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The Armory Show announces successful 14th edition, with major sales and more than 60,000 visitors
Ragnar Kjartansson, Scandinavian Pain, 2006-2012, Neon sign installed in Moss, Norway 2006. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine and i8 Gallery, Reykjavik.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Armory Show, New York’s most important annual international art fair, announced the results of the fourteenth edition, held from March 8 to 11, 2012. Hundreds of major sales were recorded, more than 60,000 visitors attended the fair and the redesigned layout of Piers 92 and 94 in central Manhattan was greeted with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response. The fair will be remembered as the most vibrant in years.

Participants in the 2012 Armory Show represented a thoughtful, curated mix of leading international dealers, who showed work that accentuated the fair’s mission of innovation and discovery. In total, 228 exhibitors participated on Piers 92 and 94. The Armory Show–Contemporary on Pier 94 featured 120 leading international exhibitors, 19 invited exhibitors in Armory Focus: The Nordic Countries, 11 exhibitors in the inaugural edition of Solo Projects and seven arts organizations participating in the Not-for-Profit Section. In total, 157 exhibitors representing 30 counties participated in The Armory Show–Contemporary. The Armory Show–Modern, a section dedicated to international dealers specializing in historically significant Modern art, presented 71 exhibitors representing nine counties.

Sales Highlights: The Armory Show—Contemporary
The Armory Show opened to more than 11,500 VIPs during the preview on Wednesday, March 7, with significant sales setting the tone for the run of the fair. Preview day highlights included the acquisition by Moderna Museet, the leading Swedish museum for modern and contemporary art, of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s neon work Scandinavian Pain (2006-2012) from i8 gallery (Reykjavík). The 40-foot sculpture was a centerpiece of the fair, adorning Pommery's champagne bar at the entrance to Pier 94.

At David Zwirner (New York), the site-specific installation Michael Riedel created for the booth was an instantaneous draw: the three large-scale honeycomb panels on view were sold for $50,000 each to collectors from the United States, Europe and South America within the first 30 minutes of the fair’s opening. Several additional sales of Riedel’s work were also conducted at the gallery on the heels of the fair. “It was great to be back at The Armory Show this year,” remarked David Zwirner director, Ales Ortuzar. “Our solo booth by Michael Riedel proved a huge success, and it gave the artist a unique opportunity to do something special here in New York. We look forward to returning in 2013.”

Lisson Gallery (London) was likewise successful, quickly selling across their gallery program with Allora & Calzadilla’s Solar Catastrophe (2011) finding a buyer for $110,000, Ryan Gander’s sculpture, Fortune on a string, or, Your eloquent works appear like a stuttering (2011) selling for £75,000, Jason Martin’s oil on aluminum, Boadicea (2011), commanding £70,000, and a Julian Opie inkjet on canvas, Maria 4 (2011), going for $35,000, amongst other sales at undisclosed prices.

London’s Victoria Miro Gallery said that the 2012 edition was their best ever Armory Show since joining the fair in 2001. The gallery sold all five of the Yayoi Kusama paintings on display for undisclosed amounts, including Guidepost to Youth [HOTQOX] and Signs of Spring [WQZY], as well as conducting major sales of work by Conrad Shawcross and Chantal Joffe. The gallery also reported high levels of museum interest at the fair, centering on Chris Ofili, Alice Neel, Stan Douglas and Isaac Julien.

At the Sean Kelly Gallery (New York) booth, highlights included the sale of a large-scale Kehinde Wiley painting, The Tribute Money II (2012), for $135,000 on opening day, in addition to Leandro Erlich’s cabinet of glass slides, La Vitrina Cloud Collection (London) (2011), for $65,000, several new photographic works by Idris Khan, whom Kelly recently added to his roster of artists, for $50,000 each, and all of the available Nathan Mabry works at £35,000 each. Kelly said, “Since our very first participation in The Armory Show, the fair has always been extraordinarily successful for us in terms of our outreach to both museum professionals and clients worldwide. We are extremely excited about the newly re-envisioned, reinvigorated Armory Show.”

