Saturday, July 28, 2007

Art Comments | Scope Hamptons 2007

First Impressions of Scope Hamptons 2007

written by peter duhon in new york

Amongst the rustic and country setting of the Hamptons, 10 countries were represented by 65 different galleries at this year's Scope Hamptons International Art Fair which also organizes contemporary art fairs in Miami, London, and Basel. There were many highlights during the first day:

  1. The Mcneill Art Group: Savvy and charming art curator, consultant and dealer Beth Mcneill received several plaudits from various attendees and collectors at the fair this weekend. Her roster of artists for the fair included: abstract painter Jeff Muhs and large-scale Argentinian painter Tin Ojeda. I would advise art enthusiasts and collectors to bookmark her website, www.mcneillartgroup.com.

  2. Frost & Reed: Karen Gunderson's black paintings (easily best of the show) in their booth adroitly defy the academic notion that black is not a color without prosaically wallowing in the debate of what is color and what it is not color but rather with the bravura of a master, she wins the debate easily without sacrificing aesthetic integrity. Her paintings waver and pulsate with motion and speak to both the intelligentsia and the masses. The three black oil paintings on display literally flow, shine and captivate the viewer with an illusion of 3D depth, movement and rhythm that fluctuates depending on the lighting and position of the viewer.

  3. Moti Hasson Gallery: David Kramer's figurative halcyon oil paintings with white text overlaying them, reminiscent almost of what one would see in a film with subtitles, are cleverly contemporary, challenging, and fun for the newcomer to contemporary art and even the seasoned contemporary art connoisseur. Moti Hasson's gallery consistently delivers great art at the various art fairs and their gallery in Chelsea.

  4. KlinkHammer Projects: Andrea Lehmann's seductive, haunting and disturbing figurative oil paintings delightfully offered necessary contrast to the safer and more conservative pieces on display in the Hamptons at the fair.

This year the fair appears to be stronger than the previous one last year, and after speaking with the dealers, the sales seem to be better as well. Alongside the many Chelsea galleries at the fair, there was a strong German presence with 6 galleries from there and even a strong Asian presence facilitated by several American galleries. Despite a strong showing by many of the galleries, the fair felt a little too vapid without any serious programming. Perhaps in the future this will change. I sure hope so since it could add to a better experience for everyone involved.

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