In Lieu of a Miami Edition, NADA Art Fair Organizers Will Stage Small-Scale Viewings Across 44 International Cities This December
Shows will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Warsaw, Riga, and Tokyo.
If you don’t need to be anywhere, why not be kind of everywhere?
That’s the approach of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) this year, as it reimagines its annual Miami fair. The 18th edition, which was set to take place IRL early next month, will now happen not only online, but also as a series of accompanying micro-viewings in New York, Los Angeles, Warsaw, Riga, and Tokyo, and another 39 cities around the world.
Exhibitors are being encouraged to arrange in-situ presentations to accompany the online platform, which has drawn in a total of 97 galleries, including White Columns and Jack Hanley from New York, and Night Gallery from Los Angeles. Many have taken up the call and some in novel ways: in the Baltic country of Latvia, the prominent nonprofit institution Kim? will host two project spaces from Riga at their space.
“With this gesture, we aim to slowly and patiently create the basis for a new type of relationship between institutions, artists, collectors, foundations, [and] museums,” says Kim?’s program director Zane Onckule of the institution’s current venture into the market.
Together with the Riga-based project spaces Low and 427, Kim? will open a group show titled “Black Market” that includes emerging artists such as Viktor Timofeev and Inga Meldere. Onckule says she hopes to foster and diversify the “otherwise non-existing art market in Riga,” calling it a “reverse hybridization” of what major galleries like David Zwirner are doing by expanding from market-based work into the institutionally-geared work of research and publishing.
In Warsaw, Raster Gallery will host presentations by four organizations: Fragment Gallery and Galerie Iragui from Moscow, and the Leto and Polana Institute from Warsaw. Participating artists include Polish sculptors Paweł Althamer and Olaf Brzeski.
“We wanted to be able to provide [artists] with the opportunity for a physical presentation,” says gallery associate Tomasz Szymański from Raster. Local collectors can pop in via a time slot—those from farther away will also be able to dial in on FaceTime to see the show.
“NADA is perfectly suited for the present moment, because it’s meant to be a mutually supportive organization,” says NADA board vice president and dealer Jeffrey Rosen, co-owner of the Tokyo gallery Misako and Rosen, which is organizing an in-person show, showing one of its represented artists Margaret Lee, and hosting three other spaces. “The challenge was to figure out how to work together to make a successful event in the absence of a fair.”
Due to the adjusted format, participants will be charged $2,500, substantially less than a usual year, which can cost well-more than $10,000 for a booth. This year, nonprofits and project spaces will pay even less—$1,250 and $1,000, respectively.
Like many dealers, NADA members have been scrambling to jump hurdles this year, from figuring out how to recuperate lost incomes due to cancelled fairs and lockdowns, to finding effective new ways to engage with audiences and collectors beyond increasingly stagnant online viewing rooms. A hybridized, cooperative approach seemed to be the best solution—and other industry players are also taking note.
This fall, a group of Art Basel galleries decided to make a similar move by staging a show in Mexico City at Case Versalles in December. Meanwhile, a cohort of Berlin dealers opted to host their Basel booths in Berlin, while galleries in the German capital and in Munich who had planned to attend Art Cologne are showing their booths as a part of the in-person initiative called @Home that accompanies Art Cologne’s online sales platform.
Even before that, the Condo gallery-share enterprise and La Maison de Rendez-Vouz, a shared space in Brussels, suggested that some were already thinking about experimental models.
The old rules, it seems, need no longer apply in a brave new, socially-distanced art world.
“We were already kind of working in desperation mode before we had a genuinely desperate situation,” Rosen says. “We had to flexible to survive even before the virus.”
NADA Miami’s Online Viewing Rooms will be live at newartdealers.org from Tuesday, December 1 through Saturday, December 5.
[November 24 4:30 p.m. CET: This article was updated to correct the booth fees for this year’s participation.]
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