Scope Basel Abounds With Discoveries Off the Beaten Track
Scope is where adventurous collectors get their fix.
The industrial waterfront location of Scope art fair—now in its 9th edition at Basel—amid the city’s New Arts District on the Rhine, is the perfect backdrop to the pioneering attitude of the fair.
Collectors equipped with intuition, a strong personal taste, and a knack for making their own discoveries (rather than depending on advisors and hype), know to visit Scope following preview day at Art Basel, on the hunt for artworks at the mid to lower price range. After all, Scope is where galleries such as Peres Projects, Bischoff/ Weiss, and INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, among others, got their foot in the door as young dealers.
With over 100 exhibitors, the list of exhibitors is impressive in its international range, and this iteration’s special focus country is Korea, who sponsored the presentation of some 15 Korean dealers.
Chung Jark Gallery, from Seoul, presented a booth hung with paintings by several Korean artists, with the ebullient sculptural wall works in felt and textile by mid-career artist Kwang-soo Shin, priced at about €7,500, stealing the show.
Paris based-dealer Mark Hachem, who’s been exhibiting at the fair regularly, offered several works by Yves Hayat. The artist juxtaposes the visual idiom of advertising and luxury brands with world politics, creating works that strike a chord with a wide audience. His work Parfums de Révolte, which comes as an edition of 20, has already sold in several editions, each at a price of just under €10,000.
At Dean Borghi Fine Art, painter Tom Dash finds his subject matters in popular culture and mass media. Works from the artist’s “Auto Shop Series” mix textual elements with culled images, repetitions, and variations to create bold paintings that reference an entire tradition of West-Coast American art, while at the same time offering a unique take on re-appropriation.
Also presented at Scope Basel is Siro, a new artist for the gallery. His paintings evince a fascination with the unknown, the uncanny, and the mysteries of nature.
Hailing from Moscow, Triumph Gallery showed a booth dedicated entirely to the acclaimed Russian quartet AES+F Group. The collective’s seven-channel video installation 001 Inverso Mundus, which is currently on view as a collateral event at the Venice Biennale, was available as a one-channel video work, presented on computer screens.
California-based Duncan Miller Gallery showed a number of works from Christopher Colville’s “Works of Fire” series, in a range of sizes. Colville tests the definition of photography in his chance-based experimentations with light, force, and fire on photographic paper. During trips to the desert at night, he places small objects on silver gelatin photographic paper, as well as gunpowder, and then ignites them. The densely detailed works show traces of heat, explosive movement, and distortion which result in poetic meditations in hard-to-replicate, delicate hues, rather than in chaos and destruction.
In a densely hung booth located at the entrance, London dealer Omer Tiroche offered an impressive collection of established names such as Keith Haring, Lucio Fontana, and more, reporting many sold works on preview day. A work on paper by Gerhard Richter from 1998 went for $55,000, while Günther Förg’s Farbfeld (1986) sold for $80,000.
A chess set by Yayoi Kusama was the main attraction at the booth. Priced at $300,000, it seems very unlikely that Tiroche will have to ship it back to his Mayfair address.
Scope Art Fair in Basel runs from June 16 – 21, 2015.
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