Justin Caguiat

On until 4 November 2023

This is the sort of exhibition that makes a critic question the quality of their judgment. In principle, Caguiat’s large-scale abstract canvases shouldn’t feel this alluring. The paintings are filled with splodges of colour that resemble Van Gogh’s starry sky as if seen through a kaleidoscope. The surfaces are at times too busy and some look like children’s book illustrations in which all shapes and colours have swapped place. 

But for this precisely they are arresting. At first, they become detective stories: squint to see Bosch’s Last Judgment in one and follow another to Toulouse Lautrec’s Montmartre. The critic brain rebels at this trick, but it only draws the eye closer until it understands that the paint itself is an abstraction. It takes a moment for the senses to recover from this illusion and when they are restored, the shapes and colours emerge with an entirely new logic of their own.

notes and notices is a collection of short and curt exhibition reviews.