Armory Week 2017 Review: Scope
Scope is in a new venue this year – the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea – which you may know as the home of the Affordable Art Fair. It’s a smaller space and packed with booths. Much of the work was focused on technical prowess with figurative paintings and portraiture being the most common genres.
The first couple of galleries at the beginning of the fair give an excellent preview of the show. Cagla Cabaoglu, a Turkish gallery, present a wall installation titled “Istanbul Cabinet of Curiosities” featuring a broad selection of paintings focused on figurative work. Across the hall was Space 776 showing “Quantum Paintings” by Kyunham Han which are large abstract paintings using a pattern of repetitive circles in a variety of colors arranged in a grid. While both galleries showed different genres of work they shared a high degree of finish that was a theme throughout the fair. NG Art Gallery is showing a series of large portraits by Neil Reyes painted with expressive brushwork and a bold palette of reds and blacks. At the opposite end of the venue Ransom Art Gallery was also featuring large format portraits by Marco Grassi that were more decorative with gold leaf backgrounds on contemporary subjects.
Abstract works at the fair also tended to be very controlled and tightly rendered – even when referencing natural phenomenon. X-Pinky is showing a series of small oxidation paintings by Isabella Sedeka in softly textured hues of metallic pigments. Cantor Fine Art is showing mineral paintings by Laddie John Dill using sheets of brightly colored and variegated rock arranged in geometric patterns like miniature tectonic plates. reference: contemporary has hard edged geometric paintings on glass by Kal Mansur that channels a 1980s vibe of cool futurism.
Lelia Mordoch gallery is showing series of wall sculptures by Keith Long that are assembled from recycled wood into forms that were evocative of various subjects like mermaids, animals, or masks without being overly descriptive – the materials retained their own character while contributing to the overall subject matter. The natural patina of the wood gave the work a sense of history and endurance which is contradicts the transitory experience of art fair culture.
Scope Art Fair
Metropolitan Pavilion 125 W 18th Street