The New Art Dealers Alliance will host its second-ever art fair in New York at Basketball City. Neither a basketball nor a city, the venue is a “giant sports hangar” located on Pier 36 on the Lower East Side.
“It’s a big, wide-open pier with windows,” NADA Director Heather Hubbs told us over the phone today. While it might sound odd to host a fair at a sports venue, there’s plenty of advantages: high ceilings, natural light, and, of course, proximity to the waterfront. With Basketball City’s East River view, and (so they say) the Statue of Liberty espied from the distance, it might vie with Frieze New York for the best postcard moment at an art fair. So far, Hubbs told us, there’s no plans for a ferry service between the two fairs.
Hubbs mentioned that Basketball City’s been on her radar for some time, but that the site had been under renovation until early 2012. This past summer, she took NADA’s board out to Basketball City for a site visit. In no time at all, they were sold on it. “We like to try and find different spaces,” she added, and NADA’s art fair outposts in Miami and along the Hudson, at the Deauville and Basilica Hudson, respectively, certainly echo that line of thought.
But will all these advantages be enough to lure collectors and visitors to the southern reaches of the Lower East Side? Foot traffic might be an issue: only one other Lower East Side art fair has been announced during the first week of May. That fair, Cutlog, a four-year-old organization based out of Paris, has not yet come out with its gallery lineup. But if NADA gets a ferry (we highly recommend hiring a water taxi), then none of this matters. A direct line to Frieze can only be a draw for the fair.