Nicelle Beauchene runs Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York City and is the president of the New Art Dealers Alliance.
You had worked in Chelsea galleries for several years before opening your namesake space in 2008. In what ways did your prior experiences inform your new space, and what did you want to do differently?
My first experiences in the New York art world were shaped through my tenure at Marianne Boesky Gallery. At Boesky I learned about the importance of building strong foundations for young artists, strategizing, while at the same time taking risks for them. I continue to incorporate these ideals into my own workings with artists, and feel grateful to have had the experience at Boesky.
How do you go about choosing the artists you represent? What are you looking for when compiling a solo show?
For me, it’s really important that the artists we show and work with have their own unique vernacular or vocabulary that comes through in their practice. In a market where there is a lot of aesthetic cross over, and so many artists are making work which looks similar and is influenced by each other, it is more rewarding to be working with someone that retains a specific vision/vocabulary within their work. Also in terms of our program at large, it’s important to me to keep it as dynamic as possible, for example, not showing too much of one medium or type of work.
What’s it like sharing a space with Jack Hanley? Am I right that sometimes the galleries switch floors? Is it a sort of collaboration or are the galleries completely separate entities?
Sharing the building with Jack has been a very collaborative experience for us— we are completely separate galleries, however we switch exhibition spaces and offices every month. There are definitely more pros to the switching than cons, as essentially we’re able to offer artists a choice in exhibition space. So instead of our artists making works specific to the architecture of one space they are able to choose the gallery space that makes more sense in terms of what they will be showing.
You are also the president of the New Art Dealers Association. Can you tell us about the work you do at NADA? How has the organization evolved over the years?
With the rest of the NADA board, I oversee the various fairs that we put on as well as the different levels of membership that we have. Throughout the past five years, the organization has really broadened internationally with collaborations such as Art Cologne/NADA Cologne as well as expanded membership. Both the Miami fair as well as the NY fair have become more international as well in the past few years, which has certainly been a strong focus for the current board.
This was the sixth year of NADA Miami, right? What should we expect from the fourth edition of NADA NY this May?
This was actually the 11th year of NADA Miami, the first year was 2003 when the fair took place in a vacant space off of Lincoln Road near the Convention Center. The fair then moved to the Ice Palace, and again to the Deauville Hotel, where we’ve been now for six years. The move to the Deauville was a game changer for the fair. For NADA NY 2015, you’ll see us at Basketball City again with a lot of new, international exhibitors and the continuation of our project booths, which has been an important addition to both our Miami and New York fairs.
Describe your personal collection for us.
My husband (artist Kent Henricksen) and I have been collecting together for almost 15 years. Before making the move to NYC we lived and worked in San Francisco and bought mostly young Bay Area artists- Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, Chris Johanson, etc. We still have all of these works in our collection, and have since expanded it to include a lot of our NYC artist friends as well as artists within the gallery’s program. We also have a great collection of American Indian ledger drawings, mostly from the Plains Indians which we’ve been collecting for about 10 years now.