HUDSON, NY — This weekend the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) held its second annual pop-up exhibition in the uptstate New York art haven of Hudson, home to several galleries, many artists' studios, and, soon, Marina Abramovic's Rem Koolhaas-designed performance art institute. Unlike its inaugural edition last summer, where participating galleries filled the floor of Basilica Hudson with as much work as the converted 19th-century factory could hold, the event this year featured just one artwork from each participating gallery, giving it the increasingly fashionable curated feel of Volta and other fairs.
The strict single-piece limit (a few sneaky detractors notwithstanding) made for a much more pleasant viewing experience, allowing the diverse crowd of attendees — equal parts upstate townies, summering New Yorkers, and large portions of the Lower East Side and Brooklyn art scenes — to engage with each work. Indoors the highlights included Brent Owens's wooden sandwich log for Invisible-Exports — all but one foot-long's worth of which had been sold when ARTINFO spoke to the aproned artist on Saturday afternoon — William Stone's sculpture of a Buddah in a telephone booth for James Fuentes, and Marianne Vitale's family of wooden forms for Zach Feuer Gallery.
Outside, a blue, mossy cage sculpture by Lizzie Wright for Regina Rex looked like a giant lobster trap that had washed up miles from shore, while Chris Fraser's meditative light installation for San Francisco's HIGHLIGHT reminded one of Fred Sandback by way of James Turrell. A video program in a theater-like space adjacent to the exhibition's main room proved more successful than last year's performance program, particularly the surreal video by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery artist Jonathan Ehrenberg, a satirical revolutionary chic mock-commercial by Lisa Kirk, and a stunning animation incorporating human body scans by Amy Globus.
Gallerists noted that many collectors had been passing through, but that the emphasis of the exhibition was definitely not on making sales. "It's nice to see good work from galleries outside New York," said Helen Toomer Labzda of Lower East Side gallery toomer labzda, who brought a tall plexiglas sculpture by Jerry Blackman, which stood alongside two painted canvases draped over chairs by Kristan Kennedy for Portland, Oregon gallery Fourteen30 Contemporary.
But back to those tasty wooden sandwiches. Despite the no-pressure sales approach, Owens's sandwich sections sold like hotcakes. "I think it's partly because this is one of the more affordable works here," the artist said, noting that he may start taking orders for more sandwich sculptures given the piece's popularity with the hunger of the upstate crowds.
To see highlights from this weekend's NADA Hudson, click the slide show.