Published: March 25, 2003
NEW YORK CITY — The Armory Show 2003, the International Fair of New Art, closed Monday, March 10, to rave reviews. “‘I have one word for the fair — brilliant,'” said Thaddeus Ropac as reported in Walter Robinson’s Armory Show Report on artnet.com. The overall consensus of the 174 exhibiting galleries, international press and visiting public was that this fifth annual exhibition of new art was a resounding commercial and critical success.
In his review for The New York Times review of the fair, Holland Cotter said, “The level of formal invention is high. The variety…is impressive. And the sheer concentration of so much new work in one place for a few days carries a certain psychological weight — call it art power — for artists, dealers and visitors, not to mention New York City.”
The March 6 preview gala raised $200,000 the exhibition fund of The Museum of Modern Art. Among the curators and museum officials seen at the fair were Glenn Lowry (MoMA), Donna de Salvo (Tate), Max Anderson and Larry Rinder (Whitney Museum), Nancy Spector (Guggenheim), James Rondeau and James Wood (The Art Institute of Chicago), Madeleine Grynsztejin (SFMoMA), Bonnie Clearwater (Museum of Contemporary Art of North Miami), Rochelle Steiner (Serpentine Gallery) and Lisa Corrin and Bob Fitzpatrick (MCA Chicago).
Record sales quickly put to rest any trepidation about the public’s appetite for contemporary art. Most exhibitors reported very strong sales that continued throughout the run of the fair. Prices ranged from $500 to several million. Many exhibitors reported sold-out booths by the end of the first day, and this trend continued until the fair’s end.
“I think the market for new art of high quality remains very strong,” said Katelijne De Backer, director of the fair. “For sales to be so spectacularly strong in a weak economy and in the middle of a nerve-wracking global political crisis is a testament to The Armory Show’s mission to present only the best new art.”
The 174 galleries, 40 new to the show this year, presented works by more than 1,800 artists in all media (painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation, performance and more).
Next year’s show will take place March 11-15.
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