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The Armory Show

The Armory Show

Art Fair
THE ARMORY SHOW 2010 UNBRIDLED SUCCESS - Enthusiastic collectors, record-breaking crowds and major sales (9.3.2010)
  The largest edition of The Armory Show in its 12-year history has proven a rousing success, with exhibitors reporting robust sales, and record-breaking crowds filling both piers to capacity and breaking previous attendance records.

The renewed confidence in the art market was apparent immediately on Opening Day, Wednesday, March 3. First-time exhibitors Upstream Gallery from Amsterdam reported selling out their solo show of works by David Haines within the first 35 minutes. The Lower East Side's Rental Gallery, another first-time exhibitor, reported selling out the entire booth within two hours of the fair's opening. Similarly, Ena Swansea's solo show at Berlin's ARNDT had sold out by 5 pm. Amsterdam's Galerie Ron Mandos sold an edition of a Hans Op de Beeck video premiering at the fair for $25,000 to collectors from Washington and director Ron Mandos added that "a major museum" expressed interest in acquiring one as well. New York's Marlborough Gallery sold a Manolo Valdez sculpture for $350,000 "within minutes," as well as a mixed-media canvas by Steven Charles "for around $60,000." By the end of the night, David Zwirner Gallery from New York had sold 30 of Philip-Lorca diCorcia's 100 Polaroids for $4,000 each.

A highlight in sales during the five days of the fair was an Edvard Munch landscape sold to a private collector by Faurschou from Copenhagen for $6 million. Other notable sales included a recent painting by Damien Hirst, which went for $4+ million at London's White Cube, which also reports selling a Gabriel Orozco painting for $250,000; fellow London gallery Lisson sold an Anish Kapoor for $758,000 and an Art & Language piece for $53,000; Edward Tyler Nahem from New York reported selling a Joan Mitchell diptych "in the $400,000 range"; Thaddaeus Ropac from Paris sold a $560,000 painting by Georg Baselitz and an Antony Gormley sculpture for $350,000; Sean Kelly Gallery from New York reports selling an Antony Gormley for $300,000, a number of works by Marina Abramović (whose retrospective opens at the Museum of Modern Art this week) ranging from $81,500 to $129,000, several works by James Casebere (who is taking part in this year's Whitney Biennial) ranging from $48,000 to $68,000, and a number of pieces by Callum Innes ranging from $27,000 to $63;000; Stockholm's Wetterling Gallery sold an edition of a Roy Lichtenstein "Brushstroke" sculpture for $250,000. There were many sales in the five figures as well: New York's Jack Shainman Gallery sold a Nick Cave suit for $75,000; fellow New Yorkers 303 Gallery sold a Maureen Gallace for $47,000; New York's Lehmann Maupin sold a work by Nari Ward - who they are presenting in a solo show at their gallery - for $35,000; and San Francisco's Jenkins Johnson Gallery reported several sales, including two large paintings by Yigal Ozeri for "over $30,000" each. David Godbold of Dublin's mother's tankstation says, "We brought ten paintings by Maired O'hEocha and they all sold, along with the entire inventory from the gallery." Vivian Bullaudy of Hollis Taggart Galleries in New York reports selling two Joan Mitchell oils on opening day and adds, "The Armory Show is the top New York fair hands down." Janine Cirincione of New York's Friedman Benda said "I'm thrilled that we placed our colossal Ai Wei Wei in a great collection and presented Gottfried Helnwein to a whole new audience."

This year brought the highest number of exhibitors from New York's Lower East Side the fair has seen yet, and they declared their participation a success. Eleven Rivington sold two sculptures by Valeska Soares for $90,000, among many other works. Eleven Rivington director Augusto Arbizo said, "We had a great first outing at The Armory Show: great for sales and even better for meeting new clients and museum curators. I think the confluence of the Whitney Biennial, the New Museum show, the ADAA, and The Armory Show - plus the better than normal weather - contributed to non-stop traffic at the fair, and the gallery as well. There was a huge rush the last few hours of Sunday." Giuliano Argenziano of fellow Lower East Side gallery Simon Preston said, "This is our first year at The Armory Show and it's been quite successful, we sold a John Gerrard video for $75,000, and the fair served to bring attention to his show at the gallery, where we sold another piece."

Gary Snyder of Gary Snyder/Project Space in New York thinks that in addition to sales, the importance of the fair is in the attention it brings to his gallery's program of 60s abstraction. "The response to the work we brought by Sven Lukain has been extraordinary," he says. "There is now tremendous interest in the show we're presenting in September." Ulrich Voges of Frankfurt's Voges Gallery shares the sentiment. "The Armory Show was a great opportunity to introduce Adrian Williams. All the curators came: Tate Modern from London, Haus Konstruktive from Switzerland, Kunsthaus Graz from Austria, I could go on. We're really impressed and very pleased." Similarly, Chris Perez of Ratio 3 in San Francisco said, "There were lots of institutions visiting the fair, lots of great European collectors - it was mass hysteria!" Giti Nourbakhsch of Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, who took part in this year's new Armory Focus:Berlin section with a solo show by artist Ida Ekblad, said "We sold a lot, and we met a lot of contacts, from young to really established big collectors. That's precisely what I want from an art fair."

The Armory Show 2010 also boasted its highest attendance numbers ever: it recorded more than 60,000 visitors during the five-day run, up from last year's 56,000. Despite overlapping with the week of the Academy Awards, visitors included many celebrities, including Sophia Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Glenn Close, Mike Myers, David Alan Grier, Kyra Sedgwick, Frances McDormand, designer Calvin Klein, musicians the Scissor Sisters, Michael Stipe and Bjork. The numbers also included hundreds of visitors from museum groups, including the Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea L Pecci, I Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paul, Power Plant, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Société des Amis du Musée National d’art Moderne (Centre Pomidou), Moderna Museet, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Serpentine Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Dallas Museum of Art, Miami Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garde, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, The American Patrons of Tate, Aspen Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Applications for The Armory Show 2011 will be available on April 1, 2010 on our website:
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