We stopped by NADA New York 2017, the New Art Dealer’s Alliance, for the annual show at Skylight Clarkson Square. Here are five artists worth keeping in mind.
These are the artists that are hitting the mark in terms of detail-oriented works and conceptual executions: they are changing the way artists retain control over their work long after it’s been finished. We found them at NADA New York 2017, a multi-day art fair for new and growing gallery, now in its sixth edition.
Phillip Maisel: with his mild-mannered palette that feels like scraps from The Breakfast Club set, Maisel employs paper of varying weights, grid lines, glass, mirrors, plastic. Grids, triangles, arches, loops, and tears of paper.
There is a geometric nature to the works that is irresistible because they’re so precise and contained. It’s collage has much as it is a photograph. It’s also a performance. Maisel’s works are sequences, the same items reemerge in different ways. The works are incidentally sculpture, and the palate is so constricted, the viewer must adjust the eye to accommodate this consistency and form a habit second-guessing what’s truly dynamic. Phillip Maisel at Document Gallery.
Andrew Witkin (among others): Andrew Witkin has a sensitivity toward print work. Particularly, in “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, print mistakes. It takes a keen eye and a technical background to account for mistakes. Originally appearing in the New York Times, Witkin exposes the complications of the news world: the hierarchy of jobs.
The photographer is not to blame for the print mistakes, and not necessarily the person laying out the page either. It’s a machine, but you can’t fire a machine. You can’t tell a machine to improve. A machine doesn’t try harder. So, Witkin has plenty of options to choose from over the course of nearly 10 years of collecting the clippings. They are arranged in discreet stacks, perfectly tidy, placed on right angles, increasing in size, the credit to the photographer on display. Finished in shrink-wrap, the works are frozen in a certain arrangement, allowing Witkin to maintain aesthetic control over the works, while maintaining an archival quality to them of news gone just awry enough. It is finished art in the most essential way: conclusive, packaged, framed, and presented, no assembly required. The forbidden nature is tempting and maddening, even though you’ve already been briefed: mistakes were made. Andrew Witkin, presented by THEODORE:Art.
Nicolas Grenier: Grenier’s technical skill and detail-oriented work is not always obvious. The one to catch my eye was not enormous or colorful.
It was a small rectangular 22″ piece in tan, bone, browns, and yellows, all feeding into each other to form a smooth and graceful work. Even the “frame” was little more than visual three-dimensional trickery, in which Grenier’s expert handling of sightline and subtle coloring easily led viewers to a level of surrealism and accident nearing that of Magritte. The painting incorporated extraordinary gradients that shift color in a minimal way, but a way that was essential for the overall integrity and convincing nature of the work. When speaking to Grenier, I learned of his interest in systems and specifically the way Los Angeles has arranged itself. He explores this through not only paint, but also performance and research. Based in Montreal but doing most of his work in Los Angeles, Nicholas Grenier is represented at NADA New York by Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran.
Viktoria Binschtok: her work is visually arresting experiments in color and found imagery (seeing a trend?), but the way these images are layered is extraordinary and cautious.
“Orange Wings” (2016) were particularly eye catching in the manifestation: she entered one image into a reverse image search with similar properties and retouched them to her liking. Printed on paper and framed, the frames become part of the works themselves, with careful cuts and layering, Binschtok permits a breakdown of the centuries-old practice of framing art, works cascading into each other while maintaining their individual properties. If anything, it’s Binschtok clinging to the final say when presenting the work: yes, you’ll get them framed, but that doesn’t mean you have the pleasure to position them at will. Klemm’s Berlin.
Zach Nader: Nader’s work is detailed through its ignorance. These works, fragmented and process-driven pieces of digitally-executed media are not keen on telling a story on print. Instead, they incorporate a different space, more metaphysical and interesting. Standing next to one, UV printed on aluminum, they are originally online advertisements with the people and objects removed, then photographed from computer screen.
The circumstantial reality is doubled: the lines and color waves are blurry and crisp, forcing the eye to endlessly refocus- or try to. Resistance to apparent precision reveals Nader’s sensitivity to context and effective collaging of a different sort. The reductive works are troubling as they are soothing. This is some of the finest work to come from a burgeoning post-net art world, in which digital creation is suddenly environmental and subject to the treatment of art as created in any other medium. Digital creation does not limit the potential for innovative and organic reimagining. Microscope Gallery.
Announced following the event, Los Angeles-based gallery Tif Sigfrids is the winner of the first NADA Member Norwegian Residency, in partnership with Unge Kunstneres Samfund (UKS). UKS is a national membership organization and an Oslo-based institution for contemporary art. The NADA Member Norwegian Residency offers an unparalleled opportunity to meet and connect with Norwegian artists without financial risk.