Piers 92 and 94 to Stand Out at the Armory Show
New York Times
By HILARIE M. SHEETSJANUARY 10, 2017
Keen to distinguish the Armory Show, which is facing competition from almost 300 other contemporary art fairs around the world, the New York art fair’s executive director, Benjamin Genocchio, is playing up the gritty industrial space of Piers 92 and 94 on the Hudson River.
For the fair’s 2017 edition, which runs from March 2 through March 5, the first entirely under his direction, Mr. Genocchio said, “I wanted to make the building an asset.” Working with the curator Eric Shiner, he has commissioned 11 artist projects throughout the piers “to allow you to better see the vast industrial structure.”
A giant chicken made from bamboo by Ai Weiwei will hang from the rafters of the 40-foot-high ceiling, and a curved 63-foot-long striped painting by Jun Kaneko will stretch the width of Pier 92, reflecting light from the Hudson. A constellation of polka-dot biomorphic sculptures by Yayoi Kusama will populate a “town square” in the middle of Pier 94 and a word-based light sculpture by Ivan Navarro will respond kinetically to the noise level of visitor traffic near the entrance. (The fair drew about 65,000 visitors last year, according to its owner, Merchandise Mart Properties.)
Plumbing the history of the fair, Mr. Genocchio also tapped the dealer Jeffrey Deitch to recreate his “Florine Stettheimer Collapsed Time Salon,” conceived in 1995 for the second Gramercy International Art Fair (renamed the Armory Show in 1999).
“Then, Stettheimer was still known only to insiders,” said Mr. Deitch, who used cellophane curtains and gilded white furniture to evoke the artist’s early-20th-century salon, and juxtaposed Stettheimer’s frothy paintings of her illustrious friends with works by Elizabeth Peyton, Jeff Koons and Jane Kaplowitz. Now he’s invited back the original cast (they have not all confirmed their participation) alongside younger artists like Cecily Brown, Chloe Wise and Tschabalala Self, who share an affinity with Stettheimer.
In reaction to the swelling art world in New York, Mr. Deitch said, “artists are now more and more interested in this idea of the salon and building a real community with other artists.”