Other than Frieze, the Armory Show is the ultimate art fair for any aesthete who prefers to ogle masterpieces like one would gobble a pint of ice cream: all at once. Get ready to feast your eyes on a wide range of historical art as well as contemporary works from a whopping 198 galleries—spanning 31 countries—staged on Piers 92/94 in Manhattan. If showcasing the world’s most influential installations wasn’t enough to coax you out of bed, this nexus for creatives offers bonus entertainment in the form of talks, panels and a rager at the Museum of Modern Art. We know, there’s a lot to take in over the rapid course of this four-day fete, so here are the highlights.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the Armory Show in NYC
Attend a bash with BØRNS
The Armory Show certainly knows how to put the “art” in “partying,” so don’t miss its annual kickoff event at MoMA (11 W 53rd St) on Wednesday, March 7. At $150, a ticket to the bash is nothing to sneeze at, but it includes early access to the exhibitions and gives you a chance to drink cocktails while rubbing elbows with members of the art-world elite. Added bonus: Musician BØRNS performs in the museum’s Agnes Gund Garden Lobby.
Find your focus
You’ll be blown away by the quality, range and sheer amount of solo- and dual-artist projects on display at this fair. We’re most interested in the Gabriel Ritter–curated program “Focus,” which showcases rare and never-before-seen works—from 28 galleries—by today’s most visionary artists.
Grab scrumptious eats
When the art-gazing fatigue sets in, recharge with a sandwich and salad from plant-based eatery By Chloe on Pier 92 or some quick Italian pasta or a panini from the Sosta, located on Pier 94. Folks with time to spare can have a leisurely meal at Hôtel Americano’s full-service pop-up restaurant. (It’s conveniently located across from the Pommery Champagne lounge on Pier 94.)
Hear from the experts
Another captivating component of the show is a program called Armory Live, a series of thought-provoking panels that feature top-dog figures in the art field. Covering topics such as the evolution of museums and how the market can support midlevel galleries, most of the events are free. If you can, catch the keynote speech by Serpentine Galleries artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist, who will discuss creating exhibitions in the 21st century (Friday 9 at 3pm).
The Armory Show runs Thu 8–Sat 10 noon–8pm and Sun 11 noon–6pm (thearmoryshow.com). Single day $47, run of show $80.