The Armory Show, now owned and operated by the Frieze Art Fair group, is a cornerstone of New York’s cultural landscape. Since its founding in 1994, The Armory Show brings the world’s leading international contemporary and modern art galleries to New York annually.
The fair closed on Sunday, September 10, for its 29th edition in its third instalment at the Javits Center. The international art fair, which now serves as the opening event of the fall arts season, hosted a diverse array of international exhibitors, collectors, curators, artists, and guests, totalling 51,000 attendees. Featuring participation from over 225 galleries representing more than 35 countries, this year’s edition saw solid sales and ambitious presentations that transformed the Javits Center into a vibrant hub of artistic expression.
The fair’s impact extended beyond the venue, encompassing installations and events across New York City; reflecting on the event, The Armory Show’s Executive Director Nicole Berry said, “The electrifying energy at this year’s edition was felt throughout the fair. We had exhibitors and collectors from every corner of the globe who were elated by the strong attendance, extraordinary art, excellent sales, and the impact the fair has had on catalyzing important discussions. Year after year, The Armory Show has organized a gathering of collectors, curators, artists, and gallerists in the inspiring setting of New York and its fall art season.”
Highlights of the 2023 fair included sections curated by Eva Respini (Deputy Director and Director of Curatorial Programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery) and Candice Hopkins (Director and Chief Curator of Forge Project). Respini’s Platform section of the fair saw large-scale works installed throughout the central Agora, and Hopkins’ Focus section included solo- and dual-artist presentations. Together, they re-examined historical narratives through the practices of emerging and established artists, whose work is informed by structures of inclusivity and exclusivity. Taking these sections as a starting point, Adrienne Edwards (Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art) chaired the 6th annual Curatorial Leadership Summit, a day-long, closed-door symposium for curators from around the world.
Prominent museum directors and curators included Cecilia Alemani, Stéphane Aquin, Patrick Charpenel, Melissa Chiu, Anne Ellegood, Alison Gass, Michael Govan, Max Hollein, Anne Pasternak, Adriano Pedrosa, Adriana Rosenberg, Scott Rothkopf, Peter Snare, Alice Gray Stites, Matthew Teitelbaum, Marc-Olivier Wahler, Adam Weinberg, and Rein Wolfs were in attendance.
Many well-known personalities, including Venus Williams, Beck, Chris Rock, Anderson Cooper, Paul Rudd, Diedrich Bader, Paul Dano, David Cross, Reilly Opelka, Zoe Kazan, Rami Malek, Emma Corrin, Hugh Dancy, Alok Menon, Mel Ottenberg, Norman Reedus, Jane Seymour, and Patricia van der Vliet were spotted at the fair.
Top collectors in attendance worldwide included Stefano Basilico, Anita Blanchard & Martin, Nesbitt, Allison Berg, Estrellita Brodsky, Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Larry & Marilyn Fields, Glenn Fuhrman, Susan Goodman & Rodney Lubeznik, Abel Guaglianone & Joaquin Rodriguez, Agnes Gund, Michael & Susan Hort, Ronald Harrar, George & Liz Krupp, Ana Carmen Longobardi, Jeffrey Loria, Bernard Lumpkin & Carmine Boccuzzi, Roszell Mack III, Marianna McDevitt, David Mugrabi, Valeria
Exhibitors at The Armory Show reported strong sales to top collectors and prestigious museums and institutions. Many galleries reported sold-out booths, including 56 Henry, Alexander Berggruen, Charlie James Gallery, JDJ, Johyun Gallery, Marinaro, Martin Art Projects, Patel Brown, Sebastian Gladstone, Semiose, Van de Weghe, and WENTRUP.
Notable sales included:
Eleven works by Howardena Pindell sold for prices ranging from $100,000–$875,000 and a
Painting by Mario Martinez sold for $125,000 (Garth Greenan)
A painting by Lynne Drexler sold for $800,000, a painting by Perle Fine sold for $275,000, an Alice
Baber painting sold for $200,000, and a painting by Ethel Schwabacher sold for $195,000 (Berry
A large-scale patinated bronze sculpture by Woody De Othello sold for $400,000 (Jessica
A work by Kim Lim sold for $250,000 (Ben Hunter)
Nine new paintings by María Berrío made specially for The Armory Show sold at prices ranging
from $65,000–$200,000 (Victoria Miro)
A Month of Early Morning Fog Over Lake Montauk (March 2023) by Rob Pruitt sold for $175,000
A piece by Will Cotton sold for $150,000, an oil on canvas by Philip Pearlstein sold for $150,000,
and works by Chiharu Shiota sold for up to $106,000 (Templon)
Works by artists including Diana Al-Hadid, Theodora Allen, Vanessa German, Daniel Gordon,
Alexander Harrison, Lyn Liu, Alexis Ralaivao, and Bosco Sodi sold for prices ranging from
Works by Zhu Jinshi, Wang Xiayao, Yue Minjun, Etsu Egami, Yoon Hyup, Woo Kukwon, Zhao
Zhao sold for prices ranging from $16,000–$125,000 (Tang Contemporary Art)
Notable acquisitions included:
The Addison Gallery of American Art acquired work by Patrick Dean Hubbell (CANDICE MADEY, Nina Johnson)
Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University and Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, both purchased textile works by Arleene Correa Valencia (Catharine Clark Gallery)
The Baltimore Museum of Art and Seattle Art Museum will both show seminal works by MacArthur fellow Joyce J Scott thanks to placement within significant collections that will loan the works on the occasion of Scott’s upcoming 50-year retrospective (Goya Contemporary Gallery)
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Rollins Museum of Art in Winter Park, Florida purchased a table-top bronze sculpture by Rose B. Simpson (Jessica Silverman)
North Dakota Museum of Art acquired a Salah Elmur painting
“The fair has been packed until the end, with many engaged collectors and museum curators eager to look at international artists and make discoveries.” –Anne-Claudie Corix, Executive Director, TEMPLON.
