Holland Cotter puts the Armory Show in perspective:
The Armory Show, which is on through Sunday, has always been closely watched for what it has to say about the health of the art market. Scrutiny will be particularly intense this year. And while sales tallies can’t be known for some days, observers may perceive advance indicators of distress.
For one thing, several fair stalwarts, who are also large art-world names, have not returned this year, among them Lehmann Maupin, Friedrich Petzel, Greene Naftali, the Project, Patrick Painter and Matthew Marks. Mr. Marks’s absence carries particular psychological significance, as he was — along with Pat Hearn, Colin de Land and Paul Morris — one of the fair’s founders 15 years ago. [ . . . ]
And maybe the thinking was just by being big and new, it might give the whole enterprise a lift, which it needs. The Armory Show is feeling its years. What began as a larky meet-and-greet weekend in bedroom suites of the Gramercy Park Hotel is now a marketing convention standard in every way, right down to overpriced salads, crummy coffee and the presence of people who actually believe they are V.I.P.’s.
The addition of a Modernist component basically kills off any scant remaining trace of the fair’s original character, and that may be a bad idea in the long run. In the short run, though, it lends the proceedings a historical gloss.
On the Piers, Testing the Waters in a Down Market (New York Times)