Anastasia Pavlou
Reader, Part 2; The Reader Reads Words in Sentences

★★☆☆☆

On until 16 December 2023

A reading list accompanies this exhibition, and it includes names like Merleau-Ponty, Woolf, Hawking, and Berger. Pavlou explains in the handout that these are important to her thinking about painting, as are her own essays (not provided) and bullet point “Notes and Thoughts Around Things” on “the morphology of peripheral vision” and the meaning manifest outside of things. 

This sounds silly but such a project is core to all art and Pavlou’s inquiry has a consistent internal logic. But what it has to do with the paintings – abstractions whose palettes and brushstrokes are so out of scale that they may as well be military camouflage – is left unexplained. Some clues come from the show’s odd elements: a shaky pencil drawing of a spider, black-and-white photographs of people in a museum, and one canvas that in contrast with the others is nearly monochrome. 

But this is at once not enough and far too much. In this game of aesthetic cognition, the idea which survives is of the artist thinking. That’s no bad thing but it’s a pity that Pavlou’s viewers are not afforded the same pleasure.


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

Trevor Yeung, Soft Ground, at Gasworks ★★☆☆☆

Trevor Yeung

Soft Ground

★★☆☆☆

It’s stressful enough to fuck in the forest for fear of passers-by or the police; imagine having to also look out for curators.

Ghada Amer, QR CODES REVISITED—LONDON at Goodman ★★☆☆☆

Ghada Amer

QR CODES REVISITED—LONDON

★★☆☆☆

This invites a game of proofreading, in hope that Amer maliciously inserted a greengrocer’s apostrophe into de Beauvoir’s mind.

Pauline Boty at Gazelli Art House ★★★★☆

Pauline Boty

A Portrait

★★★★☆

This exhibition mixes the woman and her legend, but without the air of mystery she enjoyed during her lifetime.

Justin Caguiat, Dreampop at Modern Art ★★★★☆

Justin Caguiat

Dreampop

★★★★☆

This is the sort of exhibition that makes a critic question the quality of their judgment.

RM, A Story Backwards at Auto Italia ★★☆☆☆

RM

A Story Backwards

★★☆☆☆

Having forgotten what the ‘dramatic’ in art stands for, visual artists today too often mistake hacked theory for stage directions.

Avery Singer, Free Fall at Hauser & Wirth ★★☆☆☆

Avery Singer

Free Fall

★★☆☆☆

This show would be better without the baggage of the artist’s personal story and even better without the Twin Towers altogether.

×