Pauline Boty

A Portrait

★★★★☆

On until 24 February 2024

Pauline Boty was half pop artist, half actress, and in her mythology half pin-up it girl. The swinging ’60s would have been the perfect time for someone of Boty’s charisma to make a career of three halves. But she died young barely a decade into her practice, leaving a legacy of painting, collage, stained glass, and TV drama for speculation.

Although Boty was posthumously quite the rage in Poland’s soc-realist ’80s, it wasn’t until the again roaring ’90s that interest in her surviving oeuvre hit the UK art scene. Gazeli’s modest exhibition now brings a handful of Boty’s works – somewhat chaotic paper and gouache collages and oil paintings that could have been collages too – together with archives and tributes.

This mixes the woman and her legend, but without the air of mystery the artist enjoyed during her lifetime. Today, when a creator’s presence in their work is subject to TikTok’s terms of service, Boty’s multiple faces are challenging. She poses seductively on the cover of Men Only and in Michael Ward’s photographs, she lifts her dress for the camera. Such emancipation may have been a strategy for Pop art’s leading female founder. Today, its prompts aesthetic suspicion.


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

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.

Matthew Barney, SECONDARY at Sadie Coles HQ ★★★☆☆

Matthew Barney

SECONDARY: light lens parallax

★★★☆☆

Secondary turns the gallery into an American Football stadium. But all the seats in the house are the cheap seats and the game lacks a cheerleader.

Christine Ay Tjoe, Lesser Numerator at White Cube ★★☆☆☆

Christine Ay Tjoe

Lesser Numerator

★★☆☆☆

Aj Tjoe’s paintings could make great scenic backdrops to a David Attenborough documentary on the life of wild rodents

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.

Francesca DiMattio, Wedgwood at Pippy Houldsworth ★★★☆☆

Francesca DiMattio

Wedgwood

★★★☆☆

In DiMattio’s giant ceramics kiln, everyday motifs like sneakers and knickers clash into the ornate Rococo stove and the Victorian China snuff box.

Paulina Olowska at Pace ★★★★☆

Paulina Olowska

Squelchy Garden Mules and Mamunas

★★★★☆

It should be within the resources of Pace and Olowska’s experience to advance her legend beyond the discretely marketable.

×