New York kicks off big week of modern art shows

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The Independent Culture

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked off a week of major modern art exhibits here Tuesday featuring artists, galleries and aficionados from around the world.

The week, climaxing with the Armory Show, comes amid renewed optimism in an art market hoping to profit from a flood of bonus cash paid to Wall Street bankers at the start of the year - 20.3 billion dollars, or a 17 percent rise from last year, according to state authorities.

"New York City is home to the world's most vibrant and diverse arts and cultural community, and this growing week of events underscores that," Bloomberg said, predicting the shows will "generate nearly 44 million dollars in economic activity."

"The timing couldn't be any better," he said.

The 12th annual Armory Show opens Thursday at Hudson River Piers 92 and 94, featuring important art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Its opening preview on Wednesday supports the Museum of Modern Art.

The Armory Show includes 289 exhibitors from 30 countries, and draws collectors and critics from around the globe.

Bloomberg spoke at the opening of the Arts Dealers Association of America's (ADAA) Art Show, which includes dozens of exhibitors from leading art dealers and galleries.

Other events during the week include the "Dutch Art Now" show of contemporary works and the "Korean Arts Show," which features works of 100 artists and 24 South Korean galleries.

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