Art Fairs Galore: The “Other” March Madness

Art Fairs Galore: The “Other” March Madness

March comes in like a lion for art connoisseurs and collectors. So, check out these feasts for the eyes during Armory Week (March 2-6).

THE ARMORY SHOW

Armand Bartos Fine Art booth at The Armory Show. (Courtesy Armand Bartos Fine Art)

March 3–6, thousands head to the 18th incarnation of this extravaganza installed (since 1999) on side-by-side Hudson River piers (92 and 94). Named for a former location, the vast hall of an armory on Lexington Avenue, the fair continues as high-visibility stage for serious collectors, international dealers, flamboyant characters, fashionistas and just-looking lovers of art.

In search of “historically significant” 20th-century works? Enter at Pier 92, where prime dealers operate mini-galleries under the code name “Modern.” Intrigued by new works from contemporary artists? Begin at Pier 94, where even more galleries line up their glowing booths.

Whether on stroll with stops for refreshment or on a must-see-everything forced march, taking it all in means likely devoting the “day.” Look for big names like David Zwirner and Paul Kasmin and legendary dealers like Armand Bartos Fine Art whose blue-chip inventory surfaces here but no longer occupies bricks-and-mortar.

March 3-6: Th-Su noon-7 pm. Tickets $45, seniors and students $30. 12th Ave., at W. 55th St., www.thearmoryshow.com

THE ADAA SHOW

March 2–6, at the Landmark Park Avenue Armory, 72 members of the powerful Art Dealers Association of America occupy rows of white-cube stalls, each touting prized, often rarely seen items, either new or resurfaced works by name-recognizable artists.

The 2016 roster spans more than a century: from Victorian-era travel paintings and German Expressionism to portraits by Alex Katz and surprising installations by Wolfgang Laib. Look for: large-scale wood sculpture by Deborah Butterfield at Danese/Corey; photos influenced by Edward Hopper at Fraenkel; optic and kinetic art at Maxwell Davidson and Haim Steinbach’s whimsical “Bear With Me,” a shelf with bocce balls, statuette and rubber dog chew, at Barbara Krakow.

This 28th annual show, the nation’s longest-running fine art fair, benefits the Henry Street Settlement.

March 2–6: W-F noon-8 pm, Sa noon-7 pm, Su noon-5 pm. Tickets $25. Park Ave., at E. 67th St., wwwartdealers.org

Other ambitious fairs tend to mount risky, cutting-edge and more affordable art.

Scope: Six short blocks south of Armory Pier 92, the expansive Metropolitan West Pavilion allows for open displays, i.e., 60 galleries without walls. A key attraction: the strong contingent of international exhibitors—Paris and Berlin to Tel Aviv, Seoul and Shanghai.

March 3–6: Th 6-10 pm, F-Su 11 am-8 pm. Tickets $35, students $25. 639 W. 46th St., www.scope-art.com

Volta NY bills itself as an “invitational solo project fair,” something like a lineup of “intense studio visits” as most of the 100 exhibitors focus on individual artist/rising stars. Also featured: a 30-foot video wall plus design and food collaborators. Look for Connersmith gallery with works by Hamburg-based Justine Otto, in whose figurative scenes one critic finds “an atom age paranoia.”

An elevated walkway (with text-based art) runs from Volta on Pier 90 to Pier 92 The Armory Show, a shuttle to Pier 94.

March 2–6: W free public opening 6-8 pm, Th-Sa noon-8 pm, Su noon-6 pm. Tickets $23, seniors and students $18.37. 12th Ave., at W. 50th St., www. voltashow.com

Independent New York hosts more than 40 exhibitors at a new site—Spring Studios at 50 Varick St. in TriBeCa. Established American galleries include L.A.’s David Kordansky and New York’s Paula Cooper, Jay Gorney/Derek Eller and White Columns; international dealers come from London, Brussels, Glasgow, Berlin and Madrid.

March 3–6: Th 6-8 pm, F-Sa noon-7 pm, Su noon-6 pm. Tickets $25, students $15. 50 Varick St., www.independenthq.com

GALLERIES OF CHELSEA

Even though many of the dealers in this art zone have booths at the large fairs, they keep their gallery doors open for sidewalk strollers and all those out-of-town collectors. The walkable High Line and the new Whitney Museum of American Art energize the south end of the westside neighborhood.

With street map in hand (chelseagallerymap.com), art lovers thread their way up one side and down the other of gallery-lined streets from W. 17th or so to W. 28th, btw 10th and 11th aves. Look for Howard Scott Gallery, showing the ethereal sculpture of Yuriko Yamaguchi. With LED light, she transforms hand-cast resin and stainless steel wire into jewel-like cloud forms at 519 W. 20th St., www.howardscottgallery.com.

Check out the slide show below for some of Armory Week’s most dazzling offerings.