The Armory Show at Piers 92 and 94, New York

An installation view of three wooden chairs in the foreground and a wall with photos in frames
This year, The Armory Show in New York celebrates its 'Centennial' edition with over 200 galleries presenting modern and contemporary art. Pictured, an installation view of the fair - 'A Wonderful History of Sculpture', by Jose Dávila, 2012, who is well-represented at Max Wigram in London - perches in the background.
(Image credit: Andy Ryan)

New York City is in the throes of art fever this week with the opening of not one but five fairs in the metropolis – the most notable of which is the Armory Show, overlooking the Hudson River at Piers 92/94. In its modern form the art fair has been operating since 1999, though this year it celebrates the centennial of its namesake, the original Armory show of 1913, known for having introduced the work of avant-garde Europeans like Marcel Duchamp to American shores.

It’s with that same pioneering spirit that this year’s fair is pulling out all the stops. Organisers tapped Brooklyn practice Bade Stageberg Cox to design the interior grid landscape, along with a series of experimental plywood-furniture projects in the lounge areas. BSC’s palette of silvers and greys provides the backdrop to Armory 2013’s diverse roster of international galleries, which namecheck not only the heavy-hitters but a bevy of first-timers, too. Also in house are two specially curated settings: a section devoted to one-man shows and a second, called Armory Focus, that groups together galleries geographically.

In the latter, Andy Warhol Museum director Eric Shiner highlights contemporary efforts from 17 established and emerging galleries from the US. The eclectic selection is living proof of the cultural diversity of American artists, set against a wider, international backdrop.

The Armory took another risk with its choice for commissioned artist of the year, Liz Magic Laser. The New York-based performance artist designed the fair’s visual identity along with several limited-edition artworks. In her characteristically satirical way, she conducted her own market research, leading a series of focus groups to discover how fair-goers would like to see her shape the show.

The upshot is complete transparency, from finances to visitor numbers to the cost of renting a booth. Throughout the fair, attendees can spot these facts and figures emblazoned on staff uniforms and tote bags. Card-carrying VIPs learn, for instance, that they are recipient 1 out of 12,365 VIP guests.

With 214 galleries represented, this year’s showcase is intentionally smaller than usual, with all efforts being put towards strengthening the offering. Undeniably, though, its dynamism has secured its status as the pinnacle of New York’s art scene.

Inside a yellow cylinder.

'Chin Chin (White)', by Iván Navarro, 2012, presented by Galerie Daniel Templon

(Image credit: TBC)

A large scale installation of the word HOPE made from wood and cardboard.

Tobias Bernstrup's 'Hope', 2012, a large-scale installation made from wood and cardboard, makes a striking centrepiece at Andréhn-Schiptjenko's booth

(Image credit: TBC)

An exhibition space with eight booths standing with artwork inside. A row of wood benches in the foreground.

Brooklyn-based practice Bade Stageberg Cox designed the space for this year's fair.

(Image credit: Andy Ryan)

A blue jumper, words written on it include "The Armory Show Audience Profile". Stats written below include: 65,000 visitors; $334,000 Average HHI; One out of seven visitors report annual income in excess of $500,000; 43% from New York City; 11% from Tri-State area; 25$ from elsewhere in the US; 21% from abroad; Average age: 44; 52% male, 48% female.

The New York-based performance artist Liz Magic Laser designed the fair’s visual identity along with several limited-edition artworks. An usher dons a t-shirt printed with The Armory Show statistics from Laser's commissioned work

(Image credit: TBC)

A pastel sketch showing six people around a table with boots entitled The Armory Show.

In her characteristically satirical way, Laser conducted her own market research, leading a series of focus groups to discover how fair-goers would like to see her shape the show. Pictured, a pastel sketch of one her 2-hour focus groups in session

(Image credit: TBC)

A table laid out with a fun fair.

'Dedicated to Coney Island', by Tom Duncan, 1984-2002, presented by Andrew Edlin Gallery

(Image credit: TBC)

Multi-coloured hand cut outs with the index finger up and the other fingers clenched.

'All of Nothing', by Todd Pavlisko, exhibited by Samsøn

(Image credit: TBC)

Two pieces of material laid on top of each other; Top - a navy triangle; underneath - a wood piece.

'Bluey-bluey', by Tony DeLap, 1992, presented by Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco

(Image credit: TBC)

A room with three grey walls covered in chalk. Two grey chairs with a block style covered in chalk. A table inbetween both chairs with a vase and flowers - also in grey and covered in chalk.

'Blow Up 203', by Kyra Johnson, 2013, exhibited by Morgan Lehman Gallery. The chalk-drawn installation features an image of a Bank of America waiting room overlaid with scrawlings of Roman ruins by 18th Century painter Giovanni Battista Piranesi, as well as subatomic decay patterns

(Image credit: TBC)

A yellow portrait poster with the words I AM AN AMERICAN written in white.

'I am an American', by Shuhei Yamada, showed by Tokyo's Aisho Miura Arts

(Image credit: TBC)

A pyramid of boxes with each box designed with BRILLO logo with a red, white and blue design colour.

