A routine inspection of Manhattan’s Pier 92 is causing havoc on the international art scene. Last week, parts of the pier were deemed structurally unsound, only 15 days prior to The Armory Show, which was scheduled to be housed at Pier 92 and 94. The event’s organizers scrambled to find a solution, eventually moving exhibitors to nearby Pier 90. In the reshuffling, Volta, the Armory Show’s sister fair, lost its location.
“For the last 36 hours, the Volta and Armory Show teams have been working collectively on finding solutions to these circumstances,” said Amanda Coulson, artistic director of Volta, in a statement. “We all agreed that presenting the New York 2019 edition in an extremely modified status would be a disservice to our galleries, the artists or the visitors. We therefore decided to postpone, fully refunding all the exhibitors, projects and sponsors.”
Founded in 2008, Volta has a focus on solo exhibitions by international artists and galleries. The 2019 show was scheduled to feature over 70 exhibitors representing artists from 37 countries, many of whom are reeling from the news.
“We had been working nine months to a year on this, and it would have been our first New York art fair,” Quang Bao, founder of New York-based gallery 1969, tells Business of Home. Bao was planning on running an exhibit by Baltimore artist Coady Brown at Volta and is now looking for alternatives. “We’re heartbroken and disappointed. I feel especially bad for internationally galleries that have shipped artworks and paid for their travel already.”
Volta’s summer exhibition in Basel will be unaffected, and, according to the organizers, Volta will return to New York in 2020.
Later in March, the Architectural Digest Home Show is scheduled to proceed as normal at its prime location in Pier 94. The event’s charity sister show, DIFFA’s Dining by Design, which is held in Pier 92, will also be unaffected. A spokesperson for DIFFA told BOH that the unsafe area of the pier will be walled off, and that Dining by Design will be confined to the front of the building, which has passed inspection by the city.