Auudi Dorsey

★★★★☆

On until 18 January 2024

Since the 2020 US racial reckoning, curators and critics in the UK have unthinkingly imported American tensions only to confound England’s already fragile interplay of class and ethnicity. The political value of such activism is still to be seen. Its aesthetic effects, however, have been devastating on both sides of the Atlantic.

The London exhibition of the New Orleans painter Auudi Dorsey’s portraits of his black, working-class neighbours could signal the turning in this morose trend. His works show a female parking attendant who chews gum as she writes a ticket, two restaurant chefs on break from the kitchen, an off-duty construction worker, and a middle-aged angler with his implausibly large catch. 

Dorsey’s acrylics brim with dignity. The subjects’ faces betray signs of daily fatigue, but their stance is secure. That the canvases are rendered in sombre blue and green hues, as in a dark cop drama, is the one clue that other narratives could fit in these lives. Even the curator’s essay barely points to the reductive race-first reading of what is already evident by the artist’s hand. This leaves Dorsey to record the human experience with the true universalism of paint.


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

Ron Nagle, Conniption at Modern Art ★★★★★

Ron Nagle

Conniption
Conniption

★★★★★

Less is more, as the saying goes. Nagle’s porcelain and resin maquettes are the bare minimum.

Co Westerik, Centenary at Sadie Coles HQ ★★★☆☆

Co Westerik

Centenary
Centenary

★★★★☆

Westerik catches his figures in deep contemplation in front of the mirror, in the gynaecologist’s chair, or even mid-orgy.

Nick Relph, Fils, ta vision! at Herald St ★☆☆☆☆

Nick Relph

Fils, ta vision!
Fils, ta vision!

★☆☆☆☆

There’s little for the eye to hang on and none of the punk culture of Relph’s earlier practice emerges from the works.

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

Ghada Amer

QR CODES REVISITED—LONDON
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.

Julia Maiuri, Yesterday & The End at Workplace ★☆☆☆☆

Julia Maiuri

Yesterday & The End
Yesterday & The End

★☆☆☆☆

One can only imagine that some unconscious loathing of postmen motivated this project.

Diego Marcon, Dolle at Sadie Coles HQ ★★★☆☆

Diego Marcon

Dolle
Dolle

★★★☆☆

Idle work became indistinguishable from leisure, vegetative time-passing from family life.

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