Saturday, October 18, 2008

FRIEZE 2008: SCOPE Art Fair

SCOPE Art Fair Review
written by Ashley Elridge-Ford in London

I returned to Frieze yesterday early afternoon to walk a friend of mine around and it was great to see that there was new work on show; some pieces had perhaps sold but also I know that some gallerists had determined to alternate their display. Could this possibly be their way of not letting on to what has or hasn't sold by doing so? A chosen curated changing display is as indicative of sales as a changing display to fill holes as collectors walk away with their purchased artworks. Or perhaps I am being too cynical. After Frieze we went to Scope Art Fair at Lord's Cricket Ground. This is a slightly bizarre place to host an art fair but the interior of the venue is the nicest I have seen of Scope's venues so far. It looks professional, smart and very well organised.

I have discovered that my taste in art is very much more of a conservative nature - predominantly more and more it is painting that catches my attention - and Scope is full of it. I think that the standard of artists showing at Scope this year is high. Each gallery offers something that is worth stopping and looking at. It is not overwhelming large, packed or crammed full of art. There is a more curated feel to the stands and the fair as a whole. It looks as though Scope has grown up and is the better for it. There is a plethora of artists from China and their work is strong.
The artists and work that caught my attention are the following:
  • Carrie Reichardt's glazed ceramic coated spray cans with a variety of designs on each from Victorian floral to skull and bones Gothic. There are slogans across a couple of them such as 'War is Peace' and 'Fuck the Law ... I Want Justice'. At Forster, London [102].

  • An Doan's Gerhard Richter-esque paintings - Emirates and Nightspace at Galleri A, Oslo [104].

  • The playful Tim Burton-like three dimensional sculptural work of Liz McGrath at Iguapop Gallery, Barcelona. Specifically a Manga-looking porcupine with a transparent midriff in which a late nineteenth century man and woman reside in a caravan [107].

  • The tongue in cheek sculptural busts of Charles Robb at Hous Projects. Robb takes the mickey out of a traditionally very serious medium for portraying dignity and decorum at Hous Projects, New York [124].

  • Noted photographer Hendrik Kersten's images of Vermeer-like women with plastic bags placed upon their heads emulating silks wraps at Dean Project, Long Island City [125].

  • The beautiful ink on white paper drawings built up using the repetition of one work. Shadow is created by overwriting letters from the word repeatedly using a rubber stamp. These are the work of Yoo Seungho and the word is Yodeleheeyoo! The effect is one from traditional Japanese or Chinese landscapes. Miki Wick Kim Contemporary Art, Zurich [122].

  • This theme of stamped repetition is also noteworthy in the work of Daniel Rapley's ink on paper nudes built up through the stamped repetition of the 3 March 2006. London's Vertigo Gallery [127].

  • Liu Fei's Foreigners Who Influenced Me, a Scope Special Project and so-called Cinema Installation; a florescent lit interior as viewed through Lucio Fontano slashed material.

  • Daniel Glaser and Magdalena Kunz's Voices II, 2008, a similar version of which - if not the same - was shown at Scope, Basel, from Gagliardi Art System, Toronto.

  • The slick photographic work by eccentric artist Dorothy M. Yoon who believes Angels direct her art and in some respects her career. Not so unlikely considering some people believe God directs them to rule a nation or declare war on other countries.

  • Of note at Andres James Art, Shanghai, is Venus [132] that reminds me a little of the juicy colourful hper-real work of Wang Qingsong.

  • Xu Weixin's large-scale painted portraits are striking and stunning. ChinaSquare, New York [109].

  • Kimi Sakaki's painting Help Me, 2007, at Gallery Terra Tokyo [134].

  • The delicate paintings of Lee Hyun-Young at art company Misool Sidae, Seoul [137].


  • The painting selection at Polan-Hardouin, Paris, is excellent. Of note are Humberto Poblete-Bustamante and Fred Kleinberg.


Scope is definitely worth a visit this year.

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