Sprüth Magers (Berlin, London), in the gallery’s first appearance at The Armory Show since 2000, reported strong sales from their curated booth which highlighted the legacy of key artists from the 1980s. Sales included a George Condo painting for $480,000 and a work on paper for $120,000, both to American collectors, Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Now You See Us Now You Don't) (1987) for $175,000, Rosemarie Trockel’s Ohne Titel/Untitled (1987) for €175,000, Walter Dahn’s acrylic on canvas, Les Premier jours du Printemps (1986), for €80,000, as well as a major Cindy Sherman’s photograph, Untitled Film Still #23 (1978), for an undisclosed amount. “We’re very pleased to have participated in The Armory this year as we have met many collectors from the U.S. and sold works by George Condo, Walter Dahn, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Rosemarie Trockel,” remarked Philomene Magers.

Paul Morris, Founding Director of The Armory Show, noted on opening day that “the feeling at our fourteenth edition was one of excited appreciation for the significant changes executed for this year’s Armory Show. Our dealers were selling notable works at solid prices. Our visitors enjoyed our new floor plan with 15 new lounges, wider aisles, larger booths and our Pommery champagne bar quickly became a generous spot to gather at the center of the fair. The re-envisioned Armory Show was amazing, and we were proud to welcome everyone to Piers 92 and 94 this year.”

Marianne Boesky Gallery’s (New York) presentation of Rachel Feinstein’s sculpture Gargantua (2011) captivated audiences and contributed to a nearly sold out booth, noted Adrian Turner, senior gallery director. Works by Diana Al-Hadid were also strongly in demand and the gallery met a number of new collectors from the United States and abroad.

Kavi Gupta (Chicago) whose booth featured the work of Armory Show Commissioned Artist Theaster Gates, sold Gates’ Chalk Board I and Chalk Board II (2012), each for $45,000 in addition to nine of the artist’s white concrete and porcelain columns that were exhibited at Gates’ recent solo exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles for $35,000 a piece. The gallery also reported selling all 14 of Angel Otero’s works on view and a dozen works by Curtis Mann that the gallery brought to the fair. Gupta noted that, “The best collectors were there and everyone came. The Amory Show’s commission of Theaster Gates highlighted Theaster’s amazing practice and we were thrilled with the results.”

Pilar Corrias (London) sold multiple works, all at undisclosed prices, by Philippe Parreno, Rirkrit Tiravanija, TUNGA and Tala Madani. “I had an extremely positive experience at the Armory this year,” reported Corrias. “All the right people showed up at the opening and during the week which means I made good sales and important new contacts. The layout was way better than before and the fair is off to great new beginning. I will definitely come back.”

Hyundai Gallery (Seoul), returning to the fair for the first time since 2004, mounted a stand-out presentation of iconic works by Ai Weiwei, Lee Ufan and Nam June Paik, as well as sculpture and video by U-Ram Choe and Joonho Jeon, younger artists in the gallery’s program. Commenting on their participation, gallery spokeswoman Yoojin Lee remarked: “Through the Armory we have successfully promoted the artists we represent, who received a great deal of attention from audiences at the fair and benefited from an active communication strategy, which we are extremely happy about. We enjoyed being at the center of the New York art market and look forward to participating next year as well.”

Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art (New York), staging a solo exhibition of photographs from Andres Serrano’s new Anarchy series found considerable success at the fair: “We are very pleased with our presence at this year's The Armory Show,” said gallery director, Janis Gardner Cecil. “Andres Serrano's new work, Anarchy, generated quite a buzz and elicited significant attention from collectors, the media and the public alike, with works selling to clients in Asia, Europe and the United States.”