A mountain of Andy Warhol-inspired Brillo boxes that many fairgoers took and carted around

(Image credit: TBC)

A square filled with multi-coloured decorative oval shape art pieces and patterns.

'A Hundred Years of Sleep', by Jacob Hashimoto, 2012 at the booth of Rhona Hoffman Gallery

(Image credit: TBC)

A pair or wood carvings, left: a woman with blonde hair and dark shirt; right - a man in a dark red shirt.

A pair of wood carvings by Stefan Baikenhol, 'Man in Dark Red Shirt' and 'Woman, Blonde Hair, Dark Shirt', displayed by Helsinki's Galerie Forsblom

(Image credit: TBC)

A painting with a white male and brown female kissing each other lying down. The colour blocks include a blue lower third covered with a yellow diamond. An orange and pink top third.

Leo Koenig Inc. is exhibiting a new work by painter Ridley Howard, 'Sky Blue, Diamond Kiss', 2013

(Image credit: TBC)

A large piece of artwork on display with multi-coloured drawings and the word ERZTEXAS drawn in red at the bottom.

'Dr. Oldill Blubbert: Ick Will Blököl', by Johnathan Meese, 2012, presented by Galerie Daniel Tempelon, Paris

(Image credit: TBC)

Two posters in frames on display. The left poster shows arrows from bottom to top in an S direction with the words "In the light of the moon" "West to East". The right poster shows arrows in a inverted S shape with the words "By the light of the moon" East West"

Blain Southern, Paris has this ink and pencil diptych 'East [As] West, West [As] East', by Lawrence Weiner, 2012, on show

(Image credit: TBC)

A brown ornament carved with owl-like eyes and a semi-circle ring on top.

'T/O/T/E/M (…Two Birds…)', by Nathan Mabry, 2013, presented by Sean Kelly, New York

(Image credit: TBC)

A grey landscape painting.

London's Victoria Miro has 'This Rose', by Idris Khan, 2012, in an edition of seven

(Image credit: TBC)

A wooden chair with a traditional wood house on the seat. The house has a white side with a large brown roof and a white chimney.

Elmgreen & Dragset's 'Home is the Place You Left', 2012, is also on display at Victoria Miro

(Image credit: TBC)

Five sculptures on display. Left to right: A shell style ornament. A cone style ornament with purple and green triangles painting on it. A cone with a ball at its top point. An apple style shape. An hour glass style shape.

Claudia Weiser's wonderful untitled sculptures, 2013, at Marianne Boesky's booth

(Image credit: TBC)

A grey display board with 20 squares running from bottom to top each with either a colour scheme or a design on them.

A work by Valeska Soares, also at Max Wigram's booth

(Image credit: TBC)

A dark orange to turquoise gradient from bottom to top on a poster.

Reykjavik's i8 Gallery presents a new work by Olafur Eliasson, 'Your Emergence (dark orange to turquoise)', 2013

(Image credit: TBC)

Left: A poster with a lighthouse and illuminated light surrounding it. Right: A dark forest.

Copenhagen's Galerie Bo Bjerggaard has a pair of Tal R paintings, 'Banana Beach' (left), 2012 and 'Boy Lolly' (right), 2013, amongst many others

(Image credit: TBC)

A large canvas with multi-coloured shapes.

A new work, 'Formulations', by Odili Donald Odita, 2013, exhibited at Jack Shainman's booth

(Image credit: TBC)

A large blank canvas with a portrait of a woman wearing white clothing in the bottom third.

'Artist Portrait with a Candle (C)', by Marina Abramovic, 2013, presented by Luciana Brito Gallery from Sao Paulo

(Image credit: TBC)

A series of five shelves displayed on a wall with individual items on each shelf, including a snooker cue, a gold ball, a security box and an oil container.

Ignaio Liprandi gallery in Buenos Aires presents sculptures, by Mathieu Mercier, 2002-2012

(Image credit: TBC)

Two pieces of wood material attached to a wall.

Los Angeles' Honor Fraser gallery is exhibiting two works, both called 'Untitled Still Life', by Kaz Oshiro, 2013

(Image credit: TBC)

Two pieces of grey material attached to a wall with a diagonal crease in the middle.

'Untitled Still Life', by Kaz Oshiro, 2013

(Image credit: TBC)

A piece of storage furniture with three light blue drawers with one drawer removed and resting on the top.

Anthony Meier Fine Arts from San Francisco is showing a series of Roy McMakin works as part of Armory Focus USA

(Image credit: TBC)

A yellow canvas covered mostly by a tree coloured black.

'Ohne Titel (Merry Christmas)', by Alexander Calder, 1972, presented by Crane Kalman Gallery

(Image credit: TBC)

On a table is a constellation of white objects and a poster to the right with information.

New York's Henrique Faria Fine Art is offering a rare opportunity to view a model of Alexander Calder's 'Vertical Constellation with Bomb', 1943

(Image credit: TBC)


Piers 92/94
711 12th Ave
New York NY 10019


Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.