In October, Ebony L. Haynes inaugurated 52 Walker, a New York gallery operated under the aegis of David Zwirner, with a Kandis Williams solo show that earned rave reviews. When plans were revealed for 52 Walker last year, Zwirner praised Haynes as “a thinker and an activist, and not just an art dealer.” That assertion figures once more at the NADA Miami Beach art fair, where Haynes has curated a special section.
In an interview, Haynes explained that her aim is to further the mission of 52 Walker in the context of the fair. “I see this section as an extension of what I am excited about and what I find interesting and important at this moment,” she said. “And yes, I would say that is an extension of the driving force behind 52 Walker.”
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Prior to 52 Walker, Haynes garnered a reputation for her work at New York’s Martos Gallery, where she boosted talents like Tau Lewis, Juliana Huxtable, and Kayode Ojo before they had achieved more widespread renown. She’s unafraid to prop up heady art that might otherwise go ignored on the gallery circuit, and the work in Haynes’s section of NADA is unlike much else that features in art fairs where aesthetic flashiness is prized.
Among the offerings are new works in the booth for New York’s Larrie gallery by Sean-Kierre Lyons, whose art is currently on view at MoMA PS1’s exhibition “Greater New York.” The work in Miami is edible art—crackers, to be exact—that makes a mockery of a racist Americana. The theme of eating continues at the booth of the Miami gallery KDR305, which is showing art by Joel Gaitan presented in the form of a Pulperia grocery store.
“Hopefully this will feel like a place for discovery or a chance to see some of your favorites,” Haynes said. “My desire to slow things down in our new gallery is really a desire to show how many different models can exist in this art world, and I think that art fairs have played, and still do play, an important role in that world. Art fairs present a unique opportunity for global engagement. Galleries, artists, curators, and collectors from around the world can meet, see old favorites, and discover new things, all in one place.”