The Still House Group Identifies What Art Fairs Do Best

Today, at The Still House Group’s booth at NADA Miami Beach, you’ll come across a copy machine, and on impulse, you’ll make a xerox copy of the flyer that lay on the scanner bed. This flyer will direct you from the fair to an off-site location—a 12,000 square-foot office building, with 25 small exhibitions in 25 different rooms. But why would Still House Group, an artist-run organization, known as a hub for new work and with a deep respect for NADA (well-known for presenting new and undiscovered work, and monikered the “artists’ fair”) make such a move?

“I want to be very careful in the way that I say this because I have a ton of respect for NADA,” Isaac Brest, co-founder of the group, began. “I find fairs to be a fantastic promotional networking tool for galleries and a great way to connect collectors with gallerists and to introduce collectors to a broad range of artists’ work. However, I do not find them to be an exceptional exhibition platform.” For The Still House Group, the alternative meant setting up shop in an old Miami real estate building, where they’ve showed work in the past. “We’re utilizing the fair for what we find it to be good for and then utilizing an outside space to exhibit the work, which we find more in line with our aesthetic and our concept to show the work.”

In this space, you’ll find work from artists including Peter Sutherland, Alex Ito, Haley Mellin, Jack Greer, Louis Eisner, Alex Perweiler, and Brest himself, among others, in a range of exhibitions one might normally find in a gallery—from solo shows to films to site specific installations—in 8-by-8 to 12-by-12 foot rooms. “I find that I’ve grown much more interested in seeing one or two works or three works at a time instead of seeing a large show with 30 or 40 works. So while this show will have 96 works in it, it’s subdivided into 25 rooms so you’re allowed your own quiet time to value the work and see it juxtaposed only amongst either itself or a few other pieces, therefore giving it the proper respect and time and void of outside distractions.”

For The Still House Group, showing at the NADA fair required little forethought. “We find NADA’s program to be exceptional, and their admissions process seems to select a group that we are honored to be exhibiting alongside,” Brest says. “These younger galleries tend to take more risks, and therefore we feel a project like this would be more at home than it would be necessarily be at a more conservative, commerce-based fair such as Basel or others.” And at NADA, where Black Leotard Front once performed on the lawn among an inflatable white limousine, cardboard tommy guns, and balloons, The Still House Group seems to be right at home.

The Still House Group, NADA Miami 2013, Main, Booth 702, Dec. 5th – 8th.

Straight II DVD is on view Dec. 5th – 8th.

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