With the proceedings of Art Week Miami winding on, the halls at the Miami Beach Convention Center continue to draw massive crowds of both buyers and visitors, its luxe appointments and impressive stock of established blue chip works commanding big headlines and even bigger price tags. But across Biscayne Bay, the New Art Dealers Alliance had kicked off its annual take on the Miami Fair Week. NADA Miami, set up inside the Ice Palace Film Studios, puts itself forward as showcasing new art and to celebrating the rising talents from around the globe, exploring new or underexposed art that is not typical of the “art establishment,” by their words. NADA Miami is also the one of the only major American art fairs to be produced by a non-profit organization, and is recognized as a much needed alternative assembly of the world’s youngest and strongest art galleries dealing with emerging contemporary art.
The result of this mission statement is a fair that gives itself a decided familial atmosphere, with artists and gallerists milling around the entrance for a smoke, chatting at their respective booths, or greeting each other in the courtyard with a smile and hug. The work was equally engaging. At Central Fine, one could view a selection of works Myrlande Constant, enigmatic pieces that mixed a dense spiritual bent with a materiality that blended the technical aspects of mosaic with vernacular painting. In another corner, artist Bayne Peterson’s complex, swirling sculptures offered an otherworldly iconography that was complemented by swirling lines of paint that gave it a pixelated, surreal note. Also of note were artist Juan Sebastian Pelaez’s captivating light works, tubes of neon arranged in different color combinations to create a dense network of light and color.
Projects had spilled out into the space around the studios as well. Detroit-based artist and creator of the Heidelberg Project, Tyree Guyton was presenting a new tree sculpture in the garden area, while Miami’s Fringe Projects had brought a painted automobile cover by artist Keith Allyn Spencer, parked on North Miami Avenue. Spencer’s strange, distended take on the form of the car gave a strange note of the abject to the quotidian object.
This sense of playfulness, of adventurous and imaginative art, once again underscored the vital place of NADA in conjunction with the rest of the week’s proceedings. Considering the glitz and glamor of the fair across the water, NADA offers another look at an art world united by mutual support, a mission that one only hopes will continue for years afterwards.
The fair closes December 9th.
— D. Creahan
Nada Miami [Exhibition Site]