Formally launched in 1999, Armory Arts Week, a seven-day celebration of New York City’s unparalleled artistic communities, has grown to gargantuan proportions. A highly-anticipated, multifaceted event that includes a dizzying array of fairs, gallery exhibitions, and related happenings spread across all five boroughs, Armory Arts Week can be downright exhausting to navigate. In order to offset some of that stress, we’ve parceled out a couple of our favorite events taking place in NYC this week.

The Art Show, March 2-6, 2016
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street
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The Art Show. Photo by Timothy Lee Photography.

Make your first Armory Arts Week stop the The Art Dealers Association of America’s (ADAA) Art Show, held at the historic Park Avenue Armory. Organized annually by the Art Dealers Association of America, the unique fair features thoughtfully curated solo, two-person, and thematic exhibitions by the country’s top fine art dealers. Featuring both modern masters and cutting-edge contemporary works in all media, the show allows exhibitors to emphasize their gallery’s vision through these finely curated exhibitions. Thomas B. Parker, Associate Director at Hirschl & Adler Modern, says, “We really love the ADAA show and consider it perhaps the top boutique fair in America. We love the size [this year’s fair will feature 72 exhibitors] it’s very manageable and everyone is given equal billing and the same size booth. There’s something very  democratic about it. And because of the  size, the audience has a chance to consider every booth thoroughly as opposed to mega fairs where certain dealers tend to get lost in the fray.”

Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893 - 1967), Butterfly Festival, 1949-1956. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 37 x 25 ¾ inches. Courtesy of Debra Force Fine Art.
Maria Elena Gonzalez, CAMO (desert), 2015. Silkscreen, edition of 20 + 2 AP, part of suite of 5 prints. 25 ¾ x 16 ½ inches. Courtesy of the artist and Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York.

Hirschl & Adler Modern, the contemporary arm of Hirschl & Adler, which presents fine and decorative arts from the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries, has taken The Art Show as an the opportunity to show off its daring side. The gallery will present Tree Talk, a site-specific, multimedia installation by Cuban-American artist María Elena González, comprised of her most recent body of work (begun in 2012) of the same title. Inspired by an encounter with a fallen birch tree in the woods at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, where González serves as Chair of the Board of Governors, the exhibition includes everything from framed fragments of the actual bark along with large-scale rubbings and abstracted drawings of the bark’s grain, to player piano scrolls distilled from the bark’s repeated lines and patterns. Tree Talk is accompanied by an audio/video presentation of the musical scores and González will be in attendance on Tuesday, March 1, the show’s opening night, to perform the score live. Parker says, “This is our first public effort with María as she’s fairly new to our program . . .  [The exhibition] really shows an increasing interest on the gallery’s part in showing more conceptually rigorous works of art. We’re moving in a more adventurous direction . . . not exclusively, but we’re covering that area as well as what we’ve been doing over the past decade or so. It’s a very nice milestone for us and it allows us to show the contemporary art word what we’re doing, that we are broadening our artist stable and trying some new things. I’m not sure anything like this has ever been done at the ADAA show before.

In addition to Hirschl & Adler Modern, must-see exhibitors at The Art Show include Thomas Colville Fine Art, who will present In Foreign Lands: Artists Abroad, an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by significant painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Debra Force Fine Art, who will present Isolation, an exhibition exploringthe varying perspectives of American artists from the first half of the twentieth century, including Max Weber, Charles Sheeler and Charles Burchfield.

The Armory Show, March 3-6, 2016
Piers 92 & 94, Twelfth Avenue at 55th Street
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The Armory Show.

From The Art Show, make your way over to the Armory Show. Housed in Piers 92 and 94 along the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side, the Armory Show, which launched in 1994, is divided into two main sections —Contemporary and Modern. Housed in Pier 92, The Armory Show’s Modern sector features fifty-five international dealers and spotlights historically significant works of twentieth century art. Be sure to stop by DC Moore Gallery’s booth where a selection of works by Milton Avery will be on view, as well as Hollis Taggart Galleries where works by modern and contemporary masters such as Alexander Calder, Hans Hofmann,  Elaine de Kooning, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Esteban Vicente will be presented. Contemporary art enthusiasts can get their fix at Pier 94, where 113 top galleries will be offering works by today’s most sought-after artists.

Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) Botanic Garden, 1942. Oil on board mounted on wood stretcher, 22 x 30 inches. Courtesy of Hollis Taggart Galleries.

A few changes are afoot at this year’s Armory Show, namely the appointment of a new Executive Director, Benjamin Genocchio, the former Editor-in-Chief of ArtNet News. Genocchio says, I am thrilled to join The Armory Show team and I look forward to leading this outstanding art fair, building on its prominence within the art world . . . [and] expanding its role and significance for the global art world.” It seems Genocchio has made considerable headway on his goal as the Armory Show will welcome 204 galleries from thirty-six countries worldwide — the fair’s largest international representation to date. The Armory Show will open with a party at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, March 2. The much-buzzed-about event benefits exhibition programming for MoMA.