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What makes the SPRING/BREAK Art Show So Different, So Appealing?

Natalie Hegert chats with three SPRING/BREAK curators about their projects and what makes this show an Armory Week stand out.

The SPRING/BREAK Art Show inevitably feels like a huge art school party. Maybe because it’s held in a school. But also because of the almost cliquish camaraderie among the exhibitors, the artwork packed halls, the crowded downstairs bar area, and the perennial pack of artist-types chain-smoking outside. Having gone to grad school in NYC, it seems like I always run into people I know at SPRING/BREAK, either exhibiting, curating or just checking it out (because they know someone else who is exhibiting or curating there). As one person I talked to put it, SPRING/BREAK operates much the same as a Wes Anderson film, with a core group of recurrent curators and artists introducing new curators to each other. In this way, SPRING/BREAK manages to present a cogent, if uneven, portrait of what’s happening now in art in New York City.

On the occasion of SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2014 I talked with three participating curators – Maureen Sullivan, Chris Bors, and Collin Munn – about their projects, their involvement in the show, and inquired of each, what makes the SPRING/BREAK Art Show so different, so appealing? 

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SCOPE's Katelijne De Backer Pulls Back the Curtains

It's undeniable that the proliferation, expansion, and emboldening of the art fair is a distinct characteristic of our contemporary art world. The art fair industry over the last decade has grown exponentially, becoming a crucial part of the art landscape, developing from mere trade shows into elaborate events and necessary meeting grounds for art professionals. Charlie Schultz talks with Katelijne De Backer, Director of Exhibitor Relations for SCOPE, about the evolution of art fairs, her tenure as director of The Armory Show, and how art fairs affect the culture of art.

Charlie Schultz: What, in your opinion, defines a successful fair?

Katelijne De Backer: You can call a fair successful when galleries meet the right curators, when collectors meet great artists, when artists meet new galleries, when galleries meet buying collectors, when galleries meet interesting partner galleries, etc. It's a meeting point where art aficionados from around the world get together and a great fair should give a clear sense of what is happening in the global art world today...

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Elizabeth Tully Talks Fountain with ArtSlant Street

Artslant Street got the chance to sit down with Fountain Art Fair Director and resident badass, Elizabeth Tully. Armed with her tool belt and an iPhone, Tully is the creamy center of Fountain’s production cookie. Working between founders Johnny Leo and David Kesting, Tully packs a bark just as big as her bite and the result has been five years in the driver's seat of the critically acclaimed alternative art fair. Celebrated as one of the leading satellite exhibition spaces for emerging artists, Fountain opens its doors this Thursday, March 7th, for its eighth season of exhibition during New York City’s Armory Arts Week.

Allyson Parker: How does the experience at Fountain differ from other fairs?

Elizabeth Tully: I think the mix of exciting programming and an eclectic mix of exhibitors creates a vibe that feels organic and fun. We strive to be an engaging entry point for emerging collectors and artists alike...

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The ArtSlant Armory Week Fair Guide:

  The Armory Show
  ADAA The Art Show

  Volta NY
  Fountain Art Fair
  Spring Break Art Show
  Moving Image

With more event highlights and details added daily...

From Realism to Radicalism

Iona Whittaker speaks with Focus: China curator Philip Tinari about contemporary Chinese art at The Armory Show.


Interview with Xu Zhen

The Armory 2014 Commissioned Artist, Xu Zhen, speaks with ArtSlant correspondent Vivian Xu about commercialism, Madeln, and the legacy of Chinese art...

William Monk, Hands, 2014, oil on canvas, 94 7/16 x 94 7/16 in; Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery, New York. At The Armory Show, Pier 94.

Rosalind NashashibiThe Joins (2), 2013, relief prints, approx. 39 1/4 x 24 3/4 in each; Courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York. At Independent.

Buck Ellison, Only the horse knows how the saddle fits, 2013, chromogenic color print, 20 1/4 x 25 1/2 in., Edition of 5 + 2 AP; Courtesy of the artist and Ratio 3, San Francisco. At The Armory Show, Pier 94.

Katja Loher, Toybubble, 2010, 2-Channel video composition, hand-blown glass bubbles, video screen embedded in an acrylic box, 2:22 minutes, looped, 14 x 14 x 10 in, Edition of 5 + 2 AP; Courtesy of the artist and C24 Gallery, New York. At Volta NY.


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