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NADA

We Went to Frieze, Part Two: Pussy Hat Show Flops, Anti-War Hard On Holds Up

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 5, 2017
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Yesterday we discussed the overall look and feel of Frieze and concluded that this iteration of the fair is far superior to previous years. Lots of lively inventive work and short on the kind of soulless work in a frame that can make these events so tedious. Today we take a deep dive into a lot of the art we saw. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

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Who’s Wearing the Pants at Frieze Week?

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on May 5, 2017
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In which Michael Anthony Farley and Paddy Johnson nerd out and discuss Frieze and NADA and the changing art fair landscape.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Survive Art Fair Hell With Bushwick Punx and Georgia O’Keeffe

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 27, 2017
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It is hell week for the art world. What used to be referred to as “Armory Week” is now a beast spanning more art fairs than anyone has time or energy for. Now that NADA has joined the fray, it’s likely going to be more stressful, but at least slightly less soul-crushing.

To help navigate this mess, we’ve picked out the week’s highlights: the art fairs you really should see, as well as gallery, DIY, and museum events to help recover from the convention center lighting.

These events include an artist talk from photographer Elle Perez at  Daniel Cooney Fine Art on Tuesday, a peek at Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal style at the Brooklyn Museum on Friday, and the Silent Barn’s Paper Jazz Small Press Festival all weekend long in Bushwick.

Wear comfortable shoes. Bring aspirin. We’ll get through this together.

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The Miami Art Fairs: Final Thoughts and Reflections

by Paddy Johnson on December 6, 2016
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A few stray observations now that the fairs are over.

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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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The AFC Selected Miami Art Fair Guide

by Paddy Johnson on November 29, 2016
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Most people we know are flying into Miami and staying for only a couple of days. In our opinion, this is the best way to see the fairs—quickly enough to minimize the pain. But those who stay for only two or three days won’t be able to see all the fairs, so the trip requires some advance research. Our guide will help with that. We’re not listing all the fairs—only the ones worth your time and money.

On the subject of money, to those readers who are coming specifically to purchase work, a special request: consider buying more of it this week from emerging and middle tier galleries. A lot of these galleries are launching fantastic shows but continue to struggle. If we don’t help them out, that end of the market is going to die. If you don’t want to limit your conversations to what Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are making, spend a little more on some new artists. You’ll be glad you did.

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