Armory Show Preview Goes Live Online, Still Not as Interesting as It Was 100 Years Ago

February 28, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

The centennial Armory art show opens a week from today, and because nobody can handle the anticipation, a comprehensive virtual preview went live this morning on Artsy, the browsing platform run on the Art Genome Project.

From a quick scroll through, it seems that the experience on their well-designed HTML5 site is far more pleasant than the real thing of strolling through a maze of endless cubicles stuffed with decorative luxury items. Save for a handful of notable exceptions — Jim Campbell, Alain Jacquet and few others — much of the work is a bit meh.

Thankfully, Open Culture pointed us today to the Art Institute of Chicago, which has virtually recreated the still more interesting 1913 Armory Art Show, which opened to shock and awe at 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Ave in New York, then traveled to Chicago and Boston in more tightly-curated iterations.

“It’s this moment in time, 100 years ago,” Museum of Modern Art curator Leah Dickerman tells NPR, “in which the foundations of cultural practice were totally reordered in as great a way as we have seen. And that this marks a reordering of the rules of art-making — it’s as big as we’ve seen since the Renaissance.”

Exactly something you probably won’t find yourself saying walking off a West Side pier next week.

(Photo: Gallery 53 (Northeast), Courtesy Art Institute of Chicago.)