Monday, April 03, 2006

Scope Art Fair (New York)

On March 12th, I visited the Scope art fair in Manhattan. The previous Scope, in Miami, covered several floors of a cramped hotel. People could barely move through the halls—and forget the elevator. The Manhattan venue was on one level and not so crowded, but the layout and signage were disorienting. Dozens of galleries were present, but I didn’t see much to engage me. Scope's post-fair puffery tells a different story, of course.

At one gallery, porcelain works by Christopher Adams were selling out. These were mostly small pieces, affixed to a wall, that replicate exotic plants. They are beautifully fabricated, but they seemed to come from one of those too-too gardening shops.

OK—maybe I should have contributed something to Matt Bakkom’s witty museum (photo at top).

There are always good works to see, of course. At Kustera Tilton, there were a couple of Jeff Sonhouse’s paintings, including a study for a larger work that was included in the “Frequency” show at the Studio Museum Harlem (see a previous post). At Morgan Lehman, there was a good work on paper by Franklin Evans (photo above). Some of Evans’s work can seem arbitrary and over-busy, but the successful pieces are captivating. Jeff Bailey has also had good work by Evans.

Galerie Römerapotheke (Zürich) showed some of Jana Gunstheimer’s very interesting work, much of it based on an imaginary company, NOVA PORTA. Her medium is watercolor on paper. A short commentary on her work can be found on the site. Some images (rather poor quality) are available on the Römerapotheke website. Better image quality can be found at Galerie Conrads (Düsseldorf), from which I have borrowed the one above.

Galerie Schuster (Frankfurt) had some striking ink drawings on cardboard by a young artist from Vienna, Eva Grün (or Gruen). Another artist of interest here was Christian Holtmann, and the works I preferred were not on the wall but in a portfolio at the desk. These were tiny paintings on paper that have the internal scale of large works. I purchased one of them, inexpensively (photo above).

No comments: