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Affordable Art Fair
Photograph: Affordable Art Fair

The best art fairs to see during Armory Week

Check out the best fairs and events to see during Armory Week, the art world’s answer to Fashion Week

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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It's Armory Week—the closest thing the New York art world has to Fashion Week—which brings a stampede of collectors, curators, artists and dealers (including, of course, those from Chelsea, Uptown and Lower East Side galleries) to the city. Thousands of them from all over the world rush in for a confluence of art fairs featuring modern and contemporary art of all stripes. For the general public, Armory Week—which takes its name from The Armory Show—offers the perfect opportunity to discover the latest trends in art. There’s tons to see, and taking it all in can be exhausting, but there’s a fair for everyone’s taste. To help you find one that suits yours, we offer this handy guide of the best things to do during Armory Week.

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the Armory Show

Best things to do during Armory Week

  • Art
  • Contemporary art

Armory Week’s namesake event started life in 1995 as a funky gathering of young downtown dealers at the Gramercy Park Hotel, and has since grown into one of the art world’s biggest events. At the Javits Center this year, The Armory Show will see 157 art galleries showing off the latest trends in contemporary art, but also presenting art that explores issues of racial and social justice, climate change, globalism, identity and other timely themes. The Javits Center; September 10-12; Friday and Saturday noon-8; Sunday noon-7pm. Tickets are $35-$65.

  • Art
  • Contemporary art

As its name implies, this fair is devoted to works (drawings, prints, photos, mixed-media) on paper, but not just on paper: The offerings include inventive three-dimensional sculptures and installations made out of paper. As the latter suggests, Art on Paper is dedicated to pushing the envelope on one of art’s oldest mediums. Pier 36 at Clinton St and FDR Drive; September 9-12, 11am-7pm Friday and Saturday, noon to 6pm on Sunday. $25 one-day ticket, $50 fair pass.

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This self-style anti-fair art fair features curated presentations of artists who are currently not represented by a gallery. Curated by Garon Willie, this year's selected artists are Palén Obesa, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Esteban Sulé, Marquez-Monsanto, Amir Diop and Al Diaz (among 54 more independent artists). 550 West 29th St, September 9-12; Fri noon-8pm, Sat 2–8pm; Sun 2-8pm. Free on Friday; $20, students and seniors $10.

Superfine boasts accessible pricing and representation of LBGTQ+ artistsartists of color, and other traditionally underrepresented groups. This year, see work by more than 180 artists across three fairs—"Superfine (wo)man," the largest women-only commercial art fair showcasing 80 top female artists, "Superfine MAGICK," a platform for LBTQ+ artists, and "Superfine Myth," representing emerging surrealist talent. Center 415 (415 5th Ave.); September 30-October 3, Friday-Sunday, 11am-9pm; $36.

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If you’re looking for just one fair where you can find the latest in contemporary art, the place to go is the Independent Art Fair. What makes it special? The four-day affair is a hybrid showcase for contemporary art that puts a premium on risk-taking work. Cipriani South Street; September 9-12; Friday and Saturday noon to 7pm; Sunday noon to 6pm; tickets are $60.

 

So often, these art fairs feel unattainable. The Affordable Art Fair is focused on bringing art to those who might not otherwise be able to afford artwork, and this year, it'll have 400 artists showcased by 60 galleries. This year, don't miss Trade Hours, where accredited interior designers and decorators, architects, art consultants and their clients get free access to the fair. If you have young kids, stop by during Stroller Hours, a family-friendly hour dedicated to parents and little ones. And for those who would like a drink while they shop, come during Art After Dark, where you'll get a can of Volley tequila seltzer. Metropolitan Pavilion; September 23-26; Thursday noon-9pm, Friday noon-8pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-5pm; Tickets are $30-$80.

Explore more art during Armory Week

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