This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Survive Art Fair Hell With Bushwick Punx and Georgia O’Keeffe

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 27, 2017 Art Fair + Events

"Moll Madnoss" opens Friday night at Elijah Wheat Showroom. Why does a child's board game about navigating a mall sound like a perfect metaphor for Armory Week?

“Moll Madnoss” opens Friday night at Elijah Wheat Showroom. Why does a child’s board game about navigating a mall sound like a perfect metaphor for Armory Week?

It is hell week for the art world. What used to be referred to as “Armory Week” is now a beast spanning more art fairs than anyone has time or energy for. Now that NADA has joined the fray, it’s likely going to be more stressful, but at least slightly less soul-crushing.

To help navigate this mess, we’ve picked out the week’s highlights: the art fairs you really should see, as well as gallery, DIY, and museum events to help recover from the convention center lighting.

These events include an artist talk from photographer Elle Perez at  Daniel Cooney Fine Art on Tuesday, a peek at Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal style at the Brooklyn Museum on Friday, and the Silent Barn’s Paper Jazz Small Press Festival all weekend long in Bushwick.

Wear comfortable shoes. Bring aspirin. We’ll get through this together.

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227 W 27th St
New York, NY
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Make America Great Again--Like It Was 37 Days Ago

The #FITTownHall invites the public to discuss the Trump administration with art industry workers. The list of speakers includes Brian Boucher, Walter Robinson, Christian Viveros-Fauné, Ariel Adkins, Ambre Kelly, Andrew Gori, Amol Sarva, John Post Lee and more, but anyone is welcome to speak.

The talk will be moderated by FIT Art Market MA chairperson Natasha Degen, and was conceived by BravinLee programs. There are lots of meetings every week about the Trump crisis, but this one looks like it will be especially juicy.



88 Eldridge Street
New York, NY
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Allyson Vieira: Disinherited

There’s something a little unsettling about Allyson Vieira’s work. Her assemblages or installations combine construction materials and urban detritus. They have a trash aesthetic but feel slightly detached or clinical.  Beyond this out-of-focus image of smiley faces, we don’t know what this show will look like. But the statement is an epic musing on New York’s paradoxical place at the center of global capitalism and the movements of migrant labor, luxury goods, and perpetual “development” that passes through its increasingly surreal cityscape.

Daniel Cooney Fine Art

526 W 26th St (suite 9C)
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. Website

Artist's Talk: Elle Perez

Following the election of Trump, Daniel Cooney Fine Art started “The View From Here:
Creating Meaningful Art in Hostile Times” lecture series, with a focus on queer artists. This week, Elle Perez is presenting, and I couldn’t recommend her work more. Perez photographs unusual subcultures—from underground wrestling clubs in the Bronx to queer woodland retreats—with a candid style that resists sensationalizing her subjects. Her photos are really lovely peeks into the social lives of others, with an implied sense that the outside world isn’t what it should be.


Former Condé Nast Building

4 Times Square
New York, NY
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website


Reliably, SPRING/BREAK is the highlight of this hellish art overload week.

The curator-driven, artist-centric show doesn’t really feel like an art fair—we mean that in the best way possible. It’s the perfect antidote to sales-driven spectacle crap and soulless secondary market booths. Come see some smart emerging work. You’ll probably actually enjoy yourself.

This year, the fair has moved to vacant offices in Times Square and will be on view until Monday. This should be a very different context from its old digs in the Farley Post Office—I’ve already heard from one artist who is thinking about how to deal with the billboard up against her room’s window. Oh, and very appropriately, the curatorial theme for the fair this year is “BLACK MIRROR.” We can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Park Avenue Armory

Park Avenue at 67th Street
New York, NY
12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Website

ADAA Art Show

The Art Dealers Association of America’s annual art show is like the granddaddy of all art fairs. Reliably blue chip, it’s not exactly a thrilling fair, but it’s worth a visit if you like “art fair” art fairs. Expect big names, big production budgets, etc…

Highlights this year include Louise Bourgeois at Peter Blum Gallery, Betty Tompkins at P•P•O•W/ Pilkington-Olsoff Fine Arts, Inc., and Mexican masters including Diego Rivera at Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art.

