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The Armory Show's 2020 edition finishes with exhibitors reporting robust sales across all exhibitor sections
Jeffery Gibson, presented by Roberts Projects, Tiffany Sage, BFA.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Armory Show’s 2020 edition closed on Sunday, March 8, following a resoundingly successful five days. While introducing fresh perspectives through multiple curatorial platforms, The Armory Show proudly retained its legacy as New York’s essential art fair and as an international destination for important collections to acquire new works. The 2020 edition saw steady VIP preview attendance comparable to its 2019 edition, including a significant presence of private collectors, museum curators, and institutional trustees.

The Armory Show was pleased to hear exhibitors’ reports of sold-out booths and important institutional acquisitions from dozens of longstanding and first-time exhibitors alike; first-time exhibitor Denny Dimin Gallery reported over $100,000 in opening day sales to international collections and to an important American institution, while Victoria Miro, celebrating its 20th consecutive year participating in The Armory Show, saw a preview day of 14 confirmed sales ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000 each. In addition to glowing sales reports, exhibitors noted participation outcomes such as new institutional connections and strengthened relationships with private collectors. Exhibitors further commended The Armory Show for the caliber of its crowd, its ability to introduce gallerists to new collectors, and the robust institutional presence it drew this year.

Over 140 national and international cultural institutions had attendance representation at the fair, including, in addition to all major New York City institutions: the Aspen Art Museum; the Barnes Foundation; the Bass Museum of Art; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum; the Frist Art Museum; the Getty Research Institute; the Hammer Museum; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Israel Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Louvre; Musée d’art Contemporain Bordeaux; Musée d'Orsay; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the National Gallery, London; the National Gallery of Canada; the Palais de Tokyo; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Serpentine Galleries; the Städel Museum Frankfurt; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Storm King Art Center; the Tate; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and the Walker Art Center.

“The 2020 edition of The Armory Show was a resounding success,” remarked Nicole Berry, Executive Director. “Despite concerns regarding global travel and the coronavirus, the atmosphere at the Piers was notably energetic; it was clear that appreciation of the arts abounded. The reception to our enhanced curatorial program, an insightful selection of exhibitors, and an expanded diversity of artists and galleries from around the world was extremely positive. Sales were reportedly steady and robust across the sections and throughout the run of show. Significant acquisitions were made for both private collections and public institutions. We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished at the Piers over the years. Now, we turn our attention to the next edition in September of 2021 and look forward to welcoming everyone to the Javits Center for a new and exciting chapter for The Armory Show.”

The Armory Show is proud to have been presented, for the fourth consecutive year, by Lead Partner Athena Art Finance and Yieldstreet.

Exhibitor statistics
• The 2020 edition of The Armory Show featured representation from 32 countries, welcoming 33 first-time exhibitors among 183 total galleries.

• The 12 exhibitors in 2020 who participated in the fair’s earliest editions at the Gramercy Park Hotel were: Kasmin, Brooke Alexander, 303 Gallery, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Jeffrey Deitch, Haines Gallery, Galerie Krinzinger, Pierogi, Yancey Richardson Gallery, Frederic Snitzer Gallery, and Zeno X Gallery.

• There were 49 exhibitors whose 2020 presentation marked 10 or more years with the fair, including: Sean Kelly, who showed at The Armory Show for the 19th time, and Victoria Miro and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, who each celebrated their 20th consecutive year. Others with more than 10 years were James Cohan, Carolina Nitsch, Andrew Kreps Gallery, DC Moore Gallery, and Galerie Templon.

• 114 exhibitors from 2019 returned for the 2020 fair, including Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Alison Jacques Gallery, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Galerie Nara Roesler, and Van Doren Waxter.

• Among the 25 exhibitors who returned in 2020 after a 1-3 year hiatus were Gagosian, Barbara Mathes Gallery, Richard Saltoun, R & Company, and Night Gallery.

• Among the 10 exhibitors who returned after a 5-10 year hiatus were Bortolami Gallery, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, and Simon Lee Gallery.

