MIAMI BEACH — The New Art Dealers Association (NADA) fair, currently in its 11th year, has established itself as something of a leading face for the “alternative” to the commercial excesses of Art Basel Miami and its orbit. A not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization, the fair occupies the Deauville Beach Resort at 67th and Collins, and so stands at something of an ideological and geographic remove from the action in South Beach. Though the gallery participation is appreciably cosmopolitan, the flavor here remains decidedly New York, with a strong dose of the Lower East Side.
National and international standouts abound, particularly in the Napoleon ballroom, the biggest and strongest of the fair’s three halls. (NADA occupies all three ballrooms of the Deauville Beach Resort, along with a “secret” addendum, room 1445, this year presented by Marlborough Chelsea.) Among the non-New York cohort, Miami newcomers Mujin-to of Japan, Mexico’s Yautepec gallery, Portland, Oregon’s Adams and Ollman, and Oakland’s Creative Growth were all representative of the remarkably diverse range of works to be had here, each helping NADA continue to stand in stark contrast to the predictable schlock that plagues many of the “alternatives,” like SCOPE.
Though it’s also not too fruitful to make over-broadly thematic claims about an art fair, the showing can at the very least be taken for a leading indicator for trends in the emerged-emerging establishment and suggests a sustained interest in abstract painting — particularly at scale. Smaller, more localized arguments abound: for digital and net art’s increasingly comfortable adaptation to gallery commerce, for the ability of NADA to continue to attract intelligent artist projects like Devon Dikeou’s “Pay what you wish, but you must pay something,” for the strong resurgence of outsider artists like William Scott and Emery Blagdon (a representative of Scott’s gallery, Creative Growth, mentioned that his work achieved unprecedented pre-sale success for them this year, spurred in part by his inclusion in this summer’s Hayward Gallery outsider art show).
NADA’s event programming this year includes a transplanted Talk Show, Brooklyn-based Cabinet magazine’s mercurial — and mixological (cocktails are involved) — conversation series hosted by David Levine. “It’s not an art piece or a performance. It is, actually, just a talk show. About people with interesting jobs,” Levine tells Hyperallergic. (Talk Show will take place tonight at 6pm in the Deauville’s Jazz Club.) Also on the docket, or rather the ramp curving into the hotel’s entrance, is “Metal Fatigue Music (1992 Toyota Previa)” (2013), “an audio-automobile performance scored for electronic music and boom car” by Ben Vida and Jeff DeGolier, which emanates loud music with seemingly insouciant (but actually pre-scheduled) intermittence. It’s a playful accompaniment to Miami’s least obnoxious art fair.
NADA Miami continues at the Deauville Beach Resort (6701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida) through December 8.