The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) Art Fair took place May 4-7, in New York City. The invitational NADA encompassed a wide range of art dealers whose focus is to represent emerging and pre-emerging artists. The Lower East Side-based art fair was hosted by Dia:Chelsea’s four floors, which included an installation on the building’s roof. With this spatial availability, domestic and international galleries, by invitation only, presented their stable of artists whose works were visibly weighted on either a minimalist or kitsch aesthetic.
The most distinct presence at NADA was Artis Shuk – a fair within a fair, located on the roof. Inspired by Israeli markets, this participatory installation created a notably approachable and accessible atmosphere. There were works available that were made to be worn in addition to pieces traditionally hung on walls. Lior Schvil’s crated wood arrangement en plein air was a platform that showcased Israeli artists’ objets d’arts in an environment that very much resembled shuks. The designer successfully conjured a sense of hospitality through the jewelry of Orly Genger and Jaclyn Mayer. Visitors were invited to try on the wearable art that gave them a sense of hospitality that was then shared by the creator, participant and spectator.
As visitors weaved their way through the maze-like atmosphere of NADA, Schvil’s installation was contrasted by the more contemporary work of galleries, such as Frankfurt’s Jacky Strenz Galerie. Located on the fourth floor was the central sculpture by artist Eva Berendes. Her use of bright colors and geometric forms on semi-private screen changing doors garnered attention. The untitled work rendered from hand-dyed wool and a lacquered wood frame that paralleled the abstract mixed media installed on walls. Many visitors were drawn in by the dimensionality of the piece, taking time to walk around the work and watch it change from the various angles that were somewhat limited by NADA’s rationed booths.
While Jacky Strenz Galerie exhibited bright abstract works, Berlin and Paris-based gallery schleicher+lange chose to represent slick, monochromatic pieces in order to achieve a disparate effect on the third floor. Each artwork was seamlessly tied together in a minimalist fashion with sharp metals offset by pieces made with organic materials. Through the selection of natural materials and a monochromatic palette, the gallery was able to produce a calming atmosphere in the midst of NADA’s chaos. Upon speaking with the gallerist, the conversation revealed that the ideas behind these pieces were more dissonant than the installation appeared. Maria Loboda’s The Moral Antithesis of the Perfect Consonance, 2012 mixes various minerals and stones like turquoise that contain energy. In dialogue with a section of Camille Saint-Saëns’ aural opus, Danse Macabre, 1872, Loboda suspended rocks from various heights that ethereally trailed the bars of her composition.
schleicher+lange’s visually simple yet appealing booth sharply contrasted Amsterdam’s Ten Haaf Projects elaborate use of space. Andrew Gilbert, who is of Scottish descent, tackled the history of British colonization through a melange of watercolors and found materials. The gallery’s attempt to treat the booth as a living canvas was evident; at the entrance, art fair goers were confronted with an uniformed figure, garland of fresh produce, and a series of mounted framed works. Isandlwana 24th Regiment Cleaning Lady is an assemblage that is a cypher for the naivete on the nature vs. nurture behavior during times of war. Although the entirety of the presentation maybe considered kitsch, the underlying tone of peril revealed a conscious primitivism.
There were over 60 exhibitors from 24 cities representing 11 countries at NADA’s inaugural art fair in New York.
548 West 22nd Street
Friday, May 4: 2-8PM
Saturday, May 5: 11AM-8PM
Sunday, May 6: 11AM-6PM
Monday, May 7: 11AM-4PM