Christine Ay Tjoe
Lesser Numerator

★★☆☆☆

On until 13 January 2024

Aj Tjoe’s paintings could make great scenic backdrops to a David Attenborough documentary on the life of wild rodents or an episode of The Human Body. Each of the canvases, only lightly primed and rendered in a restricted palette, looks inside what could be a rat’s warren in winter or the cavity between the human heart and the lungs. 

The show hopes to run multiple seasons and the painter made nearly a dozen of these images, one only slightly different from the last. But these paintings show no story and no evolution. Such pseudo-anatomical sketches can only hope to make set dressing for the tense psychological drama that Aj Tjoe would rather have us watch.


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

things fall apart; the centre cannot hold at Tabula Rasa ★★★★☆

Elli Antoniou, Ali Glover, Richard Dean Hughes

things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

★★★★☆

These works could bear witness to the birth of a star or the heat death of the universe. The curators don’t know which.

Karrabing Film Collective, Night Fishing with Ancestors at Goldsmiths CCA ★☆☆☆☆

Karrabing Film Collective

Night Fishing with Ancestors

★☆☆☆☆

Little separates this display from a human zoo complete with curators who occasionally kettle-prod the once noble savage into a spectacular rage.

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.

Alvaro Barrington, Grandma’s Land at Sadie Coles ★★★☆☆

Alvaro Barrington

Grandma’s Land

★★★☆☆

The party slumps into a half-voiced political complaint and never recovers. This is what happens when instead of living culture, we ‘celebrate’ it.

Robert Ryman, Line at David Zwirner ★★★☆☆

Robert Ryman

Line

★★★☆☆

The artist’s signature becomes a distress call.

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.

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