NADA Villa Warsaw 2024

From May 16th to 19th, 2024, the historic Willa Gawrońskich in Warsaw played host to NADA Villa Warsaw, a vibrant and collaborative showcase featuring 44 international galleries. This gathering brought artists and galleries from 27 cities around the globe, creating an exciting display of contemporary art within the elegant neo-baroque mansion.

The event was a hit, attracting an impressive crowd. The long lines to get in were a clear sign of its popularity. According to the organisers, NADA Villa Warsaw welcomed 11,000 visitors, highlighting the growing interest in contemporary art among the people of Warsaw.

Contemporary Lynx team flew to Warsaw to catch up with several gallery owners about their experiences, their curatorial concepts, and the audience’s response.

Who is behind NADA?

NADA Villa Warsaw was initiated by Michał Kaczyński of Raster, Marta Kołakowska of LETO, and Joanna Witek-Lipka of Warsaw Gallery Weekend, in collaboration with the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA). This initiative built on the Villa Raster project, which has previously hosted art events in Iceland, Japan, and Canada. Notably, NADA Villa Warsaw marked the Alliance’s first venture in Central and Eastern Europe, underscoring the region’s growing prominence in the global art scene.

Food, art & performances 

Michał Kaczyński [Raster], one of the event organisers, shared a unique aspect of the program: “When designing the program for NADA VILLA WARSAW, we aimed to create experiences and moments that would be remembered for a long time. One such idea was to bring in a culinary artist from Tokyo, Shiori Gato, who prepared a dinner to inaugurate the exhibition. The old palace kitchen was enveloped in the heavy aroma of durian, whose fumes, even before cutting, intoxicated the guests with a disturbing aura. The food, with its subdued palette of greens, browns, whites, and yellows, was a magnificent poem of flavours imbued with nostalgia and the atmosphere of an abandoned building. Shiori created a dinner that, of course, engaged all the senses, but its essence was pure poetry and an experience beyond taste, smell, and sight.”

The historic Willa Gawrońskich, designed by Marcin Weinfeld in 1924, provided a unique and intriguing backdrop. Its distinctive architectural character posed some challenges, but exhibitors turned these into opportunities for creating innovative, site-specific installations, displays, and performances.

Numerous performances were also a key attraction at NADA Villa Warsaw. Zuzanna Wrońska’s “STALKING” performance explored the boundaries between being an observer and a participant, engaging the audience with its interactive nature. Emma Szumlas, in collaboration with Turnus Gallery, presented “FLESH AND BLOOD FAIRY TALES – closing guide,” inspired by the extravagance of ambassadorial receptions and the villa’s neo-baroque architecture. Gosia Mycek‘s performance “On the Ruins of Patriarchy, We Will Build a New World” captivated viewers throughout the event.

The engagement of visitors

Agnieszka Rayzacher, owner of the Warsaw-based lokal_30 gallery, shared her thoughts on her curatorial concept and the positive feedback she received. Inspired by the building’s unique atmosphere, she curated a sensual presentation titled “Touch Me Not,” featuring works by Joanna Rajkowska, Zuzanna Janin, Anna Orbaczewska, Liliana Zeic, and Diana Lelonek. Visitors were particularly drawn to Joanna Rajkowska’s sculptures and Liliana Zeic’s hanging totem.

Richard Galling from Green Gallery in Milwaukee, visiting Warsaw for the first time, showcased new works by Peter Barrickman. Galling praised Barrickman’s ability to connect with people through his paintings.

“Peter was one of the first artists to come to mind when this opportunity arose. We’ve worked with him for years. His paintings are incredibly generous, often using recognisable forms and palettes positioned in a way for viewers to rediscover something familiar.”

Alyssa, the owner of the New York-based Alyssa Davis Gallery, presented a meticulously arranged selection of international artists: Bora Akıncıtürk, Genevieve Goffman, Radimir Koch, Zuzanna Milobedzka, Anna Pederson, Karolina Szwed.  She appreciated the venue’s ability to foster a collective exhibition experience without harsh divisions between presentations and was impressed by the engagement of visitors with the displayed works.

“I appreciated how genuinely engaged visitors were with the works on view and the ambitious scale of the exhibition – all super energising” – says Alyssa.

NADA Villa Warsaw 2024 brilliantly combined history with contemporary art, leaving a lasting impression on all attendees. Contemporary Lynx Magazine was proud to be a Media Partner for the NADA Warsaw showcase.