When 6 Mar 2014 - 9 Mar 2014
Where The Armory Show
Twelfth Avenue at 55th Street
New York City, NY 10019
United States
Cost General Admission
Enquiry (646) 616-7433

In Honor of Armory Focus: China, The Armory Show
Celebrates the Provocative Conceptualism of Artist Xu Zhen

NEW YORK – The Armory Show is pleased to announce that Xu Zhen has been chosen as the commissioned artist for the 2014 edition. Xu Zhen, a “chameleon of concept,” has built an extensive body of work that includes video, installation, performance, and photography. From theatrical merry pranks to quieter works playing on human sensitivity, Xu Zhen has developed a repertoire confronting social-political taboos within the context of contemporary China and beyond.

“I am very honored to be named the The Armory Show 2014 Commissioned Artist. The fair offers an strong platform for exchange, and for dialogue around art, the market and its many interrelated institutions and ideas,” says Xu Zhen.

Armory Focus: China, curated by Philip Tinari, Director of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, aims to illuminate the strength, dynamism, seriousness and originality of the Chinese art scene and system today. Tinari notes that “Xu Zhen’s participation will further activate many crucial questions meant to be raised by Armory Focus: China.Throughout his career, Xu Zhen has been at the forefront of critical thinking about the role of art and artists in contemporary China, engaging smartly and humorously with many of the big issues facing cultural production there today. It is also particularly thrilling that this year’s Armory Focus: China coincides with Xu Zhen’s major mid-career survey exhibition at UCCA.”

Noah Horowitz, Executive Director of The Armory Show notes, “Over the past decade, Xu Zhen has firmly established himself as one of the most insightful provocateurs of a younger generation of Chinese contemporary artists. We are thrilled to collaborate with him as the 2014 Commissioned Artist and through this initiative look forward to extending our fair’s legacy as a site for international dialogue and critical debate.”

Born in Shanghai in 1977, Xu Zhen is regarded as a leading figure of that city’s art scene and of the larger generation of artists born in the Post-Mao era. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he organized a number of groundbreaking underground exhibitions including “Supermarket: Art for Sale” and “Twins.” In 2001 he became the youngest Chinese artist ever to show at the Venice Biennale. In 2006 he oversaw the development of the online discussion platform now known as Art-Ba-Ba, which remains a key grassroots conduit for the circulation and dissemination of information and images about artistic developments around and beyond China. In 2009, he began working under the alias “MadeIn,” a studio conceived as a company and taking on commissions and projects as well as producing new work.

Xu Zhen has achieved international acclaim through exhibitions at venues such as the Venice Biennale, The Museum of Modern Art, the Mori Art Museum, MoMA PS1, Performa and the Tate Liverpool. As the commissioned artist, Xu Zhen will help create the visual identity of 2014 fair and create two limited edition artworks with proceeds benefiting the Museum of Modern Art and the Pat Hearn & Colin de Land Cancer Foundation.

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 2014 will again feature an acclaimed VIP program, a lively opening night party at the Museum of Modern Art and the engaging Open Forum discussion series. Next year’s fair will also coincide with the opening of the 2014 Whitney Biennial in early March, further enhancing the line-up of Armory Arts Week events planned in partnership with New York’s cultural institutions, and attracting a wide scope of international collectors, curators, scholars, and press.


Xu Zhen
Over his already long career, Xu Zhen (born 1977) has exhibited internationally, at museums and biennales, such as, Venice Biennale (2001, 2005), The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 2004), ICP (2004), Mori Art Museum (2005), PS1 (2006), Tate Liverpool (2007), Hayward Gallery (2012), Lyon Biennale (2013), etc. Xu Zhen’s curatorial experiments and engagement with an alternative art space and a website has complements and extends his conceptual practices. In 2009, he established “MadeIn Company,” a contemporary art creation corporate, focused on the production of creativity, and devoted to the research of contemporary culture’s infinite possibilities. In 2013, MadeIn Company launched the brand “Xu Zhen.”

History of The Armory Show Artist Commission
The Armory Show introduced its annual artist commission in 2002 with Karen Kilimnik. Since then, Barnaby Furnas (2003), Lisa Ruyter (2004), Jockum Nordström (2005), John Wesley (2006), Pipilotti Rist (2007), Mary Heilmann and John Waters (2008), Ewan Gibbs (2009), Susan Collis (2010), Gabriel Kuri (2011), Theaster Gates (2012) and Liz Magic Laser (2013) have also contributed to the visual identity of the fair. In 2006, The Armory Show began publishing an annual series of limited editions by its commissioned artists to benefit the Pat Hearn and Colin de Land Cancer Foundation and The Museum of Modern Art.

About the Armory Focus Curator
Philip Tinari is director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. There he oversees an exhibition program devoted to established figures and rising talents both Chinese and international, aimed at UCCA’s annual public of more than half a million visitors. Prior to joining UCCA he was editor-in-chief of LEAP, the international art magazine of contemporary China, which he founded and ran from 2009 to 2011. He has worked as China representative for Art Basel, contributing editor to Artforum, and lecturer in art criticism at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Tinari, who speaks fluent Mandarin, holds degrees from Duke and Harvard, and was a Fulbright fellow at Peking University.

About The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art is an independent, not-for-profit art center serving a global Beijing public. Located at the heart of Beijing’s 798 Art District, it was founded by the Belgian collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens and opened in November 2007. Through a diverse array of exhibitions with artists Chinese and international, established and emerging, as well as a wide range of public programs, UCCA aims to promote the continued development of the Chinese art scene, foster international exchange, and showcase the latest in art and culture to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The Armory Show
The Armory Show is a leading international contemporary and modern art fair with exceptional connections with American collectors, Museums Groups and the broader public. Each March selected international and American galleries present key artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries, in the fair’s central Manhattan location at the city’s historic Piers. In the last fifteen 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.

2014 Fair Show Dates
March 6-9, 2014
Piers 92 & 94
Twelfth Avenue at 55th Street
New York City

Opening Hours
Wednesday, March 5th – VIP Preview for invited guests
Thursday, March 6 – Sunday, March 9, noon to 7 pm

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

For more information please click here

Tickets are now available online.