We rarely hear about “the local” in reference to China’s art scene, but the Armory Show’s new Focus curator wants to change that. This week it was announced that Philip Tinari, the esteemed director of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), will curate the 2014 Armory Focus program, focusing on China.
At Focus, the invitation-only section of the Armory focusing on “under recognized yet thriving arts communities,” Tinari plans to bring in approximately 15 – 20 galleries from across China into the fair. As Tinari told The Art Newspaper, he intends to showcase unknown artists who “are not necessarily on the international fair circuit yet.” Sounds good enough, but we’ll save our optimism for later—we still don’t know what to expect. Whatever the case, it’ll be hard for Tinari’s Focus to be worse than this year’s event, which was a pitiful excuse for showing the “under recognized”. A focus on the United States with a Warhol-exclusive booth by Gagosian isn’t exactly introducing collectors to some new, untested talent.