Berta Fischer, "Andil", 2017. Acrylic glass.

Berta Fischer, "Andil", 2017. Acrylic glass.

THE MIAMI REPORT: Day 5

NADA; Marie Herwald Hermann; The Wolfsonian

The plan was to go to Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB), then the New Art Dealer’s Alliance fair (NADA). ABMB didn’t happen, and NADA did, because of an interview I had scheduled. Priorities—gotta have ’em, and like I said yesterday, no FOMO.

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Ioanna Pantazopoulou, “T.L.F. (The Lucky Fourteen), 2017. Hammocks made of various materials.

When you walk into the NADA fair, after ticketing, you’ll walk through pure green lushness. Hammocks. Grass. Dogs playing. People picnicking. It’s not a hippie fest, however, once you enter the building, you’re immediately transported back into the art world’s white cubes and grids and seriousness. The art wasn’t self-serious, though. I saw some arresting work by Aneta Grzeszykowska in the Lyles and King booth.

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Photographs by Aneta Grzeszykowska

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Installation view of the Lyles & King booth at NADA 2017. Art by Aneta Grzeszykowska.

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“Skin Head” series. From left to right; #2, #6, and #1. 2016

Grzeszykowska lives and works in Warsaw, and the major themes of her work include re-working of personal histories, issues of bodily representation and self-erasure. One of the highlights of the fair, in my opinion—she has an instant fan in me, and I encourage all who read this to delve deeper into her work.

Next, I had my scheduled interview with Marie Herwald Hermann, a ceramicist born in Denmark and practicing in Detroit. Her work can be found in the Reyes Projects booth at NADA. I wanted to give her a chance to speak directly about her work.

We also briefly discussed what it’s like to be a fine artist in Detroit. According to her, living and working there gives one a sense of having large amounts of space to produce, to expand and explore. Not in the frontier sense, but in the sense of filling in space that has been left behind. Detroit seems to have become a haven for artists and creatives of all stripes—I know several who have made the move there from LA.

Soon after the interview, I summoned an Uber Pool back to South Beach and found myself sharing it with an art professor: Lorraine Morales Cox, Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Arts Department Chair at Union College. She attended NADA in support of one of her former students. It was a long ride back because of rush hour traffic, so naturally, we ended up having an excellent, in-depth conversation about undergraduate and graduate arts education. It was refreshing to meet someone in arts academia who is doing the work of teaching entrepreneurship and practical career knowledge to the next generation of fine artists. There are still too many programs who have not caught on to the importance of empowering young artists with practical business knowledge.

The past few days have been a lot, so I needed a few hours to decompress and unwind before our evening outing to The Wolfsonian’s opening reception. It was just a short drive away.

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The Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach, FL

The reception was a great time, facilitated by their specialty cocktail by Bacardi, of which I had three servings. I’ll just go ahead and be honest about it: I got wasted. But I wasn’t the only one—the festive music by The French Horn Collective and free-flowing alcohol had several people dancing and twirling. For once, it wasn’t me who owned and operated the dance floor.

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Ladies and gentlemen, The French Horn Collective. Try and guess which one I wanted to pick up.

Consequences of my tipsiness means I wasn’t very well suited to document the newly-installed art by Seite Zwei, or the prints from their permanent collection. Instead, I was plotting on how I could get one of the musicians’ phone number. Glad I was with my girls—they shepherded me to a nearby Mediterranean eatery and sobered me up. That’s how last night ended. I’m just going to not drink anymore on this trip. Maybe.