Alvaro Barrington
Grandma’s Land

★★★☆☆

On until 21 October 2023

The wood and corrugated iron huts which Borrington built in the gallery from his grandmother’s memories of her Caribbean village look disconcertingly like art fair booths. The atmosphere is festive, the carnival is on. One hut is home to Bonnington’s sail-like paintings of sunsets and girls frolicking in the sea. Another, with ‘guest artist’ Paul Anthony Smith, shows collages of revellers and flags of pan-Caribbean unity. Sonia Gomes uses hers to hang a fabric sculpture. There’s also a ‘project’ room with Akinola Davies Jr.’s flickering images and sounds from Notting Hill.

Any one of these artists could have carried the show but together, they compete for grandma’s hospitality. The party slumps into a half-voiced political complaint and never recovers. This is what happens when instead of living culture, we ‘celebrate’ it, as is the demand of street carnivals and, indeed, art fairs. 


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

Alia Farid, Elsewhere at Chisenhale ★★★☆☆

Alia Farid

Elsewhere

★★★☆☆

There is no answer in the work. Its cause and the object become enmeshed in a bland, exoticized mess. 

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.

Abel Auer, The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette at Corvi-Mora ★★★☆☆

Abel Auer

The shadow of tomorrow draws an ancient silhouette

★★★☆☆

Auer is more interested in the fate of painting than humanity and thus stands apart from the army of zealots who make eco art today.

Mandy El-Sayegh, Interiors at Thaddeus Ropac ★★☆☆☆

Mandy El-Sayegh

Interiors

★★☆☆☆

For the abundance of material, there simply aren’t enough ideas in the exhibition to go around these Mayfair interiors.

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’.

Joshua Leon, The Missing O and E at Chisenhale Gallery ★☆☆☆☆

Joshua Leon

The Missing O and E

★☆☆☆☆

This embarrassing display indicts today’s second-fiddlers with narcissism and egomania.

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