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:

Gray Wielebinski, The Red Sun is High, the Blue Low at ICA ★☆☆☆☆

Gray Wielebinski

The Red Sun is High, the Blue Low

★☆☆☆☆

I knew that it was possible to understand art and life less after seeing an exhibition. I didn’t, however, imagine that experiencing Wielebinski’s work twice would only compound such damage.

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.

Pakui Hardware, Maria Terese Rozanskaite, Inflammation at Lithuanian pavilion Venice ★★★☆☆

Pakui Hardware, Maria Terese Rožanskaité

Inflammation

★★★☆☆

One of the novelties in Venice is the artwork that looks good but on reflection isn’t.

Nanténé Traoré at Sultana and Amanda Wilkinson ★★☆☆☆

Nanténé Traoré

She says it's the high energy

★★☆☆☆

Bodies clash with lights in front of Traoré’s Narcissus camera.

Jordan Derrien, Painted on a Wall of the Inn at Marlotte at Des Bains ★★☆☆☆

Jordan Derrien

Painted on a Wall of the Inn at Marlotte

★★☆☆☆

Derrien has his audience discussing the nature of paint drying out loud.

Miranda Forrester, Arrival at Tiwani Contemporary ★★★☆☆

Miranda Forrester

Arrival

★★★☆☆

Forrester’s project is timely when foundational concepts like ‘mother’ and their ‘as-though’ counterparts are readily confused.

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