Talar Aghbashian
Solace of the Afterimage

★★☆☆☆

On until 17 February 2024

There was a time, that of Greenberg or Berger, when art would transport a viewer to a land far away. In front of a picture, a mind could shed its mundane concerns and experience realities alien to the gallery. Post the art world’s political turn, however, such thoughts are pure nostalgia.

Aghbashian’s project, crowding four canvases into a room the size of an art fair booth, may have been an attempt to return to this space of pure imagination. Indeed, her allegorical abstractions contrasting horizons and figures hark to a glorious tradition.

They stand no chance, however. Aghbashian’s gallerist, claiming the exhibition space entirely for herself, directs all minds straight to a market stall with her uninterruptable recitation of the artist’s life story and the work’s pedigree. These tedious details lock the wandering mind on the hollow nodes of identity production and market value.

The carpet dealer’s zeal overpowers all paint. In so doing, however, it does the viewer the ultimate favour of highlighting the artist’s full complicity with the sales patter and thus the work’s lamentable inadequacy. 


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

Miranda Forrester, Arrival at Tiwani Contemporary ★★★☆☆

Miranda Forrester

Arrival

★★★☆☆

Forrester’s project is timely when foundational concepts like ‘mother’ and their ‘as-though’ counterparts are readily confused.

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.

Jan Gatewood, Group Relations at Rose Easton ★☆☆☆☆

Jan Gatewood

Group Relations

★☆☆☆☆

Such thin metaphors could only have come from LA.

Dominique Fung, (Up)Rooted, at Massimo de Carlo ★★☆☆☆

Dominique Fung

(Up)Rooted

★★☆☆☆

All this tries to be macabre and surreal like in Bosch or Miyazaki but is instead laughably twee.

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.

Xie Nanxing, Hello, Portrait! at Thomas Dane ★★★★☆

Xie Nanxing

Hello, Portrait!

★★★★☆

Looking at Xie’s portraits is a little like wearing a virtual reality headset over only one eye.

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