Nicole Berry is the first woman to be the head of the New York Armory Show contemporary Art fair. The 2018 edition will open on Thursday March 8th and expects over 65 000 visitors. It is the most important Art Fair in New York. What can we expect from the 24th edition?
“I feel very well-suited to this role”
Nicole Berry is a woman who likes challenges. Prior to directing the Armory Show, she was the Deputy Director of EXPO Chicago where she won her spurs. Her 2017 nomination as the Director of the Armory Show in New York is the continuation of a brilliant career within the Fine Arts market. Indeed, Nicole Berry recently stated: “my experience in art fairs, my experience at galleries, my experience in the art world, all has led to this point, and I’m ready for the challenge of it.” In fact, Nicole Berry comes at a tricky time because her nomination follows the resignation of former Director Benjamin Genocchio after several complains for sexual harassment were filed by some of her female employees. Her experience at EXPO Chicago was determining because she participated in the Art fair ascension from its creation in 2012. “I wore a lot of hats, touched many things and really learned what you need to do to create a successful fair” said Nicole Berry to The Art Newspaper. As a result, she seems perfectly “suited for her role”.
Nicole Berry’s action in favor of the 24th Armory Show
Among the imported concepts from EXPO Chicago, Nicole Berry put together a curatorial summit alongside the commercial event. Indeed, the Director stated: “I wanted to do something that would be meaningful for curators, to create a space where they could have a conversation with their peers.” In fact, Naomi Beckwith, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art Curator, will conduct the summit. In that context, an entire day will be dedicated to discussions about cultural appropriation which has recently hit the headlines for great institutions such as the Whitney Museum. It also was the case for the British Museum after the release of blockbuster film Black Panther in which there is a heist scene at the museum’s African Art section. Such a strategy of seducing the Fine Arts market’s experts aims at making the Armory Show an unmissable event for any gallery which could win the approval of renowned Curators for the Artists they represent.
An emphasis on emerging galleries
The Art fair’s central theme is respected while other priorities are set under the leadership of Nicole Berry. In fact, a more important space is dedicated to emerging galleries while the most powerful galleries such as Gagosian and Perrotin are making a comeback. As a result, from 14 emerging galleries represented, the Armory Show goes this year up to 28. Nicole Berry said: “Mid-sized galleries are crucial to the fabric of the art world.” This special attention is highly strategic. Indeed, the idea is to reactivate the original subversive spirit of the Art-Fair that create new trends. Colin de Land, Pat Hearn, Matthew Marks and Paul Morris, the Armory Show’s founders, started at the Gramercy Hotel in New York with the firm intention of shaking the Art world up. “If we can get back to that, we’re fulfilling the wishes of our founders” as explained by Nicole Berry. As the Fine Arts market facilitator, Art-Trope supports Artists in dealing with their artistic career on the long-term which reinsures exhibition spaces including emerging galleries.
Read our article about Art-Trope Artist Trace Burroughs here.