NADA: Same Same but Different

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Pulse: Hits and Misses

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.

IMG_5265Fontainbleau Lobby

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 …

IMG_5271Striking a pose? My epic fail. IMG_5272Performance artists at the entry. Always a good sign. Sort of.
The view out back from the bar! Swanky!IMG_5266Lobby Bar. As expensive as it looks!IMG_5331Does 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.IMG_5335NADA Booths. Carpet. IMG_5275These were beautiful! And nicely curated. At the Young Art booth from LA.IMG_5277Shiny spectacle at Derek Eller GalleryIMG_5279Rob Rischer and Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller GalleryIMG_5281I want these tiny prints from Rob Tufnell, London!IMG_5283Fresh installation from KAYOKOYUKI from JapanIMG_5285This is actually not art. But I hoped that it was. IMG_5286Good work from the David Peterson Gallery from MinneapolisIMG_5288Best Art Clothing and Oversized Toothbrush at XYZ Collective, JapanIMG_5290Best Matching Art and Wallpaper! MIER Gallery from Los Angeles.IMG_5292Best Fake Breakfast: Bronze Croissants and Ceramic Coffee Cups at Southard Reid from LondonIMG_5293This one has faux plants growing in it…IMG_5295

IMG_5296Best Childish Combo of Art History & Tchotchke … goes to Marko Mäetamm at Temnikova & Kasela Gallery

IMG_5299Collaged painting by Asad Faulwell at Bill Brady. It’s pretty but seems a better fit for Art Miami.IMG_5302Kris Lemsalu “Father is in Town” from Temnikova & KaselaIMG_5304Wearable sweaters from Jaanus Samma at Temnikova & KaselaIMG_5306Cynthia Daignault @Lisa Cooley Gallery, NYCC_NADA_Miamibeach_1Cooper Cole Gallery featuring swirly paintings of naked clowns. I think?IMG_5312Yevgeniya Baras at Nicelle Beauchene GalleryIMG_5314Ryan Nord Kitchen at Nicelle Beauchene GalleryIMG_5315Calicoon Fine Arts, NY – loved the floor into wall painting happening!IMG_5317

IMG_5318A section of floor and painting at CalicoonIMG_5319Golden Art SelfieIMG_5320Laurel Gitlen Gallery, NYIMG_5322Best Giant Inflatable Earth filling a gallery booth: What Pipeline from DetroitIMG_5327Scott Reeder & others in the White Columns Print Portfolio – this is a great idea!
IMG_5330IMG_5332More glittery gold by Dave McDermott at Brennan & Griffin, NYIMG_5336CANADA, NYIMG_5338


IMG_5340The Green Gallery from Milwaukee, WIIMG_5341Cary Leibovitz at Invisible-Exports, NYIMG_5342IMG_5344


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