Sales highlights
• 20-time Armory Show exhibitor Victoria Miro reported preview day sales of 14 works ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000 each.

• First-time exhibitor Denny Dimin Gallery sold out its solo booth of Amir H. Fallah, with over $100,000 in preview day sales, including an acquisition by an important American institution.

• 12-time exhibitor Cristea Roberts Gallery had opening day sales exceeding $1,000,000.

• 303 Gallery—an exhibitor in The Armory Show’s original 1994 edition—sold six works on preview day this year, including three by Alicja Kwade, ranging from $20,000 to $150,000 each.

• Second-time exhibitor Luis De Jesus Los Angeles’ presentation of June Edmonds (the 2020 recipient of the inaugural $10,000 AWARE prize) saw eight sales. Buyers included a Hammer Museum board member and a Midwest institution.

• 17-time exhibitor Zeno X Gallery reported the $700,000 sale of a 2010 Luc Tuymans to a private collection on opening day.

• Three-time exhibitor Sorry We’re Closed sold out their booth, placing works from their solo presentation of Robert Nava into strong private and institutional collections.

• First-time exhibitor Voloshyn Gallery, based in the Ukraine, had opening day sales of 23 objects from Zhanna Kadyrova’s performative installation, The Market, of which the artist held a previous iteration in the Arsenale at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

• 13-time exhibitor Galerie Templon‘s group presentation of Omar Ba, Iván Navarro, Kehinde Wiley, and others yielded numerous sales ranging from $30,000 to $300,000 each.

• 19-time exhibitor Sean Kelly reported a strong preview day, selling out its Hugo McCloud plastic works to museums at prices ranging from $75,000 to $95,000. Many Dawoud Bey photographs sold in the range of $7,000 to $20,000; both Callum Innes paintings sold for £65,000 each; a Julian Charrière sculpture sold for $60,000; and a number of other works sold at undisclosed prices.

• Within the first hours of preview day, 15-time exhibitor Kohn Gallery reported significant placements of works by Caroline Kent, Chiffon Thomas, Sophia Narrett, and Kate Barbee. Prices ranged from $10,000 to $70,000 each, and sales included an acquisition by a major institution in Texas as well as a promised gift to a major West Coast museum.

• Four-time exhibitor von Bartha reported numerous sales of works by Imi Knoebel, Landon Metz, and Anna Dickinson, each ranging from $8,000 to $130,000.

• First-time exhibitor Dastan’s Basement, based in Tehran, sold three of its four large-scale Medhi Ghadyanloo paintings, with the fourth on reserve. Prices ranged from $20,000 to $44,000.

• Five-time exhibitor Gavlak Gallery reported nine sales, including a $125,000 colored pencil work by Yoshitomo Nara.

• 11-time exhibitor Hollis Taggart sold a 1945 Hans Hofmann for $225,000, with several other sales in the $45,000 - $125,000 range.

• Second-time exhibitor Charlie James Gallery placed nearly all works within the first hours of the fair.

• Gramercy International Prize recipient Kai Matsumiya reported strong sales from his solo presentation of Pedro Wirz, with works in the $3,500 range.

• 18-time exhibitor Andrew Kreps sold several works from Roe Ethridge in the $25,000 range; several works from Andrea Bowers in the $25,000 - $40,000 range; a Moshekwa Langa work in the $30,000 range; and a Yayoi Kusama sculpture for $90,000.

• Four-time exhibitor Kayne Griffin Corcoran reported strong sales, with a 2020 painting by Mary Corse selling for $280,000 and two Hank Willis Thomas works selling for $40,000 and $80,000. Additional sales of works by Mary Corse, Mary Obering, and Mika Tajima each ranged from $35,000 - $45,000, and a Rosha Yaghmai piece sold for $18,500.

• Three-time exhibitor Upfor Gallery (the 2020 recipient of the $10,000 Presents Booth Prize, supported by Athena Art Finance and Yieldstreet) sold 34 works from its solo presentation of Julie Green, including three to important corporate and nonprofit collections.

