The Armory Show

The Armory Show

The Armory Show

October 9, 2014

March 5–8, 2015 

Opening day: Wednesday, March 4 (invited guests only)

Public hours 
Thursday, March 5–Sunday, March 8, noon–7pm

Piers 92 & 94 
12th Avenue at 55th Street 
New York City

The Armory Show announces that Omar Kholeif, Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, will curate the 2015 Armory Focus initiative.

Each year, Armory Focus highlights a different geographic region. This sixth edition of this curated section is titled Armory Focus: Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean (“Focus: MENAM”). Focus: MENAM will examine contemporary cultural and artistic practice from this dynamic part of the world. Reflecting on the region’s recent growth as a cultural hub, The Armory Show will showcase an exciting selection of key galleries and artists. The section will be comprised of monographic and curated presentations, along with site-specific projects and a dedicated symposium.

Curator Omar Kholeif notes that the concept of the Global South has increasingly started to proliferate in the art world—in museums, the marketplace, and in criticism. It is essential for one to consider alternative centers, or starting points for the history of art, as cultural output, audiences and collecting becomes more global.”

With this expanded map of the Middle East, Focus: MENAM aims to show the parallel history of unification and separation across multiple countries, dispelling older notions of regional isolation. The salon-style section will be a journey through history and geography, embracing the recent flourishing of artistic practices and institutions in this territory. 

This year’s Focus section will be presented in collaboration with Edge of Arabia, a non-profit arts and education enterprise and cultural platform connecting artists & ideas between the Middle East and the western world. Edge of Arabia, in partnership with Art Jameel, is currently embarked on a three-year, cross-cultural tour across the United States of America, with the aim to connect artists, bridge communities and inspire renewed collaboration across borders. An artistic expedition in search of connections and empathy across cultures, the first leg of the US tour will coincide with The Armory Show, celebrating the outcomes of multiple artistic projects connecting the two territories.

Noah Horowitz, Executive Director of The Armory Show states, “This year’s focus initiative will help shine light on a thriving part of the contemporary art world which to date has achieved only limited visibility in the American market, despite its increasingly sophisticated commercial and institutional developments and the wealth of artistic talent within it. Through the unique vision of Omar Kholeif, achieved in partnership with Edge of Arabia, we hope this year’s section will create dialogue with our audiences both in New York and also internationally about how the region is defined and how it is interpreted both at home and abroad.” 

The Armory Show is New York’s leading fair for modern and contemporary art. A seminal event in the annual New York arts calendar, the fair spearheads Armory Arts Week, a city-wide program of cultural events and exhibitions. The Armory Show 2015 will again feature an acclaimed VIP program, a lively opening night benefit party at the Museum of Modern Art and the engaging Open Forum discussion series. Next year’s fair timing will also coincide again with The Art Show, organized by The Art Dealers Association of America, whom The Armory show has consistently been in partnership with, and other art fairs including VOLTA, Moving Image, Independent, Scope, and Pulse, further enhancing the line-up of Armory Arts Week events planned in partnership with New York’s leading cultural institutions, and attracting a wide scope of international collectors, curators, scholars, and press. 

The selection of The Armory Show’s artist commission for 2015 will be announced on 27 October. 

About the Armory Focus Curator 
Omar Kholeif is a writer, curator and editor. He is currently Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester as well as Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing. Previously he headed up Art and Technology at SPACE, London (where he was director of The White Building, London’s centre for art and technology) and was Curator at FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool.

Kholeif has also been Artistic Director at the Arab British Centre, London and founding director of the UK’s Arab Film Festival. In 2012, he was a co-curator of the Liverpool Biennial. He was a founding editor of Portal 9, an Arabic-English journal of urbanism and architecture. His most recent publications include You Are Here: Art After the Internet (2014), Virgin with a Memory (for Sophia Al-Maria) (2014) and Jeddah Childhood circa 1994 (2014). In 2015, he will curate the Pavilion for Cyprus at the 56th Venice Biennale and the Abraaj Group Art Prize at Art Dubai, UAE. 

Edge of Arabia
Edge of Arabia is an independent non-profit arts and education enterprise and cultural platform connecting artists & ideas between the Middle East and western world. The initiative is the brainchild of two artists, Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia) and Stephen Stapleton (UK/Norway) who met in the mountains of South-West Saudi Arabia in 2003 and shared a common desire “to create a real artistic movement that connected people across borders.” With its exhibitions, expeditions, educational programs, and publications, it seeks to foster new audiences, create expanded networks and inspire artists to develop independent and authentic practices, which connect ideas across borders.
Based between London and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Edge of Arabia maintains creative independence and has, to date, welcomed over 250,000 visitors to its exhibitions and distributed over 50,000 publications worldwide. International exhibitions include Rhizoma, 55th Venice Biennale (2013); #COMETOGETHER, East London (2012); We Need to Talk, Jeddah (2012); The Future of a Promise, 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Terminal, Dubai (2011); Transition, Istanbul: European Capital of Culture (2010); Grey Borders/Grey Frontiers, Berlin (2010); Edge of Arabia, Riyadh (2010); Edge of Arabia, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); and Edge of Arabia, University of London (2008). Edge of Arabia’s current US Tour takes place in partnership with Art Jameel. More information can be found online at

Art Jameel
Art Jameel—Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) arts and culture initiative—aims to foster and promote a thriving arts scene within the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region and to support the development of creative enterprises. In partnership with art organizations worldwide, Art Jameel develops cultural exchange programs to encourage networking and knowledge sharing.
Art Jameel is the founding partner of Edge of Arabia, The Crossway Foundation, Arabian Wings, Jeddah Art Week and The Archive. In partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London it provides the biannual Jameel Prize for contemporary art inspired by Islamic traditions. Additional projects include Jeddah Sculptures Museum, a public park established in collaboration with Jeddah Municipality; the Art Jameel Photography Award; and the Art Jameel Art Olympics in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia.
ALJCI was established in 2003 to promote positive social change through the establishment of long-term partnerships with international institutions, and the creation of initiatives in the fields of job creation, global poverty alleviation, arts and culture, education and training, health and social. More information on ALJCI’s considerable set of initiatives can be found online at
Armory Focus
Previous editions of The Armory Show’s Focus section have included: 
Armory Focus: China (2014), curated by Philip Tinari; Armory Focus: USA (2013), curated by Eric Shiner; Armory Focus: Nordic Countries (2012), curated by Jacob Fabricius; Armory Focus: Latin America (2011), and Armory Focus: Berlin (2010).

The Armory Show 
The Armory Show, a leading international contemporary and modern art fair and one of the most important annual art events in New York, takes place every March on Piers 92 & 94 in central Manhattan. The Armory Show is devoted to showcasing the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries. In its 15 years the fair has become an international institution, combining a selection of the world’s leading galleries with an exceptional program of arts events and exhibitions throughout New York during the celebrated Armory Arts Week. 

Press contacts 
United States
Shayna McClelland, McClelland
T +1 347 744 5991 / shayna [​at​]

Claire Walsh, Brunswick Arts
T +44 (0) 20 7936 1290 / thearmoryshow [​at​]

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The Armory Show
October 9, 2014

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