All's Fair: Scope

The pedicabs were doing a brisk business shuttling visitors from Pulse to Scope and vice versa, but with the weather so nice and the distance between the two venues just blocks away, I decided to walk. There was no need for directions. I just followed the arrow: a big red balloon arrow marked Scope hovering over the tent.

(c) Joanne Mattera

My favorite piece at the Scope fair was about Nothing. Not a Seinfeldian nothing but an elegant installation by Joseph Havel at Dallas's Dunn and Brown
booth composed of hundreds (thousands?) of custom-embroidered shirt labels pinned to the wall.

About Nothing: The installation (detail above) by Joseph Havel at Dunn and Brown Gallery, Dallas; Sam Reveles painting at left

The red Sam Reveles painting on the wall to the left was the perfect complement, not only chromatically but conceptually, as energetically sensuous as "Nothing" was formally cool.

Then there was the grid installation, about three feet square, composed of black sheetrock screws and red dots. Oops. This one really IS about nothing. Whatever was there had been taken off the wall (sold, presumably). I shot the grid moments before the gallery personnel moved in to remove the screws.

Really about nothing: What's left after the work comes off the wall

At Las Vegas's Dust Gallery, I saw the pristinely reductive work of Marietta Hoferer. You can’t see this work too well in the installation shot below, so I’ve pulled an image from the artist's website. What you’re looking at is a work on paper composed of meticulously cut and placed strapping tape on paper. Such elegance from workaday material.

At Dust Gallery: An installation of six reductive works by Marietta Hoferer, all strapping tape on paper, with a related work below

Continuing with the elegantly minimal, I loved the work of Frank Gerritz at Pablo’s Birthday. Gerritz paints bands of dark color on thick sheets of steel. The brushstrokes are visible, a sensuous texture against the cool, milled metal. Gerritz just might be the lovechild of Richard Serra and Agnes Martin. Clicking this New York gallery’s link on the Scope website just kept looping back to Scope, so if you wish to see more, Google Frank Gerritz.

Frank Gerritz: Oil on metal, the painting/sculpture at Pablo's Birthday Gallery, New York

Add a shock of color to your reductive abstraction and you have the work of Paul Pagk at Moti Hasson Gallery. I get the sense that this is a painter who works slowly and purposefully. Each painting is dense with paint, but there's not one extraneous brushstroke, line or gesture.

Paul Pagk: Reductive imagery with a chromatically dense surface at Moti Hasson, New York

The geometric constructions of Lisa Sigal at Frederieka Taylor
are neither painting nor sculpture but flat assemblages composed of layers of paper and tissue and other materials—freeform geometries that are ephemeral but muscular.

Lisa Sigal at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York

Other works I liked were 10,000 Lines to a Point at London's Carter Presents. Two works from a series of large-scale inkjet prints by Daniel Jackson were uniquely written to code—computer to printer--so that while all were related, none were alike. At Daneyal Mahmood, blue ink (via much handwork and many ballpoint pens) went in a different direction with Andrei Molodkin’s two soldiers embraced in a kiss in God is Great. Art Info reports that the Brooklyn Museum decided not to buy it for fear of offending its visitors but that the museum director, Arnold Lehman, purchased it for his own collection.

Working blue: Daniel Jackson's 10,000 Lines to a Point at London's Carter Presents, above (that's the dealer, seated); Andrei Molodkin's God is Great at Daneyal Mahmood Gallery, New York

At Patricia Sweetow’s booth, a collaged head by Jonathan Burstein was startling—equal parts delightful and freakish. I’m guessing this is the work of a recently minted MFAer. In any case, his collages are made from images taken from art magazines, a visual variant on you-are-what-you-eat.On the outside wall of the booth, below, you can see the sensuous geometry of Jane Harris. Harris’s show was in the San Francisco gallery when I was there last month. I’ve pulled an image from the gallery’s website so that you can see some of what I saw. Cindy Rucker was working the booth along with Sweetow—that’s Cindy seated. She’s about to open her own gallery on the Lower East Side: Numberthirtyfive (, when the website launches, which should be soon). Good luck, Cindy. Put me on your mailing list!

Outside the Patricia Sweetow Gallery booth: Jane Harris's twinned geometries, with Cindy Rucker, seated, above; an installation view from Jane Harris's recent show at Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco

And since I'm on the subject of gallerists, I’m going to close this post with The Proposition’s Ellen Donahue and Ronald Sosinski. Their booth had a large work by the hot young painter Mickalene Thomas, but for me it was the dealers themselves who stole the show with their his-and-hers patterned suits. "We’ve been in business together over 20 years, and this always happens," said Donahue. And no, she says, "We don’t plan it."

The pattern at The Proposition: Sartorially resplendent gallery partners Ronald Sosinski and Ellen Donahue, with their assistant

Next up: All's Fair: NADA