Cheryl Haines, director of the Haines Gallery (San Francisco), was delighted with the results: “Our experience exhibiting at this year's Armory show was superb. The re-envisioned overall aesthetic of the fair seemed very successful as reported by many of the visitors and the mood was rather expansive as befitting the more comfortable surroundings and the apparent renewed enthusiasm for acquisition by the collectors in attendance. We placed two significant works that will either be acquired outright or given as promised gifts to major institutions. Not having exhibited at the Armory since the very beginning when it was the Gramercy International Art Fair we were overwhelmed with such a show of support for our program.”

“The energy at this year’s fair was palpable,” Noah Horowitz, Managing Director of The Armory Show, remarked. “Exhibitors and audiences reacted enthusiastically to the new architecture and improved amenities, and we are especially proud that the work on view – much of which debuted at our fair for the first time – was met with such a strong response by leading collectors and curators from New York and beyond. We look forward to building on this success as we plan for the next edition.”

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects (Culver City) noted that "on the first opening day of The Armory Show, we sold better than at any other edition before, and we've been doing The Armory show for a long time. In terms of sales, this year's Armory was the second best fair we've ever participated in since the beginning of our gallery in 2000. Works by Nicole Eisenman sold well, no surprise given her inclusion in the Whitney Biennial, but we also sold younger, lesser-known painters well. We were very happy and pleasantly surprised by the amazing turnout, particularly on opening day and the good quality of the audience attending."

The imprint of the 2012 Whitney Biennial and The Generational at the New Museum, which ran concurrent with the fair, was also felt on the piers, with Zach Feuer Gallery (New York) selling five scrap-material assemblages by Kate Levant, a Whitney Biennial artist, for $6,000 each, in addition to eight works by Mark Flood for $20,000 and one vintage Flood work for $75,000. Cherry and Martin (Los Angeles) sold work by Amanda Ross-Ho and Nicole Eisenman, whose work appeared in the Whitney Biennial as well. Leo Koenig, Inc. (New York) sold several figure drawings by Eisenman for between $5,000 and $12,000, including two to a prominent private collection in Los Angeles and several to various private collections in New York. The gallery also sold three Tony Matelli pieces for $15,000 each. And Jack Shainman Gallery (New York), whose booth included work by Carey James Marshall, El Anatsui, Gehard Demetz and Hank Willis Thomas, sold an important painting, Wade (2011), by Generational artist Lynette Yiodam-Boakye for an undisclosed price.

Armory Focus: The Nordic Countries
For the third edition of Armory Focus, The Armory Show turned its attention to the dynamic arts community of the Nordic countries and featured 19 of the most exciting galleries from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. This invitation-only component of The Armory Show, Armory Focus: The Nordic Countries included works by leading artists, an engaging schedule of performances, FREE STUFF and more.

Michael Hall, Managing Director of The Armory Show said of the Focus Section, “the 2012 edition of The Armory Show’s annual Focus was amazing and truly one of the standout features of the fair. Working with curator Jacob Fabricius, Malmö Konsthall director, was a new experience for us, but Jacob crafted the section with such care and consideration that visitors walked away with a true sense of the artistic community of the region. The diversity on view was also great, and showcased a wide selection by incorporating both artist run spaces and commercial galleries together.”

Sales from the section were strong. Aside from placing Ragnar Kjartansson’s Scandinavian Pain with Moderna Museet, i8 (Reykjavik) sold four of the Olafur Eliasson works on display in the $35,000-$60,000 range in addition to other works by Kjartansson and numerous editions from Birgir Andresson’s Grey Colours in the work of William Morris at $4,500 each. Galleri Bo Bjerggaard (Copenhagen) reported selling three sculptures by Tal R, an important early painting by Per Kirkeby and two paintings by John Körner. “It was a great pleasure to participate at The Armory Show this year, not only because of the focus on the Nordic countries but also because of the whole atmosphere at the fair,” noted Bjerggaard. “We sold major works both to Americans and to European collectors.”

