Odd Nerdrum, Twilight (from the Transformations series), 1981, oil on canvas, 102 x 77 inches
Scope art fair co-founder, curator and dealer Robert Curcio asked himself “What does New York need?” and curiously came up with The Great Nude Invitational, the world’s only fair dedicated to the nude. “People are burnt out on the same old art fair and familiar art offered” Curcio told the press in a recent release, “we wanted to present a new fair with new ideas.”
No offense to Curcio, but he might have polled a few more fair goers before he came to that conclusion. This is a bad idea. For starters, themed shows almost never improve upon the standard art fair concept, because they always have a “special table for the kids” feel to them. Seeing as how contemporary artists have real trouble these days making life drawing, particularly that of the nude relevant, this fair certainly maintains the kiddy table feel. Add to this, that The Great Nude Invitational touts Odd Nerdrum as a host Committee member, and the fair’s got problems. This is an artist we’ve described as a someone, who if cited as an artistic influence, would completely discredit another artist’s work.
Regardless, those deeply invested in the nude, can check out the fair at The Roger Smith Hotel, May 13 – 16. Curator and critic Donald Kuspit, also a Host Committee member, will have his essay The Nude Ascending chronicling the resurgence of the nude over the past few years published in the catalogue and the website.