The Armory Show
Piers 92 and 96, Twelfth Ave., at 55th St.; 3/8–3/11; Th–S (noon–8 p.m.), Su (noon–7 p.m.); $30, $15 students
This behemoth loves it when you call it big poppa, with its hundreds of exhibitors divided into two sections: Modern (Pier 92) and Contemporary (Pier 94). Besides that there are forums, performances, and a film schedule, making it possible to never see daylight.
7W–7 West 34th St., nr. Sixth Ave., 11th fl., 3/8–3/11; Th (2 p.m.–7 p.m.), F–Su (11 a.m.–7 p.m.); $10–$15, $40 Volta and Armory Pass
Midtown gets a creative infusion with a fair of solo exhibitions. Also on the docket: forums with thought-provoking titles like "Journalism and Valuation in Contemporary Art" and "Enduring Utopistics."
Scope Art Show
Scope Pavilion; 57th St. and Twelfth Ave; 3/7–3/11; W (VIP and first view, 3 p.m.–8 p.m.), Th–S (noon–8 p.m.), Su (noon–7 p.m.); $10–$15, $20, $10 students, $100 First view
Contemporary art will be shown in all its forms, as one of the larger fairs—building a space across from the Armory Show and now incorporating events and performances across genres—celebrates its eleventh year. Proceeds benefit the New York-based nonprofit, chashama.
ADAA: The Art Show
Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th St.; 3/7–3/11; Wed–S (noon–8 p.m.), Su (noon–6 p.m.); $20
The most blue chip of the fairs is also the nation's longest-running, organized by the Art Dealers Association of America and benefiting the Henry Street Settlement. Attendees will not only be able to see programs and group installations, but also solo and two-person shows, like David Wojnarowicz and Hunter Reynolds from P•P•O•W and Cindy Sherman’s “Murder Mystery” collage series from 1976 at Metro Pictures.
Fountain New York
Pier 66 and the Frying Pan, 68 Lexington Ave., nr. 25th St.; 3/9–3/11; noon–7 p.m.; $10 day pass; $15 weekend pass at the door
Named after Duchamp's famous piece, the avant-garde fest features a 200-foot street-art installation, 60 galleries, and live-action performance art. Art-improv collective Art Liars kick off festivities on Friday, with electro-psych rockers Spirit Animal, and a D.J. set by Fab 5 Freddy, who will also have some of his own art on display.
Waterfront New York Tunnel, 269 Eleventh Ave., nr. 27th St.; 3/8–3/11; Th–S (11 a.m.–8 p.m.), Su (11 a.m.–3 p.m); Free
Single-channel videos and video sculptures selected from international commercial galleries and nonprofit institutions, including artists like Germany's Jaakko Pallasvuo and NYC's Alex Prager.
548 West 22nd St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 3/8–3/11; Th (4 p.m.–9p.m.), F (11 a.m.–8 p.m.), S (11 a.m.–8 p.m.), Su (11–4 p.m.); Free
It's the third year this impressive collaboration takes over three floors in the former Dia building in Chelsea, exhibiting 43 international galleries in an open-layout plan, making it less of a fair and more of a conversation. Make sure you take a gander at the roof: This year it will house 29º Observatory, a site-specific environment designed by architect Christian Wassmann, who also authored the layout of the exhibition.
The Flatiron Hotel, 9 West 26th St., nr. Broadway; 3/9–3/11, 3 p.m–10 p.m.; Free
One for under-the-radar artists to gain exposure and connect them with dealers, galleries, and collectors. They'll also offer lectures, special projects, and events.
Wyndham Garden Inn Chelsea, 37 West 24th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 3/8–3/11, noon–10 p.m.; Free
Developed by nonprofit artist-run organization, Conceptual Arts Network, the theme of this fair is "Impossible to Understand," but you should try anyway. The artists will be on hand to assist.
PULSE Gallery Walk
Various Locations; 3/8, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.; Free
It should be a beautiful weekend for this free art walk, organized by the folks behind Pulse, a contemporary art fair with signature large-scale sculpture, with this year's showcase held in May. Check the website for participating galleries.