Photo Essays

Taking Notice of Scope Miami

by Hrag Vartanian on December 4, 2010

Mark Jenkins, "End Table" (2010) at the Carmichael Gallery

Scope is the art fair that many people like to disparage but this year’s installment was rather good and worth a trip.

Housed in a large tent near the Art Miami and Red Dot art fairs and, as always, attached to Art Asia, the greater prominence ensured more foot traffic than last year (two gallerists told me sales and traffic were better this year) and the lofty space made it much more conducive to looking at art.

There are few installations at Scope, which makes it feel a bit more commercial than some of the other fairs, but on the upside there were more charity-related activities than at any other fair I visited. Check out the back wall when you visit, where you can text message to purchase items that benefit charity. My favorite item was these bread “loafers.”

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These were some of my favorite objects at Scope. Created by Agustina Woodgate and displayed at Miami’s Spinello Gallery. Using what seems like the fur of stuffed animals (or at least reminiscent of them), these large wall hangings feel like Rorschach inkblots that allow you to read (or interpret) your childhood experiences in them.

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More vividly colored work by Agustina Woodgate.

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Ma Jun’s traditional Chinese ceramic treatment of modern technology make them immediately accessible and decorative.

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Olek created a room covered all over with yarn/performance for Christopher Henry Gallery.

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In addition to the work of Boxi, Aakash Nihalani, Dan Witz, Slinkachu, and Mark Jenkins in their booth, the Los Angeles-based Carmichael gallery had a large piece by Gregor Gaida, titled “Drummer III” (2010), which demonstrates a new and exciting addition to their gallery’s stable of artists.

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This colorful painting of a skull by Jenny Morgan was part of Like the Spice’s display. Gallery owner Marisa Sage told me that Morgan had felt like she had to do this after years of nudes and other portraits. I strangely understand why.

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Comenius Roethlisberger and Admir Jahic’s The Flying Saucers — In God We Trust series were dominated by a sense of wonderment as plates and other object floated above books in what at first appeared to be magic but upon closer inspection seemed to be done with powerful magnets.

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I wish I could remember who this was by but my phone conked out and erased my carefully written digital note, alas, the image is pretty awesome.

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A view of the large UP WITH MURAL display at Scope, which is  a project of The SCOPE Foundation, that steps “beyond aesthetic pleasure into a contemporary dialog of social justice.” I thought they were funny and cute but not really motivating or political, other than in an ironic way.

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James Clar’s “Ball and Chain” (2010) transformed car lights into a jewel-like object chained to a wall as if it was under threat to be stolen.

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A drawing by Alfredo Martinez.

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The Lounge area was dominaed by a large “Made in China” sign … a sign of things to come?

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Edie Nadelhaft’s capsule-like forms branded with online jargon and acronyms feel like just what the doctor ordered.

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The SCOPE Art Fair is located at 3055 North Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida, and it will continue until Sunday, December 5, 2010. Check the website for times.

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