NADA Fair Provides Great Art and a Relaxing Pool!

by Art Fag City on December 4, 2009 · 7 comments Events

POST BY: PADDY JOHNSON

Nada Hotel and pool.

NADA’s free pool and spa is luring art lookers of all kinds up to North Beach. I like to think the art isn’t hurting the draw either. I haven’t yet seen Pulse, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I tend to think this fair will be the one to beat, as far as the emerging circuit goes.


NADA Art Fair, Photograph: Danielle Mysliwiec


NADA Art Fair, Photograph: AFC

This year, two giant halls in a new location at The Deauville Hotel — Richelieu and Napoleon — house NADA’s solo and group show exhibitors, respectively. Like every fair, NADA has its share of mediocre and bad art, but with the exception of a dirt encrusted bicycle at Charro Negro gallery (and one or two other notables), nothing matches the worst art I’ve seen at many of the other emerging fairs.

A few booths stood out for usual reasons: awesome in the usual sense of awesome, maybe weirdly awesome, and totally not awesome. As with Art Basel, nothing at the fair has been overwhelming quality-wise, but at least there’s a little more variety here. In the hopes of avoiding too much tedium, our following reflections on NADA will take the form of highlights, lowlights, and something-else-lights. Those lights after the jump.

THE HIGHLIGHTS


Kirk Hayes at Horton Gallery. Photo AFC

Meeting the traditional definition of the word, Kirk Hayes at Horton Gallery stands out from the crowd this year for his Phillip Guston-esque paintings depicting bloody murders. At first glance they appear to be collage works on exposed panels, but if you look closely you realize everything is painted, right down to the wooden grain. Winkleman’s Ivin Ballen works in a similar vein, creating trompe l’oile, puffy, wall-mounted sculptures, but they aren’t quite as successful. In both cases, the argument that the works don’t gain enough from illusionist painting, but Hayes’ references are at least a little more idiosyncratic.

Tony Matelli, Yesterday (small), 2009, painted bronze, rub on transfers and beer cans, 21 1/2 x 6 x 4 1/2 inches. Leo Koenig Gallery

Avid art fair attendees may remember Tony Matelli from his bronze maggot piece showcased last March at the New York Armory fair. The gritty bronze cards on beer cans and painted weeds take a similarly aggressive tone, who uses the language of class more directly this time. We’re not really sure what the message is here, but there’s enough to the work that we want to see more.


Dianna Molzan at Overduin and Kite

Walking the line between fashion and art, Dianna Molzan’s torn and stretched canvases employ a Tomma Abts-like sensibility, while somehow also looking as though it were a carefully frayed pair of jeans. My only complaint about this booth is that there weren’t more images displayed. We’re relatively unfamiliar with the gallery and the artist’s work (though their exhibition archives look great), so we’re looking forward to seeing more from Overduin and Kite.

AWESOME-LIGHTS


Grant Barnhart, Ambach & Rice

It’s unclear if Grant Barnhart painted this picture with a Michael Williams-eque understanding to its full awesomeness, but it will remain our favorite work in the show regardless of the answer. Coming up with a witch wearing Dorothy’s red slippers in a field of starving horses with faces that resemble cows simply isn’t easy, no matter who you are.


Simprach, Untitled, (Hotel), 2009, Country Club

Simprach, Untitled, (Hotel), 2009, Country Club

We were a little unconvinced about this piece until we realized that it was basically a giant cat house. Now we love it.

WE’RE NOT SURE WHAT THIS IS

Shimon Minamikawa at Misako Rosen.

Canvas trash bags with faces on them.  The headline says it all.

  • http://www.contemporaryartdaily.com Forrest

    Overduin and Kite is great! I think they are easily one of the two or three most interesting programs in L.A.

    Also, the piece from Country Club is by “Simparch”, rather than “Simprach,” like “simple architecture.” They had an exhibition at The Renaissance Society in Chicago, have shown at the Tate I think, among other things.

  • http://www.contemporaryartdaily.com Forrest

    Overduin and Kite is great! I think they are easily one of the two or three most interesting programs in L.A.

    Also, the piece from Country Club is by “Simparch”, rather than “Simprach,” like “simple architecture.” They had an exhibition at The Renaissance Society in Chicago, have shown at the Tate I think, among other things.

  • drew

    There is a nice video of grant’s latest show here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWPz_7Bseqs or just http://grantbarnhart.net if you prefer pics.

  • drew

    There is a nice video of grant’s latest show here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWPz_7Bseqs or just http://grantbarnhart.net if you prefer pics.

  • Juliette Goddard

    Looks great was the same time as Contempoary art fair Istanbul.
    Juliette Goddard

  • Juliette Goddard

    Looks great was the same time as Contempoary art fair Istanbul.
    Juliette Goddard

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