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UNTITLED. was the breakout fair last year in Miami. It’s location (right on the beach) coupled with its curatorial approach and small number of exhibiting galleries were a big part of making it such a hit. We spoke with UNTITLED.’s current curator, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, about what we can expect for the fair’s sophomore year.
WHITEWALL: What was your curatorial approach for this art fair?
OMAR LOPEZ-CHAHOUD: My curatorial approach for this art fair was to emphasize a cohesive visual and conceptual conversation among the works of the participating artists.
WW: How would you describe your role as curator within a fair (as opposed to a gallery, museum, etc.)?
OLC: My role as curator within a fair is making sure that I’m hands on with the selection of all the participating galleries as well as selecting Special Projects and programming that is in tune with the selected works from these galleries.
WW: UNTITLED. says that it’s emphasis is meant to be on the viewer’s experience. Can you elaborate on this concept in comparison to other art fair viewer experiences?
OLC: We are in constant dialogue with our architects K/R (John Keenen and Terence Riley) in order to create an architectural space that complements the art and doesn’t compete with it. This means large open spaces in between specific sections of the fair and wide open aisles to facilitate a pleasurable experience for the viewer.
WW: This will be the fair’s second year. What will be different from the inaugural edition?
OLC: The inaugural edition of UNTITLED. was an enormous success, so much so that it has expanded to nearly double the size of the 2012 fair. Our curatorial approach and the open floor plan really stood out to visitors. This year we are expanding to include more international galleries with many coming from Latin American countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Brazil. The curatorial approach this year will contrast older and mid-career artists with a younger generation to historically contextualize these works.
WW: This year the fair is partnering with FLATT magazine and the National Arts Club. How did this collaboration come about?
OLC: We are collaborating with Flatt and the National Arts Club on a six-month, all expenses paid residency for one lucky UNTITLED. participating artist who lives outside the great New York area. The jurors for the prize were three highly respected museum curators: Christian Rattemeyer, curator of drawings at MOMA; Naomi Beckwith, curator at the MCA Chicago; and Chus Martinez, chief curator at El Museo del Barrio. The winner will be announced at our inaugural event on Monday night.
WW: UNTITLED. takes place on the beach shores of Miami. How do you think that location affects the fair?
OLC: It is favorable for the fair. The location gives you a better sense of actually being in Miami Beach, and its surrounding natural beauty lets you relax and enjoy the whole experience of looking at art.
WW: Anything you’re looking forward to most this year in Miami?
OLC: A great group of exhibitors and an amazing ocean view
WW: Is there anything that’s come from curating a fair that you think you’ll take on or apply to future projects?
OLC: Multi-tasking and coordinating many things at once and trying my best to be efficient!