Adriano Costa

ax-d. us. t

★★★☆☆

On until 13 July 2024

Form triumphs over detritus. Items bought at flea markets, found under the sofa cushion, or rescued from the back of a white van landed in Costa’s studio where they assumed new shapes with the help of a glue gun, some duct tape, and the odd rivet. These tabletop curios with titles like Public vendetta and Slum mania dominate the exhibition. The slight contrasts between their scales, colours, and textures invite questions of their provenance but offer no useful answers, save for the recognition that such junkyard aesthetics has been a contemporary art trope forever.

A different origin story comes with a series of bronze objects that break the exhibition’s rhythm. The bronze casting process calls for materials like plaster or silicone to pour negative voids of the final, positive sculpture. Costa splinters this and rescues the moulds from his workshop’s waste pile. This time, however, doesn’t merely upcycle them for the gallery but casts the voids into bronze positives. This iteration elevates this form of ‘art workshop’ detritus over the other, truly ‘found’ matter.

The gallery text plays up the work’s site specificity. It’s wrong to. Costa’s found objects are specific to only themselves, and even more so when they are the mirrors of their bronze process siblings. This treatment earns their reprieve from the waste compactor’s claw. Why some are more worthy than others is left unexplained.


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

Iris Touliatou, Outfits at PEER ★★★☆☆

Iris Touliatou

Outfits

★★★☆☆

These gestures remind the gallery that it is a social space. Unfortunately, they also inadvertently point to its sorry end.

Xie Nanxing, Hello, Portrait! at Thomas Dane ★★★★☆

Xie Nanxing

Hello, Portrait!

★★★★☆

Looking at Xie’s portraits is a little like wearing a virtual reality headset over only one eye.

The last train after the last train at Public ★★★☆☆

The last train after the last train

★★★☆☆

The failed magic tricks in Lyndon Barrois Jr.’s canvases would hang in the final scene of Chinese Roulette in which everyone turns against everyone.

Sylvie Fleury, S.F. at Sprüth Magers ★★★☆☆

Sylvie Fleury

S.F.

★★★☆☆

In Fleury’s car workshop cum womenswear boutique, everything is ready-made and ready-to-wear. But you can’t touch any of it and you certainly can’t afford it.

Florian Meisenberg, What does the smoke know of the fire? at Kate MacGarry, ★★★★☆

Florian Meisenberg

What does the smoke know of the fire?

★★★★☆

Meisenberg’s paintings are either the product of a conspiracy or documents of a conspiracy theory.

A Comparative Dialogue Act, Luxemburg pavilion in Venice ★★☆☆☆

Andrea Mancini, Every Island

A Comparative Dialogue Act

★★☆☆☆

Stage fright is real. Cowardice is another thing altogether.

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