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The second edition of NOMAD St. Moritz opened today in the scenic Swiss Alps. Open through February 11, the invitation-only art fair takes places at Chesa Planta, bringing together an intimate group of international galleries and special projects.
Whitewall checked in with co-founders Giorgio Pace and Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte to see what exhibitors like Almine Rech, Nilufar, Maniera, Gallery Fumi, Hunter Harrison, and more are showcasing this weekend.
WHITEWALL: This is the second edition of NOMAD in St. Moritz. What’s it like for NOMAD to be returning?
GIORGIO PACE: After the success of the first edition of St. Moritz, we decided to come back to the same location which is Chesa Planta, where we are hosting around 25 galleries and special projects. This is why we come back here, because in February lots of collectors are in town and the galleries were very successful last year and they were happy to come back.
WW: NOMAD is known for its unique locations. Can you tell us about the site where NOMAD St. Moritz will take place this year?
NICOLAS BELLAVANCE-LECOMPTE: Chesa Planta is a patrician house from the 15th century and is 2,500 square meters. It’s a private museum where we’ve remove most of the furniture. The interiors are very interesting with very diverse scenery. You have some rooms which are more classic, while others have a more white walled feeling with old stone or parquet. We have other rooms that have beautiful tapestries, or even painted wood panels. The dialogue between the works and the location is really unique in St. Moritz.
WW: How are you anticipating galleries will respond to the site?
GP: The galleries are always very excited to go into a private house. The NOMAD concept is to present in a house where every object, every piece of furniture, every piece of work of art is adapting to where it ends up. They are contextualized in a proper house.
WW: Are there any NOMAD first-timers you’re excited to have participating?
NB-L: This year we have many new galleries actually. We can mention especially a newcomer from Oslo, Galleri Format who will present mostly Norwegian designers and artists. We have art galleries Andrea Caratsch from Zürich, Hunter Harrison from London, and a quiet Milanese presence with the Colombari sisters Paola and Rossella, as well as Erastudio coming.
WW: There are a number of special projects presented this year. Could you share a few of the highlights?
GP: I think one of the most important highlights is the conversation between Carlo Mollino and Charlotte Perriand. This was proposed to us by Oscar Humphries and Rémi Gerbeau. Another is Angela Weber from Zürich, who is hosting a conversation between Sweden and Italy and she is curating the NOMAD lounge. American artist Rob Pruitt has been selected for the first design art project at YOOX, presenting limited edition blankets. Rob Pruitt will be part of our talks on Saturday.
WW: NOMAD is invitation-only. How would you describe the profile of attendees that come together for each edition?
NB-L: Nomad is a showcase for art and design professionals and collectors. We have a very diversified type of visitor in terms of age range and origin. People are coming from all over Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the U.S. The profile consists of collectors who are bored of the usual large scale art fairs. They are looking for a more intimate experience, to meet new people, to see beautiful architectural context.
WW: Are there any events outside the presentation you’re particularly excited in attending?
GP: I’m excited about the talks—it’s the first time we are presenting two days of conversations. And apart from that, we are organizing private tours of the new museum that just opened last month by Grazyna Kulczyk, and a private visit of Atelier Segantini where the artist used to work in Maloja.