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Armory Show's 'Focus' on Place

Posted on March 04, 2015

New York Armory ShowThe Armory Show, the vast contemporary and modern art fair held in New York City each spring, will this year showcase the artistic richness of a region that’s well known, but often misunderstood.

Armory Focus: Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean examines the work coming out of these diverse areas, which the Armory organizers are collectively calling “MENAM.” The exhibit will include curated works as well as site-specific projects presented by galleries and artists from the region. The show is intentionally expansive in the areas it covers, aiming to show that rather than isolated communities, these countries share many artistic and cultural touchstones.

This is the sixth edition of Focus, and one of several special exhibits taking place at the main Armory Show held on March 5-8 on Manhattan’s Pier 92 and 94. Previous iterations have examined China, Nordic countries, Latin America, and the U.S. But this year’s spotlight on MENAM comes as the area remains at the center of the world’s political and cultural conversation.

“It’s just the right time and place,” says Yesim Turanli, director of Pi Artworks, a gallery based in Istanbul and London. “The audience is ready to see the works this region is offering.”

The gallery will be exhibiting a solo show of Susan Hefuna, an Egyptian artist who incorporates into her art mashrabiya screens—traditional latticework crosshatches built from interconnected knobs and rods, offering protection from Egypt’s harsh sunlight. Hefuna weaves the screens with words and phrases, using them as a template to explore the “structures of connection that inhabit public spaces,” as Turanli puts it.

Read the rest at Rhapsody.

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