The Armory Show has selected Sally Tallant, director of the Liverpool Biennial; Lauren Haynes, curator of contemporary art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas; and Dan Byers, director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to curate sections of its 2019 fair. Next year’s edition, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Armory Show’s founding in 1994, will run from March 7 to 10 on Piers 92 and 94 in New York.
Tallant has previously served as head of programs at the Serpentine Gallery in London, and is currently vice president of the International Biennial Association. She will oversee the “Platform” section, which is devoted to large-scale installations and performances. According to a release, Tallant “will take the 1939 New York World’s Fair as a point of departure,” and “Platform” will feature work by international artists “who offer hope, respite, and resilience in the face of rising global political uncertainty.”
Haynes, who worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem prior to joining Crystal Bridges in 2016, is a specialist in African-American contemporary art. She is the curator of “Focus,” a section at the Armory Show dedicated to solo and two-person presentations.
Before starting at the Carpenter Center, Byers held curatorial positions at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and was a co-curator of the 2013 Carnegie International. Byers will chair the second edition of the Curatorial Leadership Summit—a daylong symposium that addresses curatorial issues.
Nicole Berry, executive director of the Armory Show, told ARTnews that these curators bring “a new energy” to the fair.
“Curators often have their finger on the pulse,” Berry said. “They can provide new and exciting works that challenge the viewers that they might not see at other fairs. It is important to us to have art on view that isn’t being seen elsewhere. We want to have that sense of discovery—something special and interesting.”
The 2019 Armory Show will also see the implementation of several changes to the fee structure for participating dealers, as part of an effort to be more accessible to mid-size galleries. Under Berry’s leadership, the fair has decreased booth prices by 5 percent, and consolidated shipping—which allows galleries to ship artworks together at more cost-efficient rates—and special hotel pricing for Armory Show exhibitors are also in the works.
“We’re aware of the financial risks of doing a fair, and we want to do whatever we can to help alleviate financial risks as much as possible,” Berry said.