A couple of years ago, I spoke to Scope founder and president Alexis Hubshman about André Ethier‘s paintings. I wasn’t sold on them—his earlier work seemed a little too faux-naive for my tastes—but Hubshman insisted I take another look. I’m glad he did. When I revisited the work, I realized I had missed much of the painterly skill in their execution.
I mention Hubshman’s interest in Ethier because it demonstrates a level of visual acuity not only necessary in putting together a good fair, but also in recognizing a bad one. Which is to say, Hubshman must know whatever it is hanging from Scope’s walls has misapplied the term fine art, and that has to suck. He’s also got a problem I’m not sure is fixable. How does a fair with a reputation for poor organization and increasingly bad art attract strong galleries? I’d be surprised if it can.