David Risely Gallery (Copenhagen) sold a painting by Thomas Hylander for $11,500, three wooden sculptures by Charlie Roberts for $6,700, each to a prominent New York collection and 15 works by artist Anna Bjerger in the $6,000-$12,000 range. Gallery DOR (Oslo), meanwhile, took an unorthodox approach, offering up the gallery, itself, for sale as a franchise for $5,000 (in an edition of five).

Armory Focus curator Jacob Fabricius said, "the Nordic Section was smoking! I was delighted to present the many artists and galleries in New York at The Armory Show as part of the focus on the Nordic Region. Among other things it was amazing to give out FREE STUFF and present artist run, non-commercial spaces within the commercial fair structure. The Nordic lounge was the place to be last week – and the Armory visitors and press loved it too. I could not be happier with the final outcome with the Armory Focus: The Nordic Countries."

Solo Projects
At the inaugural edition of Solo Projects, a new section that was dedicated to single artist presentations on Pier 94 featured 11 emerging dealers from around the world in ten solo booths including Josée Bienvenu Gallery: Dario Escobar; Galeria Lucia de la Puente: Billy Hare; Francois Ghebaly Gallery / Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery: Patrick Jackson; Horton Gallery: Wallace Whitney; KS Art: Tom Fairs; MULHERIN: Mike Bayne; On Stellar Rays: Clifford Owens; SEVENTEEN: Kate Owens; TEAPOT: Christian Eisenberger; and Winkleman Gallery: Jennifer Dalton.

Highlights included Clifford Owens' performance in front of a packed audience at On Stellar Rays' (New York) booth on Saturday, Galeria Lucia de la Puente's (Lima) sale of five works by artist Billy Hare for $7,500 and $12,000 and Josée Bienvenu Gallery's (New York) sale of a sculpture, six sets of drawings and two diptychs by artist Dario Escobar.

Winkleman Gallery (New York) owners Ed Winkleman and Murat Orozobekov: “We were delighted with the response to our first presentation at The Armory Show, a solo project by artist Jennifer Dalton. We had strong sales of Dalton's mixed media sculptures, and welcomed hundreds of people wanting to have their photo taken with the cardboard cut-out of Jennifer in her Party Photo Op installation. Known for her wry critiques of the art world and art market, Dalton's piece, The Collector-ibles: Top Ten 2011 (based on ArtNews’ annual rankings), also drew esteemed collectors such as Edythe and Eli Broad into the booth. The Broads appeared to be charmed by the miniature ‘superhero’ representation of themselves in Dalton's work.”

Sales Highlights: The Armory Show—Modern
On Pier 92, The Armory Show–Modern reported the strongest sales yet as it ended its fourth edition, featuring blue-chip dealers, such as Marlborough Gallery (New York), Galerie Thomas (Munich), Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M. (Bologna), James Goodman Gallery (New York), Pace Prints (New York) and Marc Selwyn (Los Angeles). First time exhibitor Galerie Sho Contemporary Art (Tokyo) sold works totaling more than $600,000 on the first day of the fair, and Sicardi Gallery (Houston) sold a historic piece by Jesus-Rafael Soto titled Escriture Fine (1979) to a private collection in the United States for $550,000-600,000. Hollis Taggart Galleries (New York) sold a marble sculpture by Pablo Atchugarry for $150,000-$175,000, The Ballerina by Chuck Close for $125,000-$150,000 and a Richard Poussette-Dart work Garden Strata (1978) for approximately $100,000. Michael Schultz Gallery (Seoul, Berlin) sold Andy Warhol’s NY Post (1984) for $200,000 in addition to a Cornelia Schleime work to a New York collector for $43,000. Galerie Thomas (Munich) made a number of sales on opening day and Marc Selwyn (Los Angeles), participating for their fourth year, placed major works with local and European collectors.

Deborah Harris, Managing Director of The Armory Show – Modern, noted “the diversity of works on view in the Modern section this year was noticeable, and the quality of works available for sale was outstanding. Rare and important works that were new to market, most with impeccable provenances were sought after by collectors and institutions. These factors contributed to the success of the show.”

