My Highlights at NADA Miami Beach, 2013
I approached this selection of artwork in much the same way that I approach curating any non-thematic exhibition. You can see my interest in abstraction as well as my belief in artwork that risks taking on difficult subjects. But it is also important to note that these are not only my interests, but they also reflect concepts that are shaping today’s contemporary art discourse.
How could I not include Peter Schuyff? I have been an ardent fan of his work since the mid-’80s. You will see that I also included him in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He is a powerful maker and a thinker who never bent to the commercial pressures of the art market, instead flipping-off NYC in search of interesting and less-self-obsessed geographic locations. The same is true with Toronto-based artist Alan Belcher. I included his work in my masters thesis exhibition in 1986 and I still am moved by his headstrong engagement with the powerful entities defining our contemporary context. And of course there is Karl Wirsum, a defining figure for Chicago and an artist who effortlessly navigates the inventive properties of style and narrative.
Joanne Greenbaum is an artist, like Anna Betbeze, who I would have included in the Whitney Biennial if I was given more than one floor of the Breuer Building. They are both great and influential painters. Devin Troy Strother’s work is new to me. I came to his work at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica a few years ago and I am delighted that Marlborough Gallery is taking him on. He clearly will be a critical contributor to the discussion of race and diversity in the contemporary art world. Patricia Fernández’s work is also new to me but her sophisticated formal arrangements integrating found materials are more difficult than they appears.
Aura Rosenberg and Drew Heitzler represent my continued interest in conceptual art practices that confidential engage in new forms of critical investigation. In their work, appropriation, sampling, eye-poking, and good spirited play are not mutually exclusive approaches to examining that networked flow that defines contemporary time and consumption.
What makes NADA Art Fair a unique fair:
NADA is an elegantly attainable fair that also maintains the highest quality of work and display that you would find at Frieze, Basel, or Cologne fairs. NADA also underscores that one doesn’t need a guide to navigate contemporary art. The vastness, and the discrepancies of value and access that contour the big fairs, is replaced by a workable model of research and acquisition for visitors to NADA. It places trust in artists, dealers, and collectors by setting an intelligible groundwork for direct experience and exchange.