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Farah Al Qasimi, winner of the NADA New York Artadia Award, performing How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Room at NADA’s 2018 New York fair. Photo: Ivy Olesen / the Art Newspaper.

NADA Cancels 2019 Edition of Its New York Fair to Dedicate More Resources to Galleries

The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) announced today that it has decided not to have a New York fair in 2019. The nonprofit, which is dedicated to the cultivation, support, and advancement of contemporary art, will instead allocate more resources to gallery programming during next year’s March Art Week.

“This gives NADA the time to develop and deploy new initiatives that will best serve our members as their needs continue to shift and evolve,” said Heather Hubbs, executive director of NADA. “Producing alternative models for the public to engage with contemporary art has always been central to NADA’s mission, and the combination of NADA Miami and directing focus towards the galleries and their exhibition programs will make for a more dynamic season.”

The organization’s decision to cancel its fair comes at a time when smaller and midsize galleries are facing declining attendance, rising rents, and pressure to pay the high participation fees collected by art fairs. In an article that the New York Times published earlier this year, which addressed the struggle to compete with mega galleries, the London-based gallerist John Martin said: “The collectors aren’t going to galleries any more, they’re going to art fairs. They’re less intimidating, more social, more convenient, and they’re open in the evenings and at the weekend.” He added, “People are time-poor.”

NADA board president and cofounder Bodega Elyse Derosia said that, as a result, “It’s vital for us to think critically about the where, when, and how of fairs, in a moment so saturated with them.” The New York–based gallerist Photios Giovanis, the owner of New York’s Callicoon Fine Arts and a NADA board member, praised the nonprofit’s decision to shift its focus from fairs to programming and other new gallery initiatives.

“I’m proud of NADA for its dynamic leadership in support of galleries,” he said. “Exhibitions remain the tried-and-true method for the presentation of the work of artists, and the core of our work as gallerists. I congratulate the organization on this decision, and look forward to the coming years of innovative programming.”

The sixteenth edition of NADA’s Miami fair, which will take place at the Ice Palace Studios from December 6 to December 9, will continue as scheduled. 

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