On The Avenue

An Armory moment at MoMA

by Kelly Laffey Photographed by Owen Hoffmann/PMC
Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Armory Show has come and gone, but memories from the Armory Party at MoMA, which kicked off the weekend-long art show, remain.

All of the museum’s exhibitions were open for the March 1 event, though security ensured that drinks did not leave the main lobby area. Wouldn’t want to spill on MoMA’s current blue-chip exhibition, Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction, which is a comprehensive survey of Picabia’s work across all mediums.

The party got going at around 10:30 p.m., when St. Lucia took the stage with their signature Indie electronic sound. “I’m at a loss for words. This has been awesome,” said frontman Jean Philip Grobler as he closed out the set. Guests from around the art world came to celebrate, with many having attended the VIP preview of the Armory show beforehand. A few painters, whose work was not in the exhibit (yet!) noted that they had taken a bus to Midtown from the Armory’s westside space, “It may have stopped at a few bars along the way,” one exclaimed as she raised her glass. 

Just above the dance floor, the featured exhibit was 100 Years, by photographer Hand-Peter Feldman. The display incorporated pictures of 101 different people at every age, from zero to 100, displayed linearly so that guests could walk around the room and watch as people steadily became older.

The Armory Show was founded in 1994 by Colin de Land, Pat Hearn, Matthew Marks and Paul Morris, four New York gallerists who sought a platform to present and promote new voices in the visual arts. The show began in the Gramercy Park Hotel before moving to the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Armory—where it acquired its name—to its present location at Piers 92 and 94 on the west side. 

The very first Armory Party at MoMA took place in 2001. The celebrations won’t end any time soon.



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