Hope for Scope? Slideshow and Commentary

by Whitney Kimball on March 7, 2013 Art Fair

Andrea Stanislav's "The Vanishing Points," the entryway to Scope

Let’s face it: bejeweling a horse does not exactly inspire riveting dialogue. But some people seem to like it, and this is Scope, so at this point, we’ll take it. It’s one example of the fair’s congenial goofball luster, and there’s no point in trying to make it something it’s not.

Being yourself-ness, in fact, came up often when we asked gallerists why they chose Scope. “I feel at home,” said newcomer Sharon Reaves of Reaves Projects.  “Everybody’s been so friendly. Some of the other galleries have even sent clients from their booths to me— and I just met these people.” She added that she’s been coming for years as an advisor and felt lucky to be included this year, which she thinks is the best curated so far. We can’t really back that up, as we’ve missed the last couple of years, but the fair has its moments (see below).

An unusually large portion of the exhibitors are new to the fair. Scope has a high turnover rate, in part due to mismanagement, and a lot of people seemed to have chosen Scope as the default entry-level New York fair. Terrence Sanders, the director of the New Orleans/Los Angeles gallery Untitled Art Projects, told me that as someone who shows relatively unknown local artists—a common theme—Scope was an opportunity to broaden the interest. “It’s bringing them to a more intelligent market. I think New York is somewhere the art-savvy people live,” he told me. A pair of newcomers from Montreal’s Art Mûr, now on their third Scope, sounded ambivalent: “We’re playing it by ear.” We’ll see how they feel after this week.

Hilarious. A large shipping crate yells out to you in a feeble voice. Look inside, and Walt Whitman (David Rhon) is sitting in a 19th century living room on a two-piece telephone. He'll cross his knee and read you a poem in a measured, quivering tone similar to Daniel Day Lewis's "Lincoln." Is it art? Do we care?

"Vagiloom" at Chungjark Gallery, Seoul

Who does Scope? A representative sample

Velazquez's Philip IV is an alien. Or maybe the only human? (Noah Becker, Whitehot Presents)

Believe it or not, many consider F. Lennox Campello's charcoal drawings with embedded video to be extremely inflammatory. He told me how one drawing of Che Guevara as diety and dictator prompted threats from various Miami fairgoers. I googled it; it's true. He reports similar reactions on the internet to this video looping beheaded heads-of-state who've threatened Israel, like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez.

Toilet paper with Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe silkscreens, at Robert Fontaine Gallery. Any questions?

At least Scope is interesting. Eugenio Merino has sculpted "Master of Puppets" Larry Gagosian with finger puppets of Hirst, Murakami, and Koons. Merino has been known to stick this out of a limo sunroof and drive it around outside Gagosian openings. It's a total one-liner, but I'll take this over Brillo boxes any day.

After Rohn’s Whitman, more people in boxes:

"Turkysh bath (chrome)" by Marck at Licht Feld Gallery

Forgot to shoot this label. Commenters?

Peter Demetz, "Il Bivio" at White Room

Scope? Nope. Gillian Wearing's hand at the Armory

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