8 Great Booths To Check Out at NADA Art Fair
Don't miss the performance by the canine duo Doktor and Maribel.
Art world denizens descended on Basketball City Thursday for the preview of the 2015 edition of NADA art fair, one of most beloved fairs by collectors on the hunt for new art and emerging talent. Though a line trailed outside the entrance to the venue, thankfully it was nothing compared to the one that formed at Select Art fair the previous night (see So-Called VIPs Wait In Massive Line Outside Select Fair Preview). In the first hours of the fair, which has a dazzling space situated on the East River, many eager buyers perused the aisles of the hip galleries that exhibit at NADA snatching up desired works. When you head to the fair, here are our suggestions for eight booths you shouldn’t miss.
1. Eleven Rivington
Mika Tajima, who had a solo booth with Eleven Rivington at Art Basel in Hong Kong this year, was spotted yet again at this New York gallery’s booth, except this time, her work was accompanied by that of Aiko Hachisuka, Volker Hüller, Jackie Saccoccio, and Evan Nesbit. (See Tour Top 10 Booths at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2015). The booth’s vibrant, punchy, and well located booth is the first to draw you in. While doing second rounds of the fair, we noticed the smaller but still quite expressive Hüller painting had been taken off the wall. In fact within the first half hour, the gallery’s director Augusto Arbizo told us they “already had a couple of sales.”
We took a seat next to the display table at Daata Editions to catch our breath, but only minutes after, our ears perked up at the sound of operatic music filling the aisles. To our delight, we turned to see two adorable dogs, from whose furry little bodies the music seemed to be emanating. Staged by artist Hayley A. Silverman at the booth of this artist-run gallery and brought to life by the two pooches—a mutt named Maribel and a bulldog named Doktor—re-recorded songs from popular television shows and films blasted through tiny speakers affixed to the dogs’ collars. Allowed to roam freely, Maribel, a type of herding dog, was lying sleepily by the booth, while it seemed Doktor was playing hide-and-sneak.
3. Jacky Strenz
The Frankfurt gallery looked and felt like a seriously adult booth. The gallery actually had a glass-encased letter-sized wall label that informed visitors of the artist names and the titles of each work presented. A colorful and fervent Max Brand canvas could be seen from afar, along with a blue steel two dimensional piece by Lin May Saeed. Particularly funny is the title of a bright graphic abstract painting by Markus Ebner that reads “My studio spends its holidays on a conceptual art resort from the early eighties, remembering an old work of mine in Herzogspitalstrasse (10).”
4. Kiria Koula
This new upstart gallery from California was at the fair for the first time (along with 29 other exhibitors). The innovative booth dedicated their inside space to artworks but their outer wall to a “bookstore,” to reflect their real San Francisco gallery. Alongside works by artists Benoît Maire and José León Cerrillo, whose screen-printed glass panes affixed to the wall within the booth caught our eye, there were curated books by Hugo Boss Prize winner Paul Chan and other invited artists.
5. The Sunday Painter
Instead of bringing young twenty-something artists, the London-based gallery chose to solely showcase an under-the-radar artist based in Liverpool, Leo Fitzmaurice. The 52-year-old artist had four metal sculptures hung on the walls of the booth that mimicked old tribal masks, but instead were made with old European cars cut up and then put back together to look anthropomorphic. Bringing the large-scale car heads was a good idea indeed—we spotted collector Alain Servais taking more than just a quick glance at the work (see Alain Servais Announces Major Collectors Show at Poppositions Art Fair in Brussels and Artnet News Top 200 Art Collectors Worldwide For 2015, Part Two).
6. Magic Flying Carpets
This funky booth is back for its fifth year at NADA. Situated along the project space aisles, the booth holds a plethora of fantastic vintage Moroccan rugs from the 1960s and 1970s. When asked why the founder first thought about showing rugs at an art fair, his friend, Al Freeman, told us that there is “no real distinction between what goes on the wall or the floor.” Rightly said, as the rugs were visually stunning—with a turquoise trimmed and embellished rug draped off the side of the booth, we could definitely picture it hung on the wall or laid on the floor of an apartment owned by a hip Brooklyn couple.
Artist and carpenter Dan Herschlein made a living room within the small project space of this gallery. The wooden installation was created from past sets of old projects. Housed within the tight area, one had to squeeze between a fake door, a video piece, and a headless seated human figure wearing cargo pants and socks. With the fair hosting the usual suspects of abstract paintings, photographs, and sculptures, it was refreshing to see this project space fully taken advantage of.
8. Michael Thibault
Lining the walls of this New York gallery are flat wall works by Andrew J. Greene composed of red, white, and blue ceramic tiles into which were embedded with logos of the air-conditioning company Friedrich and disposable camera photos. The centerpiece of the booth was Greene’s found-object assemblage of a decrepit teddy bear placed atop a glass table. Greene told us that while the wall works were “documentative” the bear piece with a harp tucked under its arm was more a “more personal thing.” However the entire booth grappled with ideas about socio-economic status and the “relationship between the urban and suburban.” With the deep red carpet, and red accents in the table legs and tiles, the booth looked like a set found in a David Lynch film.
NADA New York is open May 14 through May 17 at Basketball City, 299 South Street.
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