What You Need to Know About the Smaller Shows During New York’s Armory Week | Bloomberg Business

Beyond ADAA and the Armory Show, there’s Pulse, Independent, Volta, Spring/Break, (un)Scene, Clio, Art on Paper, and Moving Image

There’s the art that sells for millions of dollars in hushed auction rooms and cavernous Chelsea galleries, and then there’s the other 99 percent of art on the planet that has not been bid-up by billionaires or pumped and dumped by speculators.

Nowhere is this dichotomy between “The Art Market” and the market for art so profoundly on display as New York’s Armory week, which started last night and runs through Sunday. The spectacle of blue-chip artwork at the Art Dealers Association of America Art Show (ADAA, March 4-8) and the Armory Show (March 5-8) is augmented by an ecosystem of 11 smaller fairs, and these host booths from of hundreds of galleries that market to collectors who—instead of looking for an investment vehicle—might simply want something new and interesting for their living room.

It’s not that everything at the ADAA and the Armory is museum-worthy. These are, after all, events meant to sell art. Participating galleries won’t present anything too challenging, too expensive, or too difficult to install. But while work at the Armory and the ADAA might not break the $2 million mark too often, much of it is in the $100,000+ range. (That’s more than half the median price of an American home.)

Which brings us to the rest of this week’s fairs.

The Independent, (March 5-8), Pulse (March 5-8), and the Armory’s sister fair, Volta (March 5-8), each feature booths from reputable (if slightly less glitzy) galleries. At these shows, you’ll be able to see such work as a multimedia installation from Andrea Büttner, on view at the David Kordansky Gallery booth at the Independent; woven paintings at Volta by the artist Gabriel Pionkowski, who is represented by scene-setting New York gallery the Hole; and some architectural photography by Fabiano Parisi, represented at Pulse by the London based Cynthia Corbett Gallery.

Fabiano Parisi, The Empire of Light 03 - USA 2013

Fabiano Parisi, The Empire of Light 03

And then there are the scrappier fairs such as Spring/Break, (un)Scene, Clio (“The anti-fair for independent artists”), Art on Paper, and Moving Image, a tiny fair that, in a business strategy that might be wildly optimistic, shows video art by little-known artists. These are fairs at which—for better or worse—many of the artists have yet to face the brutal culling process of the commercial art market, which means the work is all over the map. It’s a hodgepodge of art and installation that promises to delight and disappoint in equal measure.

Because this is the art world, once again, a necessary caveat about just how “scrappy” these fairs actually are: The (un)Scene Art Show, for instance, is sponsored by Ben and Jerry’s, Bose, and Illy coffee, and includes Chris Ofili, the artist who recently was the subject of a retrospective at the New Museum. We’re not talking craft-fair level art.

Very few people will attend all the fairs. For those who lack the time, inclination, money, or energy to trudge through hundreds of booths and thousands of artworks, is there a definitive list of the not-to-be-missed fairs?

The simple answer is “no.” There’s a variety of fairs for a variety of tastes. If you want to look at decent art that you can’t afford, head to the Armory; if you want to see relatively new, hot artists, head to the Independent or Pulse. And if you’re feeling lucky, or  are just willing to slog through a lot of stuff you’ve never heard of, head to Spring/Break or Clio. You might not like most of what you see, but you’ll be able to buy—if you’ve planned accordingly and are fortunate to find something you do like.

via: Bloomberg Business

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