Get ready for non-stop art viewing. If you like art at all, next week's schedule should be packed with art fairs, biennial viewings, and openings. If you don't know where to start, we're here to help. Our one sentence synopsis as follows: This year more elitists, more protests, more video art, more foreigners, and continued efforts to disguise art fairs as nightclubs.
Two nights ago, there was a line around the block for the Bruce High Quality Foundation's biennial of works by famous people alongside normals. Expect to see Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, and Basquiat in a garage-sale-style salon. The Bruces will also stage a musical which seems like a satire of the Cooper Union dilemma, described as such:
Faced with overwhelming debts, the Chicken Trustees of the [Bruce High Quality Foundation University] may be forced to compromise its 150 year legacy and do the unthinkable: charge tuition. Luckily, the graduating Piggy Artists of the class of 2012 have something else in mind.
Make sure to RSVP ahead of time, as there's limited seating.
Admission: Free – $18
The Whitney Biennial is the sort of event only the art world could come up with: a chaotic mega-exhibition that's sorta broad, sorta representative, attracts critical hate, curatorial second-guessing, and labor protests, and nonetheless is must-see. Sounds like an art fair.
We've got our beefs with this year's incarnation, but generally, the critical response has been good. The film program, co-curated this year by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter of Light Industry, looks to be a highlight.
On your way to the Brucennial, stop by Salon Zürcher for another fair alternative. It's a bit of a strange concept – an art fair of seven booths, held in the gallery of one of its exhibitors – but we suggest a visit. Last year, they carved out a nice niche of New York galleries that were too smart for Volta, Fountain, or Scope, but too small or not cool enough for INDEPENDENT; this year, they've replaced five of seven exhibitors and gone in a different direction, inviting galleries from Paris and Amsterdam, adopting an all-female theme (not that that's a theme), and requiring single-artist booths. How will they manage such a radical transformation? It's worth a trip to find out.
Expect quality over quantity at the ADAA Art Show. Don't expect emerging art. This fair specializes in secondary market and contemporary blue chip work, and attracts exhibitors through prestige; this is where dealers go to show off to each other. It's the ultimate insider fair for the rich.
Admission: FirstView Wednesday (3-9 pm): $100 | General: $20 | Student: $15
An emerging art fair with 50 exhibitors, this perennially spotty fair always manages a good moment or two. We anticipate lodging the usual complaints — there's too much run-of-the-mill work — and hope they land a good catering service. This year the fair moves across from the Armory, which is a bit of a gamble. The Fountain Art Fair did this five years ago and exhibitors complained that they were largely ignored.
General Admission: $15 | Students: $10
Last year, Paddy reported that Volta had three great booths amongst a bunch of über crap. This year, all of those three–ADA, Sue Scott Gallery, and Gallery Diet–are notably missing. Who knows, the long list of foreign exhibitors could be reason enough to attend.
Independent describes itself as a “temporary exhibition forum” rather than an art fair, which is, well, transparent branding. It's a fair with fewer walls and nominally better curation. Elizabeth Dee (a fair co-founder) and Gavin Brown's Enterprise are two of the 47 exhibitors.
Last year people loved Moving Image, the video art fair founded by Ed Winkleman and Murat Orozobekov. This fair does a great job of showcasing video: each video receives its own viewing station and headphones along with relevant information about the artist and their dealer's contact information. Stationed at the front of the fair are assistants who can also help interested buyers. This year's fair includes thirty-one artists including Martha Wilson, Ken Jacobs, and Valie Export. We also look forward to seeing more of emerging artist Daniel Phillips, who had a memorable solo show at DODGE last month.
General Admission $30 | Students, seniors, groups (10+): $15 | Run of Show Pass (4 day) US $60 | The Armory Show / Volta NY Pass US $40 | Free admission for children under 12
What will The Amory do to re-imagine itself now that their trademark staircase of doom has been removed? This week we find out. We also find out how the mother of all New York art fairs will do with all this competition. By international art fair standards it's never been particularly good. We're not expecting that to change this year.
Admission: $10 day pass | $15 weekend pass at the door
buy discounted tickets online
Fountain nabbed the crochet woman from Scope this year, which is clearly a sign of… well, something. The fair will take over the 69th Regiment Armory, the onetime haunt of Pulse back in the day. Expect to see a whole bunch of stuff we try not to cover because it's so dumb: Marni Kotak, the woman who gave birth in Microscope Gallery (we failed there), crochet guy (we failed there too), and the rock band “Spirit Animal” (this is the first we've heard of them). Listen here if you dare.
Now in its third year, the Korean Art Show boasts 15 galleries specializing in Korean art and 10,000 visitors last season. We don’t know much about this fair, so we’ll have to report back on this one sometime next week.
Admission: 4-day pass $25 | General Admission $20 | Students/Seniors $15 | Group $10
Psych! That fair has changed its show dates and will now run May 3-6th, alongside the Frieze Fair on Randall's Island. Speaking of Frieze, are collectors really going to head out there?
The Comfort Inn
136 Ludlow Street
Saturday March 12th, 12-8 pm
Our favorite fair from last year is back. Including galleries such as AVA, CANADA, Cleopatras, Foxy Production and Reference, this fair is brings together all the galleries we like best and asks them to showcase their work in a hotel for 8 hours only. We aren’t going to miss this and you shouldn’t either.