At Ice Palace Studios for its 20th presentation, the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) fair (November 30–December 3) is showcasing 146 exhibitors from 40 international cities.
Nestled behind the creative studio’s skyscraping palm trees, dotted with hammocks, the spunky show is an annual joy to journey through for its dynamic mix of mediums and diverse talent—this time including 80 returning galleries and 37 new ones.
Wriggling through the fair, we were first reeled into Marinaro gallery’s booth due to Hannah Murray‘s oil paintings. Our favorite—entitled The Couch—haunted viewers with a surreal look into the life of a couple lounging on a design-forward couch, with fixed gazes staring in different directions.
Next, we found ourselves in the Lyles & King booth, fixated on different works from two artists. First, the oil colors of Persistence hunting by Paulina Stasik caught our eyes, then led us to her Echo of one’s own bowels. Rich hues and eery subjects were seen in deep maroons and sky blues, guiding our imagination to another place.
To their right, we then enjoyed the Nicaraguan artist Farley Aguilar‘s oil, oil stick, and graphite on canvas painting The Pageant, which showed women on stage in front of spectators—with hair, clothing, and landscapes varying in color.
Toward the end of the hall, we took a moment to sit with textile works by the Providence, Rhode Island-based artist Siena Smith in Chela Mitchell Gallery‘s booth. Large-scale jacquard woven tapestries hung from installation rods, drawing the viewer in to explore Black joy and the aesthetic details that make women feel beautiful, including manicured nails and floral hair bows. Two of these works—one pink and one red-orange, featuring a different woman on each—created a pattern out of the star subject, with hair and arms meeting to form a symmetric print. Speaking with the gallerist, we also learned that Smith is currently a textiles teaching fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design—a treat to hear, yet no surprise due to her captivating expertise.
Next door, we were intrigued by the Warsaw, Poland-based artist Hanna Krzysztofiak‘s “Last Spring” show at Polana Institute‘s booth. By amplifying her own anxieties through objects and scenes reminiscent of her personal space and childhood fairytales, she showed spooky paintings of a crow outside her window; a shivering body in bed attempting to sleep while chaos roared outside; and a desert-like scene with clouds and flowers surrounding a dead bird’s carcass. Specifically, with “Last Spring,” the artist wanted to focus on the experience of “war in the neighborhood—Russia’s atrocious invasion of Ukraine.”
Passing by Nino Mier Gallery, we smiled at André Butzer‘s large-scale work (and it seemingly smiled back) before sinking our eyes into Harkawik‘s presentation of John Seal‘s works. Using scenes featuring still water down below, the artist created a show named “Double Landscapes” to reflect the landscape seen above the water. Natural atmospheres dotted by clouds, rolling green hills, and trees soothed us—twice.
In Bradley Ertaskiran‘s booth, we saw works made of wool that puzzled us. Made by Melissa Joseph were a handful of works—like Supersibs, a creation of needle felted wool on industrial felt, sand, and laminate cast abaca, which sat atop a pillar; and Mom and the Devil, a needle felted wool piece on industrial felt that was framed and hanging on the wall.
Stems Gallery presented many works from artists we know and admire—including Julien Boudet, Coady Brown, and Nick Doyle—but the works on the exterior of the booth by Shaina McCoy made us smile. The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based artist—who regularly creates textured portraits of Black families without facial features like eyes, noses, and lips—engaged us with swirls of tight curls, flips of whispy hair, and the outline of casual portrait poses.
Beyond the hanging pieces in Rebecca Camacho Present‘s booth, we were drawn to Ektor Garcia‘s curlycrochet piece he created last year—a cast aluminum and crocheted copper wire installation that was over four feet tall.
It was impossible to pass by Charles Moffett‘s area without stopping in, drawn to the intoxicating dancing scenes by Maggie Ellis. Figures of all shapes and sizes, dressed in varying garments, created a lively party full of color, swinging limbs, and uncontrollable expressions.
Before exiting the interior space, we stopped at REGULARNORMAL and stayed a while for Aya Brown‘s works. Six new pieces from the artist depicting real-life scenes showed the love and care she feels for her community, showing intimate looks at family portraits recreated in her distinct high gloss paintings.
Outside, we sat in the grass and appreciated the large-scale installation of two swans, entitled “Clint and April” by Autumn Casey. Made of steel, recycled foam, fiberglass, resin, paint, apoxie sculpt, and solar-powered lights, the works were presented by the Miami-based gallery Dale Zine. To culminate such a dynamic NADA presentation, the swans provided a soothing wind-down moment before venturing back into Magic City’s wild Art Week.