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Ann Hirsch

NADA on Top

by Paddy Johnson on December 3, 2016
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A cab driver told me there are fewer people in Miami beach this year due to Zika fears. An artist told me there were fewer artists in Miami due to Donald Trump’s election. Everyone tells me they have fair fatigue. But dealers, willing to refute any and all evidence to the contrary, say their fairs have been busy.

Whether or not anyone is suffering as a result, one thing is certain: attendance is way off from last year. There are fewer people in the streets and at the fairs across the board. Certainly this was the case at NADA yesterday, which was uncharacteristically quiet. Not that this seemed to bother the dealers. Most were relaxed and seemed content, having made their sales the day before. This stood in stark contrast to Pulse, where even the slightest expression of interest, inspired long sales pitches and desperate looks. I felt bad for them.

A slower pace and fewer jovial parties from most of the fairs came as a welcome relief, even if they were a result of election malaise. There are a few more grey hairs amongst all of us—including this reporter—and the giant, all day, courtyard parties at NADA have been replaced by a swag table and cafe that now serves fancy donuts.

The spirit, though, remains the same. More than any other fair, NADA’s dealers are defined by an investment in art that’s so intense it seems to demand generosity. For example, when visiting the Invisible Exports booth, Benjamin Tischer made a point introducing me to Jerry the Marble Faun at Situations. “That’s a rabbit hole you have to go down!” he beamed as he told me about the ceramics made by the gardener for Mrs. Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale. The two were decedents of Jacqueline Kennedy and famous for shunning the world after high society wouldn’t accept their eccentricities.

Tischer enthusiasm wasn’t an isolated incident. MacGregor Harp at 247365 recommended I see Raul de Nieves at The Company, because his beaded figurative sculptures look infused with joy and dance. And Phil Grauer, a NADA board member and partner at CANADA, offered some context. The fair wants to be more inclusive. Last year’s venue experiment with Fountainbleau didn’t work out that well for that reason. The hotel wouldn’t make more space available to the fair at a reasonable cost, so they were forced to reduce the size. It created an atmosphere they didn’t like, so they returned to The Deauville this year with the objective of offering more space to more dealers.

The efforts paid off. The fair looks and feels better. Perhaps most importantly, though, the quality art to crap ratio is better than anywhere else, making NADA the model, and fair to beat.

Highlights after the jump.

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We Went to NADA: No Spider Bites Yet

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 6, 2016
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Paddy: Raging contemporary art trends: pastels, particularly in pink, smiley faces, plants, tropical themes of any sort, the 80’s.
Michael: I suppose I am always grasping for something to reassure me abstraction still has teeth and relevance beyond decor—even if that means a representational painting of tiny abstract paintings.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Gatekeepers Be Damned

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on February 9, 2016
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During this hallmark week in which we celebrate our love for our partners, what romance is the art world serving up? Nothing we’ve listed, save for an anti-gentrification protest at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this Valentine’s Day. In fact, it seems the entire week has been taken over by activists. From the Act Up—Dyke Action Machine talk at The 8th Floor to the Affordable Housing Show at Hunter, there’s plenty of discussion about how to make change.

Meanwhile, those with a sense of humor should balance all this seriousness out. Between Jayson Musson and Sean Patrick J Carney at SVA tonight to Larissa Valez-Jackson’s improv dance comedy at DANCEROULETTE this Thursday, you’ve got plenty of events to fill up your calendar.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Best Events of 2015 So Far

by Whitney Kimball on January 5, 2015
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Already, a couple art events have potential for our 2015 “Best of”s. The American Realness Festival returns with some of the best performers in town; Jayson Musson debuts a new web series; Angela Washko keeps pushing for feminism in gaming; some of our favorite Internet artists are on a new press release.

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