It was a huge weekend for contemporary art in New York this past weekend. With countless nightly openings from Wednesday through Sunday, elaborate brunches, lunches in Greenwich, Connecticut with the Brants, dinners piled on top of dinners, and enough parties to fill a two-month calendar, it was a trip to say the least. And then there were the fairs: Both the New Art Dealer’s Alliance (NADA) and the Frieze Art Fair presented their first NYC editions. At NADA, over 60 international galleries from 24 cities representing 11 countries were on hand to present work ranging from the mixed media sculptures of Jesse Greenberg to the mirror paintings of Tony Matelli.
Frieze, which took place on Randall’s Island, saw a staggering temporary complex erected—they needed all the space they could get, what with the over 180 galleries setting up shop. Among the highlights: the video-heavy booth featuring work from Adrian Piper, hosted by New York-based gallery Elizabeth Dee, and the bright, bold, and graphic images from emerging photographer Thomas Dozol, which made for an impressive display at New York’s Jack Hanley Gallery. Another young talent to watch is Ben Schumacher, whose mixed media paintings at Bortolami Gallery showed hints of a much-celebrated future. His use of epoxy, netting, and spray paint confuses the eye; You want to assume some sort of digital process has been employed to create the work, but as Bortolami director Christine Messineo assured us, it is indeed all analog. We also really enjoyed his clever signature (pictured, above left). Darren Bader’s typical whimsy shone at Andrew Kreps, where the artist (whose recent solo show at PS1 was met with great reviews) showed a French horn of plenty (of sorts), filled with guacamole and offered with either blue or plain tortilla chips for dipping. At Wallspace, Harry Dodge documented a rigorous studio practice culminating in ephemeral sculptures, as seen in the artist’s photos.
Salon 94′s showing of the hot young photographer David Benjamin Sherry was a hit with collectors. Riding high after a well-received sprawling solo show at the gallery’s two downtown locations on and around the Bowery, the artist’s photographs of the desert (including actual sand from the various locations) were snatched up like wildfire (pictured, right). The same was true of Greg Parma Smith, whose delightful work at the booth of Balice Hertling, Paris sold out on the first day. Insiders are already surmising that these two fairs will give The Armory, New York’s once reigning fair, a run for its money, and it was easy to see why this weekend. We are looking forward to a bright future for both.