Xu Bing's Phoenix Scullptures installed in St. John the Divine Church

Armory Arts Week, which takes place March 5-10, began in 1994 as The Gramercy International Art Fair, named after its initial location in the Gramercy Park Hotel. In 1999, the name was changed to The Armory Show and moved to the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue. Since then it has become one of the most anticipated art events of the season. We are all familiar with the big shows: The Armory Show at the Piers, Volta NY, Scope, ADAA, which, by the way, donates all of its ticket proceeds to the Henry Street Settlement. Here at Untapped Cities, we’d like to suggest some Armory Arts Week events you might not have thought of. 

Westbeth will celebrate Armory Arts Week with a live music event, Mardi Gras!, on Friday, March 7th from 8pm to 11pm. Curator Claudia Vargas is exhibiting six resident artists in the Gallery. The exhibition, ‘ FlyZone’, will be open every day this week from 1pm to 7pm and open late on Friday along with the concert.  Westbeth is a complex of 13 building which were formerly the site of Bell Labs.  They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2009) and located at 155 Bank Street.  They have a rich history of generations of some of our best known artists and a wonderful kick-off to any art week.

The Leica Gallery has been run in partnership with Leica Camera since 1994.  We are excited about their current exhibit with photographer Amy Arbus, daughter of Diane Arbus. Ms. Arbus’ work, entitled ‘On The Street 1980-1990’ includes 70 of her most iconic images and tear sheets.  The gallery is located at 670 Broadway at Great Jones Street and is open from Tuesday through Friday from Noon to 6pm and on Saturday from Noon to 5pm (closed Sunday).

The Spring Break Art Show caught our eye. Located in a four-story schoolhouse in NoLita, forty curators will premiere new artworks created by over 100 artists.  This years theme is PUBLICPRIVATE, where they aim to turn observation into interaction.

Art can take many forms, and we are intrigued by Pratt Institute’s popular current exhibit Black Dress – the work of 10 contemporary New York based black fashion designers.  Located at 144 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor and open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm (closed Sunday).

The National Arts Club, in collaboration with the John Soke Gallery, is exhibiting “Picasso The Printmaker: An Intimate View”.  This is an exploration of Pablo Picasso as a printmaker—and an opportunity to see the historically significant private club located at 15 Gramercy Park South.  The gallery is open from 10am to 5pm every day.

We are excited about the 150 works of Paul Gauguin, both prints and transfer drawings, that have arrived at the Museum of Modern Art. If you don’t have the $5,000 for the preview and after party on March 6th, ‘Gauguin: Metamorphoses’ will open to the public on Saturday, March 8th.  We hear it’s a must-see.

An impressive Uptown exhibit is by the Chinese artist Xu Bing in his masterful installation of Phoenix Sculptures at St. John the Divine Church in Morningside Heights.  The two huge sculptures weigh twelve tons each and are lit internally by LED lights. A video is on hand to give you a glimpse of what it took to create these colorful pieces and bring them to installation.

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