The New Art Dealer’s Alliance (NADA) Miami 2017 opens today, 12/8, albeit not on the beach. Their previous venue, the Deauville Beach Resort, is closed indefinitely after suffering an electrical fire and damage from Hurricane Irma, forcing the fair to relocate to their point of origin, Ice Palace Film Studios. Though I had to travel away from the beach, it was worth the trip: Though lacking the Deauville’s distinctive retro sensibility, the studios are bright and airy with high ceilings and a garden in front, to boot.  Of course, any fair is nothing without its creative talent, and NADA has plenty. Wallpapered archives, gender-bending basketball players, and a computerized bonfire are just some of the treats in store for those who can tear themselves away from the beach for an afternoon.

Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY

Left: Margaret Lee, This is How You Call It #2, 2017, silver gelatin print and acrylic paint, 43 x 31 in; Center: Margaret Lee, Exhaust For Me, 2017, polished stainless steel, silver, chromed steel, glass, and papier mache; Right: Alicia McCarthy, Untitled, 2017, gouache, latex, and spray paint on wood, 96 x 96 in. Image courtesy of the gallery.

A stalwart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Jack Hanley has delivered precious cargo for NADA this year. Their booth’s most striking artworks are by Margaret Lee, one of this contributor’s favorite emerging artists. Lee has a keen eye for flattened space and an odd penchant for tropical fruits that appear at inopportune, witty moments. Her sculptural works stand out at Hanley’s booth along with her work This is How You Call It #2, a deconstruction of the art of constructing art installations. Other works on view combine abstract examinations of the grid interrupted by flashes of color and meticulously planned-out lines that oddly intersect one another, such as Untitled by Alicia McCarthy.

ltd los angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Esmaa Mohamoud, SO, SO HEAVY (HOOP DREAMS), 2017, solid concrete basketballs, dimensions variable, #11-60 +2AP. Image courtesy of ltd los angeles.


John Edmonds, American Gods, 2017, archival pigment print, 70 x 55 in, 1 of 3 + 2AP. Image courtesy of ltd los angeles.


Esmaa Mohamoud, One of the Boys (Purple), 2017, inkjet print mounted on di-bond with acrylic face and aluminum sub-frame, 60 x 40 in, edition 1 of 4 +1AP. Image courtesy of ltd los angeles.

Esmaa Mohamoud and John Edmonds anchor ltd los angeles’s space with an exhibition that considers how Black masculinity is portrayed in contemporary American culture. Mohamoud’s deflated basketballs, cast in concrete, have a freshly-unearthed archaeological feel. Also referencing the sport is her series of poignant large-scale photographs, One of the Boys, a collaboration with Qendrim Hoti that explores gender fluidity in the African-American community, seamlessly combining basketball jerseys and ball gowns.


Document Space, Chicago, IL

Sarah Greenberger-Rafferty, installation view. Image courtesy of Document Space.

Chicago’s Document Space came prepared with a finger on the pulse of contemporary aesthetics with their showing this year. Particularly noteworthy was a trippy journey through the archive in Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s wallpaper installation. Deconstructing abstracted takes on commercial photography and consumer culture, Rafferty’s sense of dimensionality and her attuned take on our interface-laden digital world makes for a cheeky and captivating standout.

The Landing, Los Angeles, CA

Installation view, The Landing, NADA Miami 2017. Image courtesy of the gallery.

A balance of elements allows The Landing’s presentation at NADA to shine: Yevgeniya Baras, Jeffrey Blondes, J.B. Blunk, Ryan Fenchel and John Zane Zappas present flat and three-dimensional works in easy harmony with the booth’s deceptively simple arrangement of space. Especially enticing are Baras’ color-drenched canvases that assemble abstracted figures with intriguing textures and jewel -like tones to mesmerizing effect.

CANADA, New York, NY

Luke Murphy, Fire Pile, 2017, LED matrix panels (P5,P4,P3), stretcher bars, keyboards, plastic, Linsn sender and receiver cards, two 5v 40-60A power supplies, mini-PC running LUbuntu distro, Python open-source libraries, Python code and software, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of CANADA.

What would NADA be without a booth to slay all the competition? As usual, CANADA comes to take the crown. Artists Scott Reeder and Luke Murphy stand out with clever examinations of pop culture made from surprising materials. The ubiquitous tragedy of the shattered cell phone is depicted in clay, alongside a selection of fruits, in Reeder’s Assorted Ceramics, while Murphy’s Fire Pile steals the show with a heap of dizzying and disorienting LED panels that approximates, but doesn’t supplant, a real fire pit. The tongue-in-cheek awareness permeating the works on view in CANADA’s showing this year demonstrates that they are still leading the game when it comes to identifying and presenting contemporary trends.

NADA Miami
December 7-10, 2017

Ice Palace Studios
1400 North Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33136