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Scoped Out

I didn't know what to expect of my first Scope Art Fair, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is the fourth edition to be held on West 52nd Street. The press brunch started at 12 pm, but the lobby was crammed by 11:30, and the free food made it a frenzy.

The show consists of 75 exhibitors making the best of pretty tight hotel rooms. I started up on the 16th floor, going room by room and using the stairways to access each floor: can I spell claustrophobic?

There was a lot to see: works on paper, lots of intense little drawings, cut paper, and cut paper money. Since the show is in a hotel (or otel in this case), much revolved around the bed, here, here, here, and here. The latter was at Gallery Joe (Philladelphia)—Libby and Roberta at artblog mention them often—very impressive. There was a cool still life at Tatar Galley (Toronto), made of scotch tape, and Lyons Wier of Chelsea had some humor from Anthony Lister. Acuna-Hansen (LA) had some good stuff including some bear studies. Andrew Edlin (Chelsea) was showing some good outsider work including a $90,000 Henry Darger. Apparently there aren't many on the market at the moment: the estate has removed many from sale. See, you can learn a lot at these shows. On whole, Scope was a good experience. There's far less pretention than at The Armory Show and less of the horse-trading atmosphere. Nothing kills the joy of looking at art more than pretentious, boring, gallery arses.

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