Marisa Krangwiwat Holmes, Shamiran Istifan, Tasneem Sarkez
Saccharine Symbols

★★★☆☆

On until 20 December 2023

Meaning parts with the image in this exhibition, never to return. Two paintings by Sarkez overlay banal messages (“11:11” and “good morning” in Arabic) on unremarkable street scenes from the Gulf states. Istifan mixes all manner of iconographies – Playboy bunnies, Baroque cherubs, and Wingdings the font – in all manner of media. Kringwiwat Holmes collages vintage mail-order catalogues with photographs and doodles. Post-structuralism triumphs.

All this is intriguing but ultimately impossible to parse because these artists, working in separation, each stage their own assaults on the same symbols and the display does not reveal the rules. What should have been a sinister game of chess – Sarkez provides a board – is instead a frustrating circular reference.


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.

Marina Xenofontos, Public Domain at Camden Art Centre ★★★☆☆

Marina Xenofontos

Public Domain

★★★☆☆

There’s an unfortunate ‘emerging artist’ vibe to this handful of readymade sculptures.

Joshua Leon, The Missing O and E at Chisenhale Gallery ★☆☆☆☆

Joshua Leon

The Missing O and E

★☆☆☆☆

This embarrassing display indicts today’s second-fiddlers with narcissism and egomania.

Nicola Turner, Edward Bekkerman at Shtager&Shch ★★☆☆☆

Nicola Turner, Edward Bekkerman

The Song of Psyche: Corners of a Soul's Otherworlds

★★☆☆☆

Who opens a space in Fitzrovia only to fill it with such drivel?

Max Boyla, Crying like a fire in the sun at Workplace ★★☆☆☆

Max Boyla

Crying like a fire in the sun

★★☆☆☆

Rothko’s abstractions are said to have induced tears in viewers overwhelmed by abstraction. Staring at the sun here, however, barely causes blindness.

Auudi Dorsey at PM/AM ★★★★☆

Auudi Dorsey

★★★★☆

Dorsey records the human experience with the true universalism of paint.

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