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NADA

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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The Art F City Guide to Frieze Week 2016

by Paddy Johnson and Rea McNamara on May 2, 2016
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Here we go again. Put on your best black outfit and prepare to network! It’s Frieze Week in New York. The collectors will be out buying.  The dealers will be out dealing.  And the press will be out chattering.

As per usual, we’ve put together our annual art fair guide. We don’t promise it will be the comprehensive guide you’ll find. There are other blogs out there for that. But we do promise that we won’t waste your time. If a fair’s not worth your time, we’ll let you know.

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Material Art Fair: The Most Important Art Event of the Year for Artists

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on February 5, 2016
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For years we’ve sung the praises of NADA, an artist-centric fair that celebrates and works to commodify the strange, the creative and the wonder. In 2015, though, we began to question the model. Was NADA a bit stale compared to recent years? Was ARTIST RUN, a new fair that celebrates the DIY artist, closer to our interests?

These questions came up a lot yesterday at the Material Art Fair in Mexico City, which AFC staff writer Michael Anthony Farley described as a “great compromise between ARTIST RUN and NADA. Farley was referring to the structure of the fair, which invited more dealers than artists to participate, but retained the artistic energy and life essential to new art by keeping the booth prices low. It’s a great fair.

I agree the sentiment, but would put it a little differently: Material tells us that NADA can easily be replicated.

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The Best of Art F City, 2015

by Rea McNamara on December 31, 2015
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Revisiting the ‘Simple Net Art Diagram’, reviewing an art fair’s virtual tour, calling out Georg Baselitz, breaking news on the USC MFA Class, and even bringing back nerdocracy. Readers, we truly feel a real sense of accomplishment for the stories we wrote in 2015, especially after amassing them in a ‘Best of’ list such as this. We not only paid artists to attend art fairs, but also investigated sexism is arts publishing and even had two Renaissance cosmetics experts dish on body hair removal. Who else publishes this shit? No one.

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Who Wore it Better? ABMB Edition

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 5, 2015
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Inevitably, some people pack the same looks for Miami.

Remember NADA’s legendary pool parties at the Deauville? There always seemed to be at least two art-bros who showed up in the same “statement” bathing suit from American Apparel. But it’s usually more awkward when gallerists inadvertently dress their booths too similarly.

Below, we take a look at accidental twinsies and judge who wore it better:

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NADA Disappoints Again

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2015
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I’ve been thinking a lot about AFC writer Michael Anthony Farley’s post on NADA yesterday. It’s a great summary of NADA highlights and assessment of the fair’s strengths this year. I felt a little disappointed by the fair, though, and I’ve been depressed about it most of it day. Aside from the obvious problems such as a needless maze-like layout and a lack of adventurous auxiliary programming, they continue to peddle a kind of disingenuous kind of class posturing I find increasingly grating.

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NADA Highlights, Part 1

by Michael Anthony Farley on December 4, 2015
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Now in it’s 12th year, NADA Miami Beach is still full of surprises, even compared to younger satellite fairs. For the first time, NADA is taking place in the storied Fontainebleau hotel. Since 2009, the fair had been located in the nearby Deauville’s quirkier, seemingly grander mid-century ballrooms. Paddy had mixed feelings about that context, but I find myself missing it. The Fontainebleau’s more recently-renovated spaces feel a little more generic and paradoxically fancier but less glamorous. The ceiling is lower, there’s no sweeping ocean view from the booths, and visitors must now pay a $20 admission fee. This iteration of NADA is only slightly geographically closer to the convention center, but significantly less far-off from Art Basel proper in spirit.

But while we were disappointed by Basel’s predictability and lack of variety, NADA 2015 is wonderfully inconsistent. NADA’s exhibitors seem to have grown out of a collective trend-invested “cool kid” adolescence and matured into thoughtfully idiosyncratic connoisseurship. Gone are the days of interchangeable booths with matching pastel-and-neon abstractions—here there’s a greater diversity of good work than we’ve witnessed at art fairs recently. Part of this might be attributed to NADA’s shifting demographics: the fair feels less New-York-centric and more international. Many of the booths that impressed us the most were from Germany, Latin America, or Japan. 

Below, highlights from the fair, delightfully all over the map:

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SLIDESHOW: UNTITLED’s Strongest Showing Yet

by Paddy Johnson on December 4, 2015
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UNTITLED. organizers should be giving themselves a big pat on the back. Now its fourth year, the fair is clearly its strongest iteration yet. Part of this is just natural maturing of exhibitors over the course of the last few years—Asya Geisberg, SITE LAB, and Microscope are just three examples of programs that have consistently improved. But the fair’s also done a good job picking up strong new exhibitors, perhaps most notably this year, the Hole and Postmasters.

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