Abel Auer
The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette

★★★☆☆

On until 4 October 2023

Abel Auer’s paintings are consumed by the apocalypse. A nuclear mushroom cloud washes over the landscape in one with a sinister orange hue. Another captures an encroaching forest fire. Things are no better in the city where a hurricane has toppled towers. In a literal example of ‘zombie figuration’, Death himself makes an appearance on one canvas, while in others, the dying are busy counting hell’s circles. It’s a memento mori but death is the future and the past perfect at once.

For its concern with the natural and the inevitable, this isn’t an exhibition about the climate crisis. It is, nonetheless, opportunistic: like every artist, Auer tries to turn the disaster to art’s advantage. But he is more interested in the fate of painting than humanity and thus stands apart from the army of zealots who make eco art today. Unfortunately, a ‘key’ painting – a kind of sales pitch that calls to the Illuminati, the pyramids, and aliens – undermines the show and turns it back into propaganda. 


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Ithaca at Herald St ★★★★☆

Christopher Aque, Alekos Fassianos, Luigi Ghirri, Jessie Stevenson, George Tourkovasilis

Ithaca

★★★★☆

This show drips with affectation that wouldn’t survive a minute tomorrow.

Choon Mi Kim, ACID—FREEEE at Ginny on Frederick ★☆☆☆☆

Choon Mi Kim

ACID—FREEEE

★☆☆☆☆

Some forms of abstraction simply scream ‘my kid could have made that’.

Your Ghosts Are Mine at Palazzo Franchetti ★★★☆☆

Your Ghosts Are Mine: Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices

★★★☆☆

This attempt at building pan-Arabic film aesthetics falls prey to the art technician’s trickery.

things fall apart; the centre cannot hold at Tabula Rasa ★★★★☆

Elli Antoniou, Ali Glover, Richard Dean Hughes

things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

★★★★☆

These works could bear witness to the birth of a star or the heat death of the universe. The curators don’t know which.

Vlatka Horvat, The Croatian Pavilion in Venice ★★☆☆☆

Vlatka Horvat

By the Means at Hand

★★☆☆☆

This closed circulation project speaks to and agrees with only itself.

Christine Ay Tjoe, Lesser Numerator at White Cube ★★☆☆☆

Christine Ay Tjoe

Lesser Numerator

★★☆☆☆

Aj Tjoe’s paintings could make great scenic backdrops to a David Attenborough documentary on the life of wild rodents

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