a move to the Upper East Side’s historic 69th Street Regiment Armory, then to the West Side Piers, and now Javits Center.
This year’s Armory Show, September 9 though 12, offers exciting and robust programming, as well as the main attraction: a roster of more than 200 dealers, encompassing international galleries from 38 countries as well as America’s finest, including nearly 60 from the heart of the U.S. art world, New York. Calendar these dates: Public days Friday through Sunday, September 10 through 12.
Sculptor Tony Matelli looks to nature for inspiration. From his creepy, hyper-real Sleepwalker to his ongoing painted bronze trompe l’oeil Weed sculptures (collected by Amy Sedaris), the artist slyly subverts reality. Of his Weeds, Tony Matelli tells PaperCity, “I wanted to locate an image of hope and possibility, persistence, and rebellion.” At the Armory, Belgium-based Maruani Mercier features the sculptor’s Arrangement (2016), a topsy-turvy lifelike bouquet of day lilies that are eternally rendered in bronze, albeit in an upside Alice in Wonderland way.