Siobhan Liddell
Been and Gone

★★☆☆☆

On until 21 October 2023

A green mountainside, the white cliffs of Dover, an enchanted forest at night, a cat hiding behind the curtains. A small canvas with a dramatic seascape seen through a sash window has little fabric drapes pinned on it. A ceramic rendering of a human ear dangles over an oil stamped with a brick pattern as though to make a rebus. Teacups, shoe laces, and (of course) mushrooms stick out from other paintings. 

Liddel mixes perspectives and scales and she tries to measure the permanence of mountains with the length of a cigarette. Her subjects want to be at once grand and mundane. But they aren’t. Add to this some abstractions with titles like Between Worlds and these are very mixed messages. When Liddel applies her material tricks to them indiscriminately, the result is the twee aesthetics native to a grandmother’s mantlepiece collection of tourist souvenirs and devotional figurines. That’s not a bad perspective, but the works neither elevate, nor challenge it.


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

Tesfaye Urgessa, The Ethiopian Pavilion in Venice ★★★★★

Tesfaye Urgessa

Prejudice and Belonging

★★★★★

Urgessa’s figures are contorted in love, death, or merely life.

Josèfa Ntjam’s, swell of spæc(i)es, Venice ★★☆☆☆

Josèfa Ntjam

swell of spæc(i)es

★★☆☆☆

Ntjam’s Biennale presentation has all the hallmarks of world-building ambition. For one, it boasts two separate locations, one dedicated solely to the work’s public programme. The main feature is housed in a giant purpose-made structure which occupies a third of…

Armando D. Cosmos, Nothing New Under the Sun at Phillida Reid ★★★☆☆

Armando D. Cosmos

Nothing New Under the Sun

★★★☆☆

Cosmos wants to redefine STEM as the alliance of science, theosophy, engineering, and myth.

The Otolith Group, I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another at greengrassi ★★☆☆☆

The Otolith Group

I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another

★★☆☆☆

The exhibition is a private memorial for Etel Adnan accessible only to members of the art world’s inner circle. And that’s a pity.

Aria Dean, Abattoir at ICA ★★★☆☆

Aria Dean

Abattoir

★★★☆☆

Visuals of her own making overpower the artist.

Ithaca at Herald St ★★★★☆

Christopher Aque, Alekos Fassianos, Luigi Ghirri, Jessie Stevenson, George Tourkovasilis

Ithaca

★★★★☆

This show drips with affectation that wouldn’t survive a minute tomorrow.

×