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Spring art fairs

TONY's handy guide for making it though this season's one-stop shopping extravaganzas.

By Howard Halle

Fountain Art Fair
Now in its seventh year, this show, which began as a guerrilla alternative to the Armory Show, still gravitates toward small contemporary galleries with a raw street-art edge. 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Ave at 25th St ( Mar 9--11 1--7pm; day pass $10, weekend pass $15.

The Armory Show
This is the event that kicked off the city's seasonal art-fair crush: Divided into separate contemporary and modern art expositions, roughly 120 international exhibitors from 30 countries will display everything from sculpture and painting to video and photography. Piers 92 and 94, Twelfth Ave at 55 St (212-645-6440; Mar 8--11. Thu--Sat noon--8pm, Sun noon--7pm. Four-day pass $60, daily pass $30, students, seniors and members of groups of ten or more $15; combined same-day pass to the Volta NY fair $40. All tickets include shuttle service.

The Art Show
The name may sound a tad immodest, but this show—organized by the Art Dealers Association of America to benefit the Henry Street Settlement—is New York's longest-running art fair. Now in its 24th year, the scale of this event is a bit easier to digest than the Armory. Not to be missed: several exhibited artists concurrently being treated to museum surveys—Cindy Sherman (MoMA), Henry Taylor (MoMA PS1), Francesca Woodman (Guggenheim)—will receive prominent play by their galleries. Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave between 66th and 67th Sts (212-766-9200, ext 248; Wed 7--Mar 11. Wed--Sat noon--8pm, Sun noon--6pm; $20.

New York Fifty international contemporary art galleries will once again set up shop under a 35,000-square-foot tent. Catch diverse works like Robert Montgomery's "The City is Wilder Than You Think" and Kenton Parker's "Infinity Trophy Room" that comprise this year's special projects category. SCOPE New York Pavilion, W 57th St at Twelfth Ave (212-268-1522, Mar 8--11. Thu--Sat 11am--8pm, Sun 11am--7pm; $20, students $15.

Volta NY
This boutique fair, located just across the street from the Empire State Building, offers booths featuring solo projects by contemporary artists from around the world. Some 80 international exhibitors are scheduled to participate. 7 W 34th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, eleventh floor ( Mar 8--11. Thu 2--7pm, Fri--Sun 11am--7pm; $15, students $10.

Located in the old Dia:Chelsea building, this alternative fair was first conceived by a pair of art-scene heavyweights: gallerists Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook. The galleries that flock here are a mix of major influencers (Gavin Brown's Enterprise, Sprth Magers) and rising players (Labor, Balice Hertling & Lewis). 548 W 22nd St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves ( Mar 8--11. Thu 4--9pm, Fri--Sat 11am--8pm, Sun 11am--4pm; free.

Frieze New York
The newest addition to New York's slate of art fairs is a behemoth: The original Frieze (spun-off from the London art magazine of the same name) is one of the biggest events on the art-world calendar, and this edition, which will feature works by 1,000 artists, is sure to add to its prestige. The activities include artist commissions and panel discussions, and will take place under a temporary structure overlooking the East River designed by New York architects SO--IL. Randalls Island Park ( May 4--7. Fri--Sat noon--7pm, Sun--Mon noon--6pm. $40; with catalog $70; students, seniors, members of groups of ten or more (after 1pm) $25; children under 16 free. Tickets include bus and ferry service.

Pulse New York
Check out this midsize art bazaar for its Pulse Projects: The massive sculptures, large-scale installations and performances are culled from some of the finest contemporary galleries around the globe. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-255-2327, May 3-6. Thu, Sat noon--8pm, Fri 10am--8pm, Sun noon--5pm; $20, students and seniors $15, members of groups of ten or more $12.

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