This week the Armory Show announced that Liz Magic Laser would be its selected Artist Commission for 2013. A friend of ours collaborating with the artist let it slip that “branding” and “rebranding” will be an essential part of her work – which, as it was announced, will incorporate those unsung aspects of marketing, such as focus groups.
This selection may be intentionally ironic for the fair, whose death knell has been sounded for several years running – recently, with the launch of the Independent, but more resiliently this spring, when Frieze kicked off its New York edition. (Maybe no coincidence the artist is most celebrated for her Performa 2011 commission, I Feel Your Pain?)
Now today news broke that the Armory Show may be snapped up soon, along with other Merchandise Mart fairs, Art Platform Los Angeles and Volta. According to the Art Newspaper, topping the list of contenders (that there are any at all is already intriguing) is Louise Blouin, the publishing empire behind the web portal Artinfo and responsible for Art+Auction and Modern Painters. The Louise Blouin Foundation has shown its allegiances to contemporary Russian culture on more than one occasion, hosting the Kandinsky Prize exhibition in London in 2009.
But Blouin isn’t the only hat in the ring. Nor is she the only Slavophile. Fresh off the newly-Russified ViennaFair (we particularly enjoyed Linda Yablonsky‘s account here, on Artforum.com), Sergey Skaterschikov has also announced his interest as “Plan B.” He was clear to TAN that this would not be a purchase: “We would commit a solid long-term investment to [the Armory Show]—but we won’t buy it at any price.”
Time will tell how this deal unfolds – and what better timing for this news to be hitting the press than immediately in the dust of a casually underwhelming Frieze week? Read the full story (what little else has been given) on the Art Newspaper, here.