Suzy and Will go to NADA
This is an art fair for the art educated. I have an MFA, graduated Summa Cum Laude, and I read art theory for fun, but the NADA (New Art Dealer’s Alliance) fair was even a little intimidating and unaccessible to me.
Typically NADA features a lot of young NY-based galleries and the other half come from across the country and the globe. Works here are slick, conceptual, obtuse, subtle, and ironic. This year, Baltimore’s Springsteen participated in the “Projects” section featuring younger galleries and smaller booths.
My partner in art fairs, Will, did his best here, but there were a lot of things that were challenging for him to justify and understand as art, like bananas hanging on a string or pieces of Wonder Bread embedded in beeswax.
On a good note, we were happy to see lots of ceramic pieces this year and a ton of painting, but were surprised to see very little in video.
NADA dealers on Sunday afternoon, probably exhausted by the end of a busy week.
Two years ago, I attended NADA NY and it was a hardcore NY-centric fair. In Miami, it’s definitely expanded to be more international, with several European and Japanese galleries in attendance. This fair is a manageable size, but most of the work is not easily digestible. Compared with others, this is an intellectual fair that walks a thin line between insider art world jokes and an ascetic, conceptual purity found mainly in art schools. There is a palpable confidence found at this fair, a sense that many of these galleries will be art world leaders in the future.
Best at NADA 2016:
Artist Chairs at Karma, NY. Funny and functional!
“Untitled” Mixed Media Sculpture by Donna Chung at Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, NY
“Study for Millenial Dreams” by Alex Dodge, oil on linen at Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, NY
Samara Golden, “Missing Pieces from A Fall of Corners #3” Foam, Plastic, Glue, Paint at Night Gallery, Los Angeles – I really enjoyed the transformative use of the industrial materials and plastic.
“3 Petals V2” by Mira Dancy, Neon with Acrylic Backing. This felt like such a typically Miami piece, just right in this context. I was shocked to find I loved a neon piece.
Corita Kent, “Serigraphs 1959-79” – Amazing historical survey of prints!
Robel Temesgen at Tiwani Contemporary. Large paintings on photo paper – lots of personality up close.
Yutaka Nozawa at Kayokoyuki Gallery. This was a piece about being in two places at once. The gallerist was kind and showed us a book of the artist’s work which plays with reflections and essentially feels like photo collages with found set-ups.
Adriana Martínez “Tutti Frutti Totem” – laser cut inkjet stickers on imitation fruit. Great commentary on GMO’s.
Worst at NADA Miami 2016:
I was frustrated mostly with pieces that were ridiculously unapproachable or poorly made.
Alex Chaves “Flower Pot” at Martos Gallery
Matthew Ronay “Gathering,” Basswood and dye at Markus Lüttgen Gallery, CologneKen Kagami Doll Installation at Misako & Rosen – I found these mainly terrifying, not necessarily bad.
Janek Simon “Polyethnic” 3D Print at Raster, Warsaw, PL. I guess I can give the artist credit for attempting to digitally print a totem?
Raque Ford at 321 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. I really struggled with the why of making this one.
Anna Fasshauer “Curly Punchy Squint” Aluminum and car lacquer at MIER. Even though these are a bit like car parts, I felt like the artist should see John Chamberlain.
Daniel Boccato “Faces” at FORMATO COMODO, Madrid, ES. These could be a part of a forthcoming commentary on hidden vaginas and neon penises in art fair art, but the artist claims they are actually faces. Hmmmmmm.
Mike Kuchar series of Pen, felt pens, and ink on paper at ?? More penises!
Another ‘What is this?’ piece for me at Marlborough Chelsea, NY.
Nikki Maloof “June Sunflowers” Oil on Canvas at Jack Hanley Gallery, NY. I didn’t hate this piece but did think it a little boring. There were a lot of flower paintings at NADA this year.
Deckchairs at The Deauville Miami
Author Suzy Kopf is a recent Brooklyn to Baltimore transplant. Suzy is a painter and just completed an MFA degree at MICA. She is a co-founder of the Gowanus Swim Society, a Brooklyn, NY based art collective.