What The Dealers Said
“There was an undeniable buzz, a palpable energy that coursed through the air at this year’s Armory Show. Here, the spotlight shone brightly on contemporary artists, offering a unique lens through which to view the world of today’s art and experience a great sense of discovery. To stand amidst it all is to have a thrilling immersion into the world of creativity. A very successful show for the Gallery and its artists indeed.” –Michael Kohn, Owner Michael Kohn Gallery
“We had a fantastic experience at Armory this week, particularly given the inspired context of the Focus sector, which was a wonderful place to show the work of Patrick Dean Hubbell.” –Nina Johnson, Director and Owner, Nina Johnson Gallery.
“We have had a bustling and successful fair, meeting many of our regular collectors and many new ones. Both artists we presented, Joachim Lambrechts and Rebecca Brodskis, sold well.” – Kristin Hjellegjerde, Owner, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery.
“The fair has generated electrifying energy, and we were pleased to place four seminal works by Joyce J. Scott into important collections before we open her approaching 50-year retrospective next year at the Baltimore Museum and Seattle Museum. We were equally delighted to introduce the work of South African artist Jo Smail, now in her 80s, who was equally well received by collectors, placing two works into collections during the fair.” –Amy Eva Raehse, Executive Director and Partner, Goya Contemporary.
“There is nothing like the energy of New York, which is encapsulated so perfectly each year at The Armory Show. We had two booths for this edition, which nearly sold out on the first day. It was so exciting to bring a group of our artists to New York, particularly Alec Egan, as the subject of a colourful and poetic solo presentation.” –Anat Ebgi, Principal Owner, Anat Ebgi Gallery.
“We’ve had a tremendous week at The Armory Show for JD J’s first year participating in the fair!” –Jayne Drost Johnson, Owner, JDJ.
“We are delighted with the fair this year. The Focus section was very strong, and we felt the public felt the same way. We are very pleased by the enthusiastic reception we received from the public and media. It was extraordinary for us to have Rajni Perera’s painting win the Sauer Prize.” –Roxanne Arsenault, Director, Patel Brown.
“The Armory Show art fair exceeded all expectations – it was a fantastic venue for showcasing our artists’ works and a hub for forging new connections in the art world. We are thrilled with our successful sales and are looking forward to returning next year.” –Jade Yesim Turanli, Director, Pi Artworks.
“Overall, it was extremely successful for the gallery and the artists.” –Lauren Every-Wortman, Director, The Pit. “We’re very happy to be back at The Armory Show; it remains an excellent stage to connect with American collectors and institutions. Sales have been positive, and we have placed large-scale works by Lavar.
Munroe and Marc Padeu, with collections based in New York and Los Angeles. Museum engagement has been particularly strong over the week; curators and patrons are taking the time to discuss and positively engage with the works on the booth.” –Jack Bell, Owner, Jack Bell Gallery.
“We’ve seen strong sales across 20th Century and Contemporary material. The market still feels robust for quality works of art.” –Ben Hunter, Owner, Ben Hunter Gallery.
“The fair had incredible energy this year. We are thrilled to be back at The Armory Show post-pandemic, and the fair was busy. Our booth’s impressive presentation of contemporary Chinese artists has gotten high attention. We saw a tremendous level of public interest in the artists we represent. Above all, the fair’s organization was excellent; it brought together a great audience and galleries worldwide.” –Vivian Har, Executive Director, Tang Contemporary Art.
“As two female gallery owners, The Armory Show supports our mission of celebrating unrecognized women artists. Selling five works in the high five and six figures is a stellar way to kick-off the fall season.” –Christine Berry, Co-Owner, Berry Campbell Gallery.
“The Gallery is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year, and our artists’ sustained presence in world-class museums demonstrates the high quality of our roster. The positive reception from institutions on the East Coast shows how our artists’ material and conceptual rigour is timely and timeless.” –Jessica Silverman, Founder and Owner, Jessica Silverman Gallery.