The full impact of Armory Week’s schedule shift—and its ripples across the currently anarchic global art fair calendar—won’t be clear for another year at least. But this inaugural September outing seems to portend good things. There’s now more distance between it and New York’s other big fair week, anchored by Frieze New York in early May, and assuming Art Basel in Basel returns to its usual June time slot after a rescheduled 2021 edition opening in just eight days, a mass art world migration to New York in early September could become an annual tradition. And, in the end, one of the few silver linings for gallerists of the seemingly endless COVID crisis may be that next time around, there will be time for in-depth conversations and intense competition among VIPs lined up at the door on opening day.
“There wasn’t this sort of mad rush to get in at the beginning like you might have seen before,” Berry said. “But immediately, I had many collectors tell me, ‘I got here at 10 a.m. and the things I wanted were already gone, I had just missed them by two minutes.’ So even though it wasn’t frenetic, people were still very active.”