The Hole Founder Kathy Grayson Reimagines the Art Fair Booth

“I spent so many years at fairs with Deitch thinking that it was crazy [that] galleries didn’t put more effort and pizazz into their presentations, so I vowed I would always make a booth that pushed the envelope,” Kathy Grayson, founder of The Hole, says of her NADA Miami presentations. So far, the innovative dealer has fulfilled her oath. After the closure of Deitch Projects in 2010, Grayson wasted little time in founding her own space; by December, The Hole Gallery displayed its first booth at the NADA fair and Grayson’s mission to curate thematic and memorable booths was well underway.

Since her premiere booth at NADA, an artist-designed living room complete with furniture, flooring, wallpaper, and plants that changed daily, Grayson’s curatorial choices at the alternative fair have reflected The Hole’s overall mission: to support the creative community through exhibitions, events, and experimental projects—and ultimately, to launch the careers of emerging artists. In 2011, “Deja-Booth” offered side-by-side identical art fair booths, each staffed by a twin, and this year, “Crate City” will debut as a booth made entirely of stacked, interlocking crates.

“We are playing with the idea that in the lifespan of an artwork, the majority of it is spent in a crate, for better or for worse,” Grayson says of the booth, which will change daily as different crates are opened to reveal the works inside. Among them will be many works that fall under the broad heading of “new abstraction”. “Abstraction used to be dead from the neck up, but now is the most exciting area young artists are exploring,” Grayson says, referencing her booth filled with work by young and emerging artists like Kadar Brock, Matthew Stone, Scott Reeder, Katherine Bernhardt, Kasper Sonne, and Holton Rower. “It will be very odd I think,” she says of the concept, “but NADA is the only fair we do that focuses on the new, and we want to push new ideas that challenge what an art fair booth can be.”

The Hole, NADA Miami Beach, Main, Booth 309, Dec. 5th–8th.

Explore NADA Miami Beach on Artsy and Artsy’s Editorial Highlights from the Miami Art Fairs.