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The Armory Show 2008-New York City: March 27-30

My eyes and feet had a workout on Wed. 3/26 at Pier 94 in New York City during the preview of The Armory Show, the International Fair of New Art’s tenth edition. The overall feeling I had when walking through aisle after aisle of artwork was very similar to the feeling I get when strolling from room to room at MoMA, New York. It’s an eclectic mix of many visual art forms, from oil paintings to psychedelic LED light sculptures. And photography is, in my opinion, the star of the show. I especially like how photography blends seamlessly into the landscape of the show. It’s also interesting to me that many of the artists being exhibited at the show work in a variety of mediums (more to come on this in future posts over the next few days).

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Entrance to The Armory Show. Photo © Andrew Darlow

The Armory Show was started by four New York art dealers in 1994 as The Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair and it takes its name from “the rich history of the 1913 Armory Show,” which introduced European Modernism to America. This from the 2008 press package sums up The Armory Show quite well: “Featuring new art by over 2,000 living artists from 160 of the world’s leading galleries and nonprofit organizations, The Armory Show 2008 provides an excellent opportunity to see the most current developments in the word of contemporary art.”

The Armory Show has a program to raise money for two organizations, The Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Cancer Foundation (www.phcdl.org) and the Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Acquisition Fund at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. This is the seventh year that The Armory Show has commissioned an artist to define the image of the fair, and this is the first time that two artists (New York artist/painter Mary Heilmann and Baltimore artist/filmmaker John Waters) have been asked to work together on this task. For more information about the Artist Commission you can download this PDF, and for more about the benefit prints, visit this page.

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John Waters speaking at The Armory Show Press Conference on 3/26. Photo © Andrew Darlow

With galleries from 21 countries showing the work of artists from across the globe, this is truly an international art event. One of many high points of the show was seeing the work of many of the photographers of Magnum Photos represented in a large booth filled with stunning imagery. Like most of the work shown at the event, most of the Magnum prints on display are available for purchase.

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Magnum Photos Booth at The Armory Show. Photo © Andrew Darlow

I highly recommend anyone who enjoys contemporary art to visit The Armory Show for a few hours (or days if you want to see everything). Photographs from the last seven years of the show can be found on this page, and for more information, including ticket information and show hours, visit The Armory Show site at www.thearmoryshow.com.

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