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rachel uffner

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a few more grey hairs amongst all of us—including this reporter—and the giant, all day, courtyard parties at NADA have been replaced by a swag table and cafe that now serves fancy donuts.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 the LES: Pam Lins at Rachel Uffner Gallery

by Paddy Johnson and Corinna Kirsch on May 1, 2015
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A stunning show of ceramic models based on photo documentation of VKhUTEMAS (The Higher Artistic and Technical Workshops), a Soviet school of art, architecture, and design founded in Moscow in 1920 that focused on model-making.

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Recommended Shows: Fin de Siècle and Sara Greenberger Rafferty

by Corinna Kirsch on November 6, 2014
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With a potential frontrunner for best exhibition of the year.

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Recommended Shows, Pt. 1: Strauss Bourque-LaFrance at Rachel Uffner

by Paddy Johnson on September 23, 2014
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Now that we can print on virtually anything, it’s no surprise that laminate veneers are increasingly popular amongst sculptors. I’ve seen my fair share of unsuccessful experiments in this vein in recent studio visits, but there are artists doing it right too. Rachel de Joode’s flesh-covered monolith is just one example, and more recently, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance’s striped and marbled mantelpieces at Rachel Uffner. In this show, we’ve got what looks like a great hall of plastic mesh and spray enamel drawings leading into a virtual garden of mimicked 80’s contempo-casual decor.

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Are Middle-Tier Galleries Really Struggling?

by Paddy Johnson on November 20, 2013
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This week at I talk about the expansion of Lower East Side galleries.

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NADA: The Slideshow

by Art Fag City on December 2, 2011
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NADA is fantastic this year, with strong galleries, strong work, and strong sales. We only made it through half of the fair yesterday, and we’ll be going back today, but in the meantime you can see some of our favorite booths so far in the gallery below.

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Art Fag City at The L Magazine: An Orchard Street Summer

by Paddy Johnson on July 20, 2011
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This summer on the Lower East Side: white, artist-curated group shows and politically charged work. I reviewed the current shows at Orchard Street’s Rachel Uffner Gallery and On Stellar Rays this week at The L Magazine. Both are themed by taste, but one is more potent than the other.

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Massive Links! Ai Wei Wei Protest, Piss Christ Destroyed, Critics Blathering About Criticism

by Paddy Johnson on April 18, 2011
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This week: a sit-out for Ai Weiwei, Andres Serrano finally gets a break (inflicted with a hammer), and emerging critic Julia Halperin tries to figure out what “emerging” means. Also, lots of talk about criticism: Tyler Green crowdsources it, Robert Storr describes it as bottom-feeding, and Roberta Smith gives us a vintage review of Serra at the Met that makes us wonder what’s so bad about it after all. Plus, one more link to show you the internet is full of racists.

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