• Five-time exhibitor Pippy Houldsworth Gallery sold many works in the $8,500 - $95,000 range, multiple of which were to institutions.

Notable fair attendees
Institutional leadership: Maxwell Anderson, Cecilia Alemani, Richard Armstrong, Elissa Auther, Nicholas Baume, Naomi Beckwith, Isolde Brielmaier, Germano Celant, Mary Ceruti, Patrick Collins, Deborah Cullen-Morales, Massimiliano Gioni, Thelma Golden, Deana Haggag, Arthur Lewis, Brett Littman, Glenn Lowry, Jessica Morgan, Anne Pasternak, Paul Schimmel, Eric Shiner, Yvonne Force Villareal, Adam Weinberg; Visual artists: Dawoud Bey, Chakaia Booker, Tara Donavan, Cassils, Maurizio Cattelan, Ryan Gander, Jeffrey Gibson, ORLAN, José Parlá, Howardena Pindell, Dread Scott, Hank Willis Thomas, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Dustin Yellin; Entertainment industry: James Franco, David Alan Greer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jill Kargman, Daniel Dae Kim, Di Mondo, Moe Harkless, Questlove, David Sedaris; Institutional trustees and private collectors: David Berliner, Sherri Bronfman, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Audrey Gruss, Agnes Gund, Sue Hancock, Susan and Michael Hort, Hassan Jameel, Jenny Laird, Burt Levitch, Bernard Lumpkin, Jorge Peréz, Don and Mera Rubell, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle; Additional: Francesco Aquilini, Waris Ahluwalia, Sabrina Buell, Cecilia Dean, Char Defrancesco, Pari Ehsan, Kim Hierston, Sander Lak, Polina Proshkina, Jerry Saltz.

This year’s edition saw the distribution of $40,000 in prizes to artists and galleries. Christine Wang’s Meme Girl, 2020, presented by Night Gallery, was the recipient of the second-annual $20,000 Pommery Prize, which recognizes an outstanding large-scale presentation in The Armory Show’s Platform section. June Edmonds, featured by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, was the winner of the inaugural AWARE Prize, which considers female-artist presentations in the fair’s Galleries section and awards $10,000 to the winning artist or her estate. Upfor’s presentation of Julie Green was the winner of the Presents Booth Prize, which awards $10,000 toward the recipient’s fair participation costs and was supported for its fourth year by Athena Art Finance and Yieldstreet.

On Thursday, March 5, the fair’s third-annual Curatorial Leadership Summit convened 70 invited curators for a daylong, closed-door program of discussions and breakout sessions, chaired this year by José Carlos Diaz, Chief Curator of the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh). Taking place in the Armory Live Theater on Pier 94, CLS offered a platform for attendees to explore and debate issues such as toxic philanthropy, race and representation, and the current state of affairs. Institutional representation included the August Wilson African Cultural Center; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum; the Chrysler Museum of Art; the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum; the Getty Research Institute; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Jewish Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Museo Tamayo; the Museum of Arts and Design; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Sex; the Queens Museum; and the Walker Art Center, to name just several. The Armory Show was pleased to receive resoundingly positive feedback from all attendees, and appreciation for hosting this annual event. Commented Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum:

“On top of The Armory Show's fair operations, to have found the time and head space to support curators in a way that is so meaningful to them is truly extraordinary. I’ve attended the convening three years in a row now and I get so much out of it. And I feel so lucky to have participated.”

Armory Live celebrated the 2020 fair edition with four days of dedicated talks featuring internationally renowned artists, curators, collectors, and art practitioners. Highlights included Jeffrey Gibson, who spoke with Brooklyn Museum curator Eugenie Tsai on the topic of cultural history, collectivism, and censorship. Renuka Sawhney of the Vera Institute of Justice led a conversation addressing representation, body politics, and mass incarceration. Additional Armory Live participants included Hank Willis Thomas (artist and For Freedoms co-founder), Legacy Russell (associate curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem), Dread Scott (artist), Liz Glynn (artist), and Jarl Mohn (collector).

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