Art From Us and her team travel to fairs, biennales and peripheral art events around the world to learn and share all that we are privileged to see and experience.
The Armory Show has been an institution within the contemporary art world since it’s inception in 1913. Presenting modern art works this show and its founders have given us a legacy of expositions that have been explosive, educative and exploratory.
The Original Exhibition, 1913
The first edition of the exhibition featured predominantly American modernism, with a touch of European art thrown in for context. American art scholars and amateur audiences at the time were still used to classical painting and Academic art. Owing to this, they were left outraged when confronted with works like Marcel Duchamp’s iconic Nude Descending a Staircase. Of course, the painting of a nude woman was not the reason for their discontentment. It was the evident distortion of the human body that angered them. The works were viewed as being almost blasphemous to the European art titans like Rembrandt and Michelangelo. Famously, one critic even described Duchamp’s painting as ‘an explosion in a shingle factory’. This 1913 show is now know as the ‘original exhibition’ in the history of the Armory show.
The Armory Show : 1994 to Present Day
In 1994, four New York based gallerists – Colin de Land, Matthew Marks, Pat Hearn and Paul Morris set up what is now called ‘The Armory Show’, as a platform to exhibit significant art and artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The fair, which was held at Gramercy Park Hotel, was a hit from the very beginning. As its reputation grew internationally, the show was moved to 69th Regiment Armory.
Today, the fair Is held at Piers 94 & 90, where it had moved in 2009. It features artists from around the world, focussing on America. The ‘Armory Focus’ section of the fair focusses on different regions around the globe, each year. In a bid to be a truly democratic and inclusive fair, ‘Presents’ was a platform introduced in 2014 to exhibit galleries that are less than a decade old. The Armory Show is considered an must-see art event in the calendar of all art scholars and collectors.
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