James Barron Art (Rome) placed Sol LeWitt's Irregular Grid (1999) for $175,000 with a prominent New York collection. Works by Gerhard Richter were on display at several notable galleries and Galerie Ludorff (Düsseldorf) reported selling a rare painting by the renowned artist for an undisclosed price. Elsewhere on Pier 92, Vivian Horan Fine Art (New York) sold several works the first day and Pace Prints (New York), exhibiting for the first time, reported a number of sales to new clients. David Cleaton-Roberts of Alan Cristea Gallery (London) reported that buying remained strong throughout the weekend.

LEVY (Hamburg), a returning Armory Modern exhibitor, sold a dozen small works from their well curated booth, and first-time exhibitor Whitestone Gallery (Tokyo) sold several works from their ambitious Gutai exhibition to major American collectors. John Ollman of Fleisher/Ollman Gallery (Philadelphia) reported he sold more on the VIP Preview Day than he did during the entire fair last year, while Gerald Peters Gallery (New York) reported several notable sales including a Georgia O’Keeffe work as well as the sale of Mark Sijan’s Security Guard to a museum. Galleria Repetto (Acqui Terme) reported great success with Agostino Bonalumi, Melotti Fausto and Lucio Fontana works they presented in New York for the first time and Amy Wolf Fine Art and Elrick-Manley Fine Art (New York) placed a piece by Rudolf Stingel, two drawings by Isamu Noguchi and painting by Esteban Vicente among others. Louis Stern Fine Arts (West Hollywood), another first time Modern exhibitor, sold works by West Coast abstract painters Lorser Feitelson and Karl Benjamin at prices ranging from $40,000 to $100,000.

Attendees and Museum Groups
The 2012 fair drew celebrities such as Matt Dillon, Paul Rudd, Michael Stipe, John Waters, Björk, Bill Powers and Cynthia Rowley, Narciso Rodriguez, Tiki Barber, Patty Smyth and John McEnroe, James Franco, David Allen Grier, and collectors Mera and Don Rubell, Anita Zabludowicz, Steve Roth, David Mugrabi, Edye and Eli Broad, Donald Marron, Tony Podesta, Adam Lindemann, Chelsea Clinton, Patricia Wettig, Hoda Kotb, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Maria Arena Bell, Glenn Fuhrman, Ruth and Jake Bloom, Don B. Marron, Suzanne Murphy, Susan and Michael Hort, Melva Bucksbaum and Agnes Gund.

“I enjoyed the Armory in New York last week and find it exciting when our city plays host to so many great visiting artists, collectors and arts professionals,” reflected Gund, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art. “One standout for me was Marina Abramovic’s performed sculpture Bed for Human Use (2012) [at the booth of Luciana Brita Galeria, São Paulo]. I personally only acquired two things, one a work by an artist whom I have never collected and another by an artist whom I have always wanted to acquire additional work. And I saw something I had not seen before and it’s a wonderful example.”

New York collector and president of the board of directors of White Columns, Gregory R. Miller, echoed the overall sentiment saying, "The Armory Show had a great mix of galleries from around the world, many of which presented thoughtfully curated selections of work in their booths. The global market was certainly well-represented. The fair rewarded repeat visits and offered up many new discoveries for even seasoned collectors."

Artists Maurizio Cattelan, Joseph Kosuth, Kehinde Wiley, Andres Serrano, Michael Riedel, Jota Castro, Neville Wakefield, Ulay, Spencer Tunick, Alice Aycock, Terence Koh, Marilyn Minter, Clifford Owens, Chuck Close, and Jayson Musson (better known as his alter ego Hennessy Youngman) were among those wandering the fair. Museum leadership also turned out in force – MoMA director Glenn Lowry and his deputy director Kathy Halbreich, Studio Museum director Thelma Golden, Adam Weinberg, director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum's director, Lisa Phillips with associate director Massimiliano Gioni (also curator of the 55th Venice Biennale) and curator Gary Carrion-Murayari, Moderna Museet director Daniel Birnbaum, Hans Ulrich Obrist, director, Serpentine Gallery and co-director, exhibitions and programmes, Centre Pompidou president Alain Seban, Gunnar Kvaran, director of the Asturp Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oya Eczacıbaşı, chair of the board of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, artistic director of the Biennale de Lyon, Thierry Raspail, Eric Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami executive director and chief curator Bonnie Clearwater, and Hedwig Fijen, director of Manifesta, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art.

