The techno music NADA has playing in their front yard inspires one question: Does the sound of base make a collector more inclined to spend money on art? So far the answer to this question is no but nearly every dealer I spoke reminded me that the fair saw the same slow start last year.
As I mentioned previously, NADA would be better served if they pruned their exhibitors list, though with the exception of Art Basel and Ink, the same can be said of virtually all the Miami fairs. The economic demands of these events gives bad art a venue it doesn’t need. Certainly Myto‘s second abysmal display at NADA demonstrates this: how much does the fair really benefit from a booth displaying a photograph of a car hemorrhaging red smoke, and blinky Plexiglas sculpture of dogs on a circular platform?
Simmons & Burke, Installation detail, Kim Light Gallery
With that said, the number of high quality new dealers NADA added to their roster is truly impressive, as were a number of outstanding booths from “old timers”. Jancar Jones, for example, a new gallery based in San Francisco exhibited an beautiful abstract painting by Gary Petersen while just across the way, the more established Kim Light Gallery exhibits the collaboration of young digital artists Simmons & Burke. The entire booth is wall papered with a quasi-cheesy purple clouds, the artist’s dizzying collages hung on top. I particularly liked the hilarious scholastic book cover, in which kids surfing the globe seem to be having the best time ever. That work alone is worth dropping by the booth.
Installation detail, at Lisa Cooley Fine Art. Clockwise from the center: Frank Haines, Erin Shirreff, Andy Coolquitt, and J. Parker Valentine
Probably my favorite booth of the fair came from new dealer, Lisa Cooley who displays a brilliant collection of work. Alex Fleming’s Untitled Kickstand, 2008, places two shoes on a stand against two colored patches on the wall as though marking an absurd dance step, Frank Haines sculpture Untitled 2008, mounts a giant earthy role playing like dice on sculptural peaks, and Alan Reid’s soft colored paintings present beautifully execute soft figures floating against surreal mountain landscapes.
Other strong booths from mainstays this year include Murray Guy, and Canada. Nobody I spoke at either gallery mentioned anything about how the techno music outside was effecting buyer moral, but the quality of this year’s fair should certainly help.