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Raul de Nieves

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a few more grey hairs amongst all of us—including this reporter—and the giant, all day, courtyard parties at NADA have been replaced by a swag table and cafe that now serves fancy donuts.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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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Immortalizing Bushwick

by Paddy Johnson and Michael Anthony Farley on September 26, 2016
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What a week ahead of us. It begins Monday with the first presidential debate, so naturally, we’ve got a conversation with artist and political hound Martha Rosler on Tuesday. Ostensibly, the conversation will cover Rosler’s career, but knowing her, a good portion will be dedicated to discussing the current political climate.

There’s plenty going on between now and Friday, but let’s face it: pretty much everything that falls over the weekend will take a sideline to Bushwick Open Studios. So, kick off your Friday with the beloved indie-pop band Lower Dens at Pioneer works and prepare to spend the rest of your time gallivanting around Bushwick. Expect to see crass real estate dealings and misguided beer sponsored art events, mitigated by inspiring artist-led exhibitions, performances and open studios.

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This Week’s Must See Art Events: Cuban Death Metal Sci-Fi, Art Book Fairs, and More

by Michael Anthony Farley on September 13, 2016
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One of the great things about the art world is its permeability with other fields. Except that can seriously compound one’s #FOMO when one’s art calendar gets squeezed by spillover from Fashion Week in Manhattan, three publication fairs across the East River, political organizing, and art-film screenings. Phew.

Wednesday, catch some more conventional art openings uptown and in Chelsea with solo projects from Henry Hudson and Oscar Murillo, respectively. (Actually, Murillo’s vaguely haunted-house sounding installation promises to be anything but conventional). Thursday, check out Jessica Stockholder’s latest work at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, gender-bending in the Garment District, and black-metal-meets-science-fiction-literature from Cuban artist Yoss (how’s that for interdisciplinary?)

That night, Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair is having a preview party. It will be running all weekend, along with the new Independent Art Book Fair in Greenpoint. Friday brings us group shows about failure at TSA New York and Radiator Gallery and Saturday there’s a mysterious fashion/art event at Romeo with an all-star cast to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. Finally, Paddy Johnson is hosting an anti-gentrification panel discussion in Sunnyside, Queens that’s an absolute must-attend. And if you want to remember why we want to keep the city weird, end the day in the immersive-subversive film installation of Jon Moritsugu at Ramiken Crucible in the LES.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Summer in the City

by Michael Anthony Farley on June 21, 2016
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When I started compiling a list of art events for this week, I thought “this is going to be slim pickings.” There’s a stereotype that New York in the Summer sucks because everyone’s gone to the beach except tourists who stupidly vacation in Manhattan instead of also going to the beach. But that’s totally not true!

There’s plenty of cool stuff to do in New York this week, including a storefront installation from Jeff De Golier that opened today at FOUR A.M. Wendy White (pictured above) has a solo show of California-dreamin’ surf-inspired paintings (for those of you who are thinking longingly of the seashore) at Eric Firestone Loft. Wednesday, Xaviera Simmons unveils a new series of body-centric work at The Kitchen and Booth Gallery is (by happy coincidence) hosting a panel discussion on the future of figuration right afterwards. We’re looking at two group shows with big-name, smart artists at Team Gallery and Pace. Friday, The National Sculpture Conference kicks-off its three-day fest of all things sculpture, from figure sculpting classes to a supplies vendor fair on Saturday and 3D printing on Sunday. Friday night, take in a show all about children from Trevor Shimizu (there’s a Jessica Alba tribute!) and a group show at Lehmann Maupin featuring French-Algerian wunderkind Kader Attia alongside Tim Rollins & K.O.S. and Mickalene Thomas.

Saturday the Queens Museum promises to be “overrun by hoards of punks” for a celebration of all things Ramones, including a flea market. Then bounce down to Brooklyn for a group show at American Medium. But the real party happens Sunday, when a mysterious fest thrown by some very arty queers takes over a secret loft in Gowanus. If you’re not exhausted after that, be sure to check out Nancy Shaver’s solo show at Derek Eller—she makes diorama-like assemblages that make boxy grids fun again. And really, fun is the name of the game this week.

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Highlights From PS1’s Greater New York, Part 1

by Michael Anthony Farley on October 16, 2015
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Much has already been said about Greater New York, PS1’s massive survey of over 150 regional artists that spans deceased pioneers who cut their teeth in the 1970s to young, contemporary fashion designers. With that in mind, we’re going to offer a couple of slideshows, each with personal highlights, recommendations, and commentary from a different AFC writer. There’s really too much great work (and bad work) to cover it all in one post.

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This Week’s Must-see Art Events: We Hope You Aren’t Allergic to Latex

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on August 17, 2015
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Breaking news: it’s still August in New York. That means many galleries on hiatus, a great exodus of the wealthy to summer homes, and a boring sticky time for the rest of us. Or does it? Apparently all the queers, weirdos, and feminists are back from P-Town and Fire Island and ready to bring you a week of events that may be sticky but promise to be anything but boring. From sex workers’ narratives and pop-up Marxist sex shops to gender-bending masks and DIY sex toys, New York City is getting kinky this week. Fittingly, this is also your last chance to see Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play at Artists Space. While the norms are away, the queers shall play. Seriously, we hope you aren’t allergic to latex.

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Wikipedia Gets Edited, Artists Get (Pyramid) Schemed

by Anthony Hicks and Corinna Kirsch on January 27, 2014
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It’s not every year that the Super Bowl and Groundhog Day fall on the same date. What does this vortex mean for the art world?

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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Let’s Get Real

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on January 13, 2014
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If the economy has given us one gift in the emerging art world, it’s a lot of activities involving sweatbands and opportunities for cheap dates. This week is no different.

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