Miranda Forrester
Arrival

★★★☆☆

On until 6 January 2024

The arrival in Forrester’s title is a child’s and the artist the mother. Sparingly applied oils record her caring for the newborn. On the hospital ward, the sofa, and out in the garden, she cradles the child close to her naked skin. The figures appear only in outline, as though yet uncommitted to this project. The portraits of other, established families that hang in Forrester’s interiors, in contrast, are fully rendered.

What these paintings lack in development, they compensate with universal ideas. But the scene changes when another woman emerges in gloss paint on Forrester’s transparent polycarbonate panels. Separating the picture planes from their shadows in these works is taxing. The women’s relationship must be intimate but the other nude gazes on indifferently. The gallery text finally reveals that she is, in fact, the infant’s birth mother. Forrester’s postnatal anxiety, therefore, is that of being the child’s second, non-gestational parent.

This project is timely when foundational concepts like ‘mother’ and their ‘as-though’ counterparts are readily confused. But these paintings are too tentative to add to the already overheated debate. This may be their strength but one is left hoping that Forrester’s poise as a parent grows along with her confidence with paint.


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

Ksenia Pedan, Revision at Cell Project Space ★★★★☆

Ksenia Pedan

Revision

★★★★☆

Pedan’s paintings would rather be anything but.

Talar Aghabshian, Solace of the Afterimage at Marfa’ at The Approach ★★☆☆☆

Talar Aghbashian

Solace of the Afterimage

★★☆☆☆

The carpet dealer gallerist’s zeal reveals the work’s lamentable inadequacy. 

Asami Shoji et al., Gestures of Resistance at A.I. ★★★★☆

Asami Shoji et al.

Gestures of Resistance

★★★★☆

The figures appear as though in x-ray and helplessly foretell their own ends.

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.

Justin Fitzpatrick, Ballotta at Seventeen ★★★★★

Justin Fitzpatrick

Ballotta

★★★★★

The reward for taking part in this experiment of life is ascension to the holy orders. 

Marina Abramović, 7 Deaths of Maria Callas ★☆☆☆☆

Marina Abramović

7 Deaths of Maria Callas

★☆☆☆☆

Abramović wants to destroy all performance and all women until she holds the monopoly over stage death.

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