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The first 2 Scopes were scrappy and fabulous. The original mandate being that each exhibitor was to show only one artist. It quickly devolved into a flea market after that.
With all repects, it looks like a clumsy, unresolved MFA show.
Disorganized. Dishonest. Once was terrific, now not.
These people have their heads up their (collective) ass. The whole fair is run by interns, and there seems to be a new group of them at each installment. It's like, "Hey gang, let's put on a show!"They still attract some good galleries, but I project that this fair will go under within the next two years. Pulse presents a similar selection of galleries but is much better-organized and more likely to weather the "burst" of the art-world bubble. Scope is better than the Bridge or Red Dot fairs, but that's not really much of a complement. Scope is planning on expanding to more locations, which seems like a bad business model in the current economy.
Scope runs in several locations. They have editions in NYC, The Hamptons (maybe not this year),Miami, London and Basel. One of the considerable advantages they can give exhibitors is the ability to purchase space in multiple shows at once, in exchange for a discounted rate. That is useful and appealing. Predictability in costs is something most business owners like, and they tend to feel they are saving money by buying space in volume. That makes good sense BUT it also encourages a lot of fly by night travel. It strikes me that outside their NYC show (I have been to multiple editions in NY, Hamptons, London and Miami) they usually fail to draw a really solid core group of exhibitors from the market the fair is in. I hate to use rough numbers, but it feels like 90% of the people are young galleries from someplace else. The exhibitors then must rely simply on the Scope boys to invite all the collectors. If they knew all the collectors, they would be selling art themselves, don't you think? While their marketing is good (sometimes great) nothing can get collectors to attend a fair like a personal invite from a dealer they know and have done business with. The churn in staff is also a considerable issue, which has been heard from exhibitors the last few years. Good show in New York this year though, nice construction and good advertising. The Miami construction was a bit rough, but some people like that.
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