Since her days working with Jeffrey Deitch as director of the recently shuttered Deitch Projects, Nicola Vassell has been one of our favorite gals on the New York art scene. Now that she's the director of the blue-chip Pace Gallery we wondered how her Art Basel experience will change. PAPER's Kim Hastreiter chatted with her.
What are you going to be doing in Art Basel this year? Will you just be at the fair all day with Pace?
I'll be in the Pace booth at the main fair, but I'll also get a chance to see cousin fairs like NADA and maybe Scope. I'll definitely see a few museum exhibitions and pop-up presentations. I'm happy to be more of a participator than purveyor this year.
Are there any specific shows/parties/events you're looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to the launch of the Creative Caribbean Network with Isaac Julien at the Bass Museum, Art Basel's Oceanfront Nights in collaboration with Creative Time, Jeffrey Deitch and L.A.'s MOCA museum party where LCD Soundsystem is performing, Design Miami in general, Kehinde Wiley's annual Fish Fry, LAND and OHWOW's "The Island," Terence Koh's "Children of the Corn" and all the other soul-draining events that go on ad infinitum this week.
What are some of your favorite things to see/do in Miami every year when you go? Or do you not have any time to do anything not related to Art Basel?
I always try to make it to my favorite South Beach restaurant, Tap Tap. It's the best fried fish you'll eat this side of the Caribbean Sea. I go to the annual Americans for the Arts dinner at Joe's Stone Crab where we catch up on whatever palpable political momentum the arts community gains each year. And I always try to visit the private collections, like the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, the de la Cruz Collection, and the Margulies and Rubell Collections.
What are some fun things you will be doing in the coming year at Pace?
I am working on two interesting exhibition projects and one top-secret initiative (with several tentacles) that should hit the waves by spring. Stay tuned!