In total, The Armory Show welcomed over 80 museum groups including, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, The New Museum, American Friends of the State Hermitage Museum, The Jewish Museum, El Museo del Barrio, The Brooklyn Museum, International Center of Photography, The Drawing Center, Asia Society, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Walker Art Center, Hammer Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Palais de Tokyo, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Bass Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, SculptureCenter, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO), University of California Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Rubin Museum of Art, Art in General, Courtauld Institute of Art, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), The Bruce Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Performa Inc., Museo Tamayo de Arte Contemporeano and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.

Daniel Birnbaum said of the 2012 edition: “I was very excited to visit this year’s fair and experience the architectural reconstruction of the piers firsthand – there was a definite sense of renewed energy on site and a great enthusiasm all around, along with plenty of excellent work. The Armory’s Nordic Focus was of particular interest, and I was proud of the lens it threw onto Scandinavian contemporary art before the many international curators, collectors and audiences that attended the fair.”

Architecture by Bade Stageberg Cox
The 2012 Armory Show benefited from the new floor plan and architectural enhancements designed by Brooklyn based architects Bade Stageberg Cox. Bade Stageberg Cox’s design reinvigorated The Armory Show and showcased its optimal location on the Manhattan piers and its unique position within the cultural life of New York City. The firm approached the site on Piers 92 and 94 as an urban planning project, aiming to combat the common complaint of “fair fatigue” by making it more comfortable and easy to navigate. Bade Stageberg Cox’s design balanced gallery space with lounges that served as both a visual respite from the art and sites for impromptu performances. Colored towers located in key social spaces (restaurants, cafes, coffee bars) served as points of orientation for fair visitors, similar to that of a landmark in a city. Street Seats was developed by the architects to occupy the Pier 94 illy Coffee Bar. The chairs, found abandoned on the streets of New York, were repaired and given a new life with a coat of taxi cab yellow paint. Like the city’s residents, the chairs were an eclectic mix and migrated throughout the fair during its five-day run.

New Programming Initiatives
For its fourteenth edition, The Armory Show inaugurated two new programming initiatives: Armory Film and Armory Performance. Armory Film, curated by the Moving Image Fair, featured an international selection of contemporary video and experimental films including: Flight, 2011 by Liz Magic Laser; Rico Gatson: Gun Play; Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley: The Syphilis of Sisyphus; Alex Prager: Despair; and Leslie Thornton: SONGS One Two Three. The films were heavily attended in The Wall Street Journal Media Lounge. Armory Film curators Winkleman and Orozbekov noted, “We hope that this initiative inaugurates a new model for collaboration that will help bring more video and film to the fairs and expand the audience for this burgeoning medium.”

The inaugural edition of Armory Performance, curated by Malmö Konsthall director Jacob Fabricius, debuted and featured artists active in the Nordic Region and in the United States. The program featured Kreppa: A Symphonic Poem about the Financial Situation in Iceland (by Örn Alexander Ámundason, performed by Metropolis Ensemble and directed by Andrew Cyr, Artistic Director/Conductor), Amorphous Assemblage (composed by Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen), OSLOO—A COLLECTION OF CENTERS—In New York (by FOS), where for two hours the artist hosted a programmed public event under the theme “public spiritualism”, and Armory Artist Theaster Gates engaged fair visitors in his SEE, SIT, SUP, SIP, SING: Holding Court.

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