A Recap of NADA 2015 by Cara Ober
I keep reading accounts that NADA is still the “different” fair amongst the others, but this year I’m not seeing it.
NADA stands for New Art Dealers Alliance, and its New York and Miami fairs espouse an agenda of exploring “new or underexposed art that is not typical of the ‘art establishment'” and features some of the world’s “youngest and strongest art galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art.” It is the only major American art fair to be run by a non-profit and it features galleries that are members and non-members of their organization. This fair has existed at Art Basel Miami Beach since 2003.
I visited NADA a few years back when it was housed at the Ice Palace in Miami proper, and it’s sprawling industrial space, along with fun interactive outdoor sculpture and emphasis on publications made the fair feel exciting and fresh. Two years ago, I visited NADA at the historic Deauville Beach Resort in North Miami Beach and it still retained some of the just-from-the-beach casual fun. This year, its 13th, NADA has graduated south, down the beach to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, closer to Art Basel and some of the larger fairs. For me, it felt less fresh and exciting than in past years.
The new location is definitely fancier than the Deauville and boasted a swanky bar and indoor/outdoor pool-beach-grounds, but it also felt more plastic, lacking some of the old world grandeur of the chandelier-filled ballrooms where Miami Project set up this year. For some reason, this year NADA felt kind of tired and I was surprised to see some of the same works exhibited there (or very similar ones by the same artists) that I saw in 2013.
Although the new NADA was more centrally located near the “epicenter of fair activity,” past years boasted sellout opening nights, regardless of its more remote location. This fair is growing, but I am disappointed with its direction towards the sensationalism and schlock of larger fairs. There was still good work to be found, especially with some of its newest galleries in its smaller booths, but there was too much gimmick for me and I wanted more substance.
Is bigger really better? Am I hopelessly nostalgic? I miss those old NADA days of lounging in art hammocks at the Snow Palace. According to fair director Heather Hubbs, “Since the first edition, NADA Miami Beach has more than doubled in scale, and remains a vital alternative assembly of emerging voices in the contemporary art community.”
Photos below …
Striking a pose? My epic fail. Performance artists at the entry. Always a good sign. Sort of.
The view out back from the bar! Swanky!Lobby Bar. As expensive as it looks!Does this shirt make my butt look big?? Captions please… ? My favorite one is from Frank Perrelli: “I hope the briefs are cleaner.”
Art Shirt by Amanda Ross-Ho at Páramo, Guadalajara.NADA Booths. Carpet. These were beautiful! And nicely curated. At the Young Art booth from LA.Shiny spectacle at Derek Eller GalleryRob Rischer and Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller GalleryI want these tiny prints from Rob Tufnell, London!Fresh installation from KAYOKOYUKI from JapanThis is actually not art. But I hoped that it was. Good work from the David Peterson Gallery from MinneapolisBest Art Clothing and Oversized Toothbrush at XYZ Collective, JapanBest Matching Art and Wallpaper! MIER Gallery from Los Angeles.Best Fake Breakfast: Bronze Croissants and Ceramic Coffee Cups at Southard Reid from LondonThis one has faux plants growing in it…
Collaged painting by Asad Faulwell at Bill Brady. It’s pretty but seems a better fit for Art Miami.Kris Lemsalu “Father is in Town” from Temnikova & KaselaWearable sweaters from Jaanus Samma at Temnikova & KaselaCynthia Daignault @Lisa Cooley Gallery, NYCooper Cole Gallery featuring swirly paintings of naked clowns. I think?Yevgeniya Baras at Nicelle Beauchene GalleryRyan Nord Kitchen at Nicelle Beauchene GalleryCalicoon Fine Arts, NY – loved the floor into wall painting happening!
A section of floor and painting at CalicoonGolden Art SelfieLaurel Gitlen Gallery, NYBest Giant Inflatable Earth filling a gallery booth: What Pipeline from DetroitScott Reeder & others in the White Columns Print Portfolio – this is a great idea!
More glittery gold by Dave McDermott at Brennan & Griffin, NYCANADA, NY