“What is most important that I learned early on is that we (gallerists) work for the artists,” says Vera Neykov, associate director of Marlborough Chelsea. “We make their visions a reality; we put on their exhibitions and help cultivate them to the best they can be.” Although she’s always clear to put artists first, Neykov has never shied away from putting her curatorial chops to the test, both in gallery exhibitions and in the booths Marlborough Chelsea has brought to NADA since she started there last summer.
“Our NADA booth for Miami is a survey and combination of the artists we have been working with over the last year,” she says. “In contrast with our NADA New York booth last May, which was all black and white, this one evokes Miami’s energy with works that mostly include bright and vibrant colors.” They’ll also be mounting a “not-so-secret” exhibition in one of the suites at the Deauville (the hotel that houses NADA), which will be outfitted by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe with brand new sculptures, paintings, and ephemera.
Neykov is no stranger to unconventional curatorial activities: She curated one of 2013’s most buzzed-about exhibitions, “Pizza Time” at Marlborough Broome Street, and she’s working with Marianne Boesky Gallery to mount an exhibition devoted to the history of Detroit next summer. Her mission, however, is first and foremost “to present artists’ exhibitions and make their visions a reality,” she says. “I enjoy telling their stories to a larger audience. My mission is to also help them grow into the artists that they want to become through that process.”
Looking toward Miami fairs this week, Neykov tells us to look out for fellow NADA exhibitors JTT Gallery and Karma, in particular the latter’s rotating booth. In Marlborough’s booth she’s most excited about two works: a painting by Drew Heitzler and a steel chain square by Davina Semo:
“Drew Heitzler’s Pacific Palisades is a painting I’m loving. It’s a monochrome white knit blanket covered in rubber tool dip. The title refers to a place where he used to live in Los Angeles, which during World War II was a haven for German scientists, actors, and intellectuals. In one clean sweep, it refers to a long history of a place while being visually minimal.
“In contrast Davina Semo’s work Momma always told me girl count your blessings is a gold hued steel chain square. It has the hard-edge toughness while simultaneously, and in a different way, being sentimental and romantic.”
Marlborough Chelsea, NADA Miami Beach, Main, Booth 103, Dec. 5th – 8th.