‘Relaxed Friendly People Wearing Cool Shoes’ Rushed NADA Miami to Buy Up Art in the Lower and Mid Price Ranges
Buying was brisk as collectors warmed to new work at lower price points than at Art Basel.
The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) fair celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge art, performances, and fresh discoveries this year. And yesterday’s VIP preview, at Ice Palace, a former ice plant turned film studio, was no exception to the usual energy and buzz.
By midday, dealers were happily sharing a flood of sales. While buying at Art Basel—especially when it came to pricey six- and seven-figure works—was slower-paced and more thoughtful at its opening day, the lower price points at NADA, which tend to be in the four and five figures, seemed to be sparking confidence and demand.
“NADA remains a great fair to explore and and really discover new artists,” said Augusto Arbizo, a former dealer who now works with Allan Schwartzman’s advisory firm. “Loved the fair so much that I’m back for a second look today. And also want to engage more with younger dealers, many exhibiting at a fair for the very first time.”
Take Lubov Gallery from New York’s Lower East Side, for example. In the opening hours, director Francisco Correa Cordero told Artnet News he had sold out work by Connor Marie, whose painted portraits of women’s heads have a distorted quality that makes them look almost as though they were created with A.I. Within the opening hours of the fair three large canvases sold for $12,000 each, while three smaller ones sold for $7,000 each. All were bought by private collectors, including one visiting from Berlin.
The gallery also sold five oil on linen canvases by Ella Rose Flood, whose beautiful still lives elevate quotidian objects like a set of spoons on a table. These were priced at $1,000 to $3,000 each.
The current flair for figurative painting was evident everywhere one looked at NADA. A prime example was the large canvases by Maggie Ellis on display at Charles Moffett gallery. All sold out within the first few hours at prices ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.
“We couldn’t be happier with the first day of this year’s fair,” Moffatt told Artnet News. “There was tremendous energy and collectors arrived with great enthusiasm for Maggie Ellis’s new paintings, a sign of exciting things to come for her as she prepares for her first museum solo exhibition at SCAD this May and a solo show at the gallery next fall.”
Ellis’s new paintings revel in the renewed embrace of the crowd. She references 16th-century Northern European painters such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Hieronymus Bosch with canvases that are packed with scenes that are at once frightening and humorous.
The booth of East Hampton Gallery Halsey McKay was buzzing with visitors and reported selling 14 artworks ranging in price from $3,000 to $20,000.
“Opening day was very lively and buzzing, with lots of eager collectors ready to find works they connect with. Most of these connections and purchases happened almost instantly within the first few hours of the fair,” said director Rebecca Poarch.
Standouts included Andrew Schoultz’s heavily layered painting Vessel Tree (2022), the precision of which created an almost collage-like effect, and dazzling colored goauches by Glen Baldridge.
Los Angeles gallery Tierra del Sol was a first-time participant at NADA with a curated solo show of work by Joe Zaldivar focused on buildings and maps of Miami. The gallery is associated with the Tierra del Sol Foundation, and works to assist people with developmental disabilities through careers in the arts.
“The VIP morning was filled with steady sales from all new to us collectors,” director and curator Paige Wery told Artnet News. “Most of our booth is filled with references to Miami, which for many fair attendees spark memories relating stories of personal and historical significance. So far, in our short experience, NADA attracts relaxed friendly people interested in not only good art but also welcoming personas wearing cool shoes.”
DeBoer gallery sold out of its work by Teresa Baker (who we highlighted in our Miami Art Week preview) at prices ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Baker is known for transforming synthetic materials into artwork that underscores irregular territorial shapes. Some of the large works went to the Forge Project in New York, a Native-led initiative centered on Indigenous art, and decolonial education.
Miami gallery Jupiter Contemporary sold a piece by Monsieur Zahore (also highlighted in our preview), to a collection in France.
New York’s Swivel Gallery sold three large paintings from Amy Bravo’s solo presentation for $9,200 apiece, as well as two small sculptures for $3,500 each.
Nina Johnson, also of Miami, reported selling two Rob Davis works, one for $5,000, and another for $4,000. She also sold four Patrick Dean Hubbell works, including one to Jorge Perez for $14,000, and two works by Yasue Maetake, one for $7,500 and the other for $6,000.
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