Fountain: The Armory Alternative

Fountain Art Show, Pier 66
Fountain Art Show, Pier 66

Fountain New York, the alternative art exhibition known for presenting cutting-edge and independent art galleries, sets up shop at Pier 66 for its latest installment during the Armory this March 5 – 8. Fountain is a guerrilla-style art event, dubbed by many as the “Anti Art Fair” for its brash, off-the-wall offerings of non-traditional art exhibitions in the art fair environment.

Recruiting avant-garde galleries who showcase progressive primary-market works, Fountain returns for its 3rd year in New York, giving gallery-goers and art enthusiasts the opportunity to see new works without traditional booths or selection juries. While most fairs have fallen into the hands of corporate management, Fountain remains independent, and as such presents work in a forward-thinking manner. Unencumbered by the strict presentation guidelines and parameters found at other fairs, Fountain preserves the visions of galleries and dealers to provide an environment reflective of the artists and their works.

Fountain’s venue, Pier 66 a 12,000 square-foot complex with both interior and exterior exhibition areas, is adjacent to all the major New York exhibitions. Participating galleries receive approximately 500 square feet of exhibition space, so visitors can expect massive installations of contemporary painting, sculpture, performance and new media art.

Fountain was launched in March 2006 in New York in an effort to leverage support for independent galleries overlooked by the larger, corporate-sponsored art fairs. The name “Fountain” is a nod to Marcel Duchamp’s controversial sculpture which shook up the art world when it was rejected by the Society of Artists’ exhibition in 1917. Similarly, in defiant contrast with The Armory Show, Art Basel Miami Beach, Pulse, Scope and the numerous other international art fairs, Fountain has received wide public support and critical acclaim for its experimental slant. In form and spirit, the artwork exhibited at Fountain reflects the avant-garde attitude of the Dada art movement, while attracting the attention of the international clientele and top collectors who attend the more traditional fairs.

Does anyone want to provide us with a followup?

I still don’t know how all these artists can find Williamsburg inspiring…

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage. When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city. With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s. The result will be a book with a video component. We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url will point to the latest updates on this weblog.


what did you think of the art? i am considering going, but is it worth the trip, or should i just go to the armory modern show. there is only so much art one can do between now and the eighth of march.

I have not been to either yet. I suppose it might depend on your budget. If you just want to see art (or have a full pocket), check out the Armory show. If you want more affordable art, check out Fountain. I would guess that you can see some of what’s at the Fountain show walking around Williamsburg.

The show opened to the public last night and we brought in 3000 visitors. Overall the press from the show is great with Urban Eye, Art Comments, and Time Out New York. Highlights from the show would be the Greg Haberny – Donkey Party Game from McCaig Welles gallery, Glowlab’s installation for the Swoon Benefit and Kevin Bourgeois’ install from Chi Contemporary. I of course recommend a visit to see the younger fresher take on the art fair madness, but I am also helping to organize the exhibition.

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