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Scope finals


After seeing so much work at Scope New York, I think it helps to have what I saw marinate a little, just to see what work has stuck in my mind as special for one reason or another. Focusing on artists whose work was new to me, here’s my short list of additions to Roberta’s list of faves (see post).

I’ll start with Chicago artist Phyllis Bramson at Claire Oliver Fine Art. Her over-the-top paintings of kitschy chinoiserie with indian minature patterning, sexy pop imagery and obscure narrative suggestions practically leap off the walls (left). Bramson, who is in her 60s, also showed objets I’d have to describe as bric-a-brac, very much in the same kitsch spirit, and also a sumptuous embroidered bedspread–the best bed cover of them all at Scope.


One of the funniest videos was a woman trying to sound like a blender, and also turning on the blender by biting the handle, by Kelly Dobson at Ethan Cohen Fine Art. There’s a whole weird relationship between the woman and the blender, the blender becoming a mysterious, unknowable, un-understandable object with magical powers. Pretty funny. A mordant bit of feminist art that tickles.


Roberta mentioned Kyung Jeon’s cartoons with stretch breasts at The Proposition Gallery and I want to put in a word for the that gallery in general. Alfredo Martinez’s drawings with floating imagery put through a photo process that blackens the background and turns the drawings to a pewtery sheen. The result is a shamanistic and outsider-y depiction of an unsafe world (left).


Also at The Proposition, Don Patterson’s pencil drawings have a technique that reminds me of Rob Matthews, but his subject matter, less cosmic but equally weird, is based on photos of private performances which cover up and distort parts of his body (right).


At Gallerie Schuster, Eva Grun’s cartoons have a European real-world darkness in the subject matter that makes them look quite different to me from the kinds of darkness that inhabit American cartoon drawings. There was a whole wall of them, but this one was my favorite (left).


And finally, Roberta mentioned projects of curators Hames Levack in London, featured at Factor. Here’s a nice picture of a project they curated, foam vacuum cleaners floating in the North Sea. I don’t know the artist’s name. Peter Hames told us about an upcoming project of putting refugee tents on the piers across the Thames that used to hold up Blackfriars Bridge, by Edinburgh artist Ettie Spencer.

Of Roberta’s list, the artist I’d never seen before who deserves an extra- special thumbs up is Jana Gunstheimer at Galerie Romerapotheke for her artistic version of “The Office,” photo-based black-and-white watercolors of oppressive corporate life. The vision is pretty global, with images of corporate retreats and retraining to images of the boss in a sumptuous office, golf club in hand, practicing his putts.