NADA Slideshow: What We Liked

by Will Brand and Paddy Johnson on December 7, 2012 · 1 comment Art Fair

Do you sometimes wonder what the outside of NADA looks like? Wonder no more.

Half the Lower East Side transplanted itself in Miami this week for NADA, so we decided to join them. We spent most of yesterday hanging out with the 70 plus international exhibitors at the fair, and have a slideshow with commentary to show for it. What we liked, below.

Toomer Labzda filled their project booth with some beautiful, if slightly overwrought, works by Kate Steciw. Here, her usual manipulated photography is under glass, which has various iffy embellishments on top, like the too-trendy bling letters and whatevs handprints seen here. Still, it's strong work, and it's a bolder showing for Steciw than we've seen in Miami before; Humble Arts brought some of her smaller prints to NADA two years ago, but this seems much more confident.

Corbett vs. Dempsey, of Chicago, brought a booth of Thomas Grunfeld (foreground), Robert Lostutter (background), and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung (not pictured). If you assumed that NADA's young galleries only show young art, know that Grunfeld and Lostutter are in their 60s and 70s, respectively. Corbett vs. Dempsey made them look right at home.

Seventeen Gallery brought Sachin Kaeley (left) and Oliver Laric (right). The Larics are made of layers of those holographic authenticity stickers. Aside from Cory Arcangel, Laric might be the most prominent young new-ish media artist at the fairs; Seventeen has brought him to the last two editions of Frieze London, and this year Tanya Leighton brought him to Basel Switzerland and Frieze New York. Four years ago, remember, he was just a guy trying to convince everyone that the potential for a Mariah Carey meme was art (Touch My Body, 2008).

A closeup of Sachin Kaeley's work at Seventeen Gallery. We've never seen Kaeley's work before, but—daaamn. Fuck painting on your iPad, this is the real shit right here: thick (from memory, we'd guess the cuts are a quarter-inch deep), hyperrealist painting of a Photoshop gesture. Two fifths of the show had sold when we saw it; somebody's gonna get another show.

W/ Projects brought a set of undeveloped, signed disposable cameras, each with a set of photos taken by a different artist. The purchaser is free to do whatever they like with the mystery photos inside. The photographers, suspiciously, all just happen to be some of our favorite youngish artists working today: AIDS-3D, Michele Abeles, Michael Bell-Smith, Josh Kline, Jon Rafman, Peter Sutherland, Max Warsh, and more. Despite being tucked away in a remote project booth, W/ Projects said they had sold a number of the cameras already. Predictably, Michele Abeles went almost immediately.

W/ Projects also had something to do with this hot dog cart DJ booth serving the poolside, which had something to do with the artist Item Idem, the guy in green. We don't understand but we do approve.

Formalism never goes out of style. The delicate triangular shapes in Will Rogan's metal mobel mimic the sharp painted diagonals in his framed works. Also nice is the hanging of "Curtain" so close to Laurel Gitlen Gallery's corner crease. It's a gutsy move that pays off.

This isn't so much a highlight as a spectacle in the form of two police officer costumes. The two call themselves "The International Art Police" and pose in front of art works while vaguely maintaining the guise of police. As far as we can tell, that interaction is pretty much the entire conceit to the piece.

A booth filled with color. Foxy Production showcases the work of Peter Williams. A painting professor in Delaware, the artist creates lush figurative work in which legs transform into faces, and smiles morph into butts. The work maintains a smooth-lined eighties feel, that evokes Keith Haring, and for whatever reason seems relevant now. Foxy's Michael Gillespie speculated that perhaps this is a result of a renewed interest in Postmodernism, a theory we like.

Lisa Cooley's Cynthia Daignault offers a take on Felix Gonzales-Torres' "Perfect Lovers" only the clocks are cropped and don't move because they're painted. Importantly (we think), the right hand of the clock is cut off, but not so much that it hinders a reading; as far as we could tell the paintings show the exact same time. Overall, Cooley brought a good looking booth, but the concept behind these paintings is a little vague for our taste.

One more booth with a clock and we'll have a trend. Fred Lonidier's "Time Aestheticized" and "Time Rationalized" clocks at Essex Street appeal, perhaps because of our issues with hitting deadlines. "Time Aestheticized" is set against a "create-your-own clock" instruction set. The coupon to order one of your own has been cropped though.

There's been some debate in the AFC HQ over the merit of 47 Canal's Gregory Edwards question mark paintings but this caption writer likes them so they're getting a nod. My take: this signature squiggle is a stand in for content and a comment on contemporary painting. In this way, they bear a resemblance to Jason Lazarus 's "Self portrait as an artist making something contemporary."

  • http://www.facebook.com/jfgallery Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

    In reference to “The International Art Police” performance piece by art duo Generic Art Solutions (G.A.S.)- the performance aspect actually consists of an auditing process (not just posing for pictures). The Art Cops are equipped with tickets that list 65 charges of various ‘art violations’- the list includes infractions such as “too derivative”, “too much emphasis on process”, “humorless”, “too art school”, “too hetero/homo erotic,” and “disappearing up one’s ass”, to name a few. The tickets are then given to the art dealer.

    This is the main function of the performance, the photogenic nature of the Art Cops is a byproduct of its interactive nature.

    The International Art Police have performed at the Venice Biennale, Prospect.1 International Biennial of Contemporary, Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, among other venues.

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