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2008 04 02
People Love Art

The Scope Art Fair phenomenon continues this year. The popular forum for emerging artists has reached $125 million in art sales since it began some six years ago. It is now the world's largest art fair according to organizers. Is there more compelling proof that people love art—especially art that is fresh, new, and outside of the often sterile walls of arts institutions. The first Scope event of the year took place in New York last week. Think of it as a mash-up for artists who mostly work outside the gallery system.

Scope even has a Toronto connection. According to reporter Ted Loos:
One of the more eye-catching works on display was found at the booth of Space Other from Boston. Peter Schmitt’s 004#03-7 (2007) is a kind of techno-Calder: a large metal “tree” from which three dozen or so light green boxes hang. Each unit is a little machine that prints out white receipt paper. As they get clipped, they fall, creating an autumnal paper pile on the booth floor. (No word on who had to rake them up.) The work sells for $36,000, and on the fair’s first morning at least two collectors were already sniffing around it.

Natalie Kovacs, a Toronto-based curator at large for SCOPE who was involved in selecting the galleries and works, says that Schmitt’s work nicely captures her goal: “With 30 fairs, the work has to be an immediate out-of-body experience, or there’s no point in taking it out of the box.”

Can we expect a Toronto version of the Scope road show? Does anyone know?
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 04/02 at 09:51 AM

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