The show is up until Sunday, and day passes are $25. All the proceeds go towards The Henry Street Settlement, so it’s for a good cause!



Piers 92 & 94

711 12th Avenue
New York, NY
12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

The Armory Show

Pretty consistently, we get bored at The Armory Show. That comes with the caveat that fair fatigue is inevitable this week, and The Armory Show tends to not be as fun/exciting as SPRING/BREAK. Nevertheless, Molly Rhinestones and I found plenty of highlights last year (and cowboys) so who knows?

Skylight Clarkson North

572 Washington St
New York, NY
4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website


NADA has moved dates and venues this year, to coincide with The Armory Show and the week’s mega-art-saturation. It remains to be seen how that will impact the fair. It looks to be a better logistical situation than its previous satellite relationship with the island-bound Frieze fair, but let’s hope The Armory doesn’t wear off too much on forward-thinking NADA.

We’re optimistic that won’t be the case. They’re kicking off their weekend of programming with events such as a Thursday night drag show, and 50% of this year’s ticket sales ($20/day) will go to the ACLU. Right on!


Brooklyn Museum

200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY
11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

Like it or not, a lot of attention often gets directed to important women’s style. (Think of all the obsession with Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe, Casa Azul, garden, etc…)

But for women artists in the early-mid 20th century (and maybe to a lesser extent today), style was an important way of asserting identity and independence. This exhibit focuses on the unusual fashion and forward-thinking interior decorating sensibilities of Georgia O’Keeffe. A few of O’Keeffe’s works will be contextualized alongside her garments, photos of her homes, and portraits.

She could really strike a pose!

Elijah Wheat Showroom

1196 Myrtle
Brooklyn, NY
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.Website

Joseph Kraska & Johannah Herr: Moll Madnoss

Joseph Kraska’s trippy queer video series Peppré Ann and Froends returns with a new episode. This time, the girls are going shopping.

But instead of typical consumer schlock and Orange Julius, they’re going to be exposed to the harsh, bizarre reality of the suburban mall (“moll”) as a privatized public space, where the logic of capitalism rules over free speech or the right to congregate. This all-too-real dystopian nightmare will be brought to life through an installation in collaboration with Johannah Herr. In the gallery, viewers can browse chain-store garments modified with slogans from the Women’s March on Washington and fabric prints that reference the militarized police presence used to suppress protesters. Hell yeah.


David Zwirner

525 & 533 West 19th Street
New York, NY
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Website

Guided tour of 'Alice Neel, Uptown' with Hilton Als

This exhibition at David Zwirner focuses on the time legendary painter Alice Neel spent living in upper Manhattan. Neel was a resident of Spanish Harlem and then the upper Upper West Side until her death, and painted many a portrait of her friends and neighbors.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the show with critic Hilton Als.


Arsenal Contemporary

214 Bowery
New York, NY
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Website

The Finiliar: Pop-up Merch Shop

Ed Fornieles opened The Finiliar last week. It’s a bizarre company that somehow ties data from financial institutions to a kawaii aesthetic through a series of multi-media works. Think Pokemon meets CNBC?

This week, Fornieles is opening a pop-up show with Finiliar merch. Capitalism comes full circle. Gotta catch ’em all!

The Silent Barn

603 Bushwick Ave.,
Brooklyn, NY
12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.Website

Paper Jazz Small Press Festival

The Silent Barn has changed the name of their beloved zine and print fest “Paper Jam” to “Paper Jazz.” I’m not a fan of the name change, but I am a huge fan of the event.

Come browse tons of zines, small publications, prints and more from local and national small press. There’s more programming TBA, so we’re guessing there will be music or performances of some sort. Probably the best weekend antidote to a week of art fairs we can think of.


Interference Archive

131 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Website

Propaganda Party: Building Resistance

Interference Archive invites arts and activist groups to come together and share “propaganda” material. This could be informative pamphlets, posters, buttons, or other politically-charged goodies.

If you’re part of an organization interested in participating, email

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