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Armory Week: What to See

by James Panero

Posted: Feb 27, 2013 03:47 PM


"Armory Week" is the time when several art fairs come to New York. The headline act, built on piers on the Hudson River, calls itself "The Armory Show." For the latest L Magazine, Paul D'Agostino asks some critics and curators, including Terri Ciccone, Katarína Hybenová, Marco Antonini, Stephen Truax, Benjamin Sutton, and Charles Kessler, to offer their advice for what to do during the run. Here's my take:

To set the record straight: The 1913 Armory Show was the Declaration of Independence of art. The most important art exhibition in US history was created and organized entirely by artists and introduced European modernism to America. Today the big art fairs of "Armory Week" borrow the name of the 1913 show but share nothing of its independent spirit. They are the trade shows of a contemporary salon aesthetic. So what's the best gift you could make in honor of the centenary? Skip the big fairs, travel to the most out-of-the-way gallery you can find, look for the most unexpected work of art in the place, and buy it.

Want to act on this advice? The galleries of Bushwick have organized a special late night gallery crawl on Sunday, March 9, with thirty-six spaces staying open until 10 pm. Full details here.

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( AHR-mah wih-ROOM-kweh)


In the Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil sang of "arms and a man" (Arma virumque cano). Month in and month out, The New Criterion expounds with great clarity and wit on the art, culture, and political controversies of our times. With postings of reviews, essays, links, recs, and news, Armavirumque seeks to continue this mission in accordance with the timetable of the digital age.


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