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:

Odoteres Ricardo de Ozias at David Zwirner ★★★☆☆

Odoteres Ricardo de Ozias

★★★☆☆

These images are perfectly charming even to a viewer possessed of a cold anthropological eye. The troubling part is in realising just how far ‘outside’ the ideas are.

The last train after the last train at Public ★★★☆☆

The last train after the last train

★★★☆☆

The failed magic tricks in Lyndon Barrois Jr.’s canvases would hang in the final scene of Chinese Roulette in which everyone turns against everyone.

Stephen Willats, Time Tumbler at Victoria Miro

Stephen Willats

Time Tumbler

★★★★☆

Willats orders fragments of time, matter, and space into data packets on one side of the flow chart and puts them to use on the other.

Aria Dean, Abattoir at ICA ★★★☆☆

Aria Dean

Abattoir

★★★☆☆

Visuals of her own making overpower the artist.

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.

Mandy El-Sayegh, Interiors at Thaddeus Ropac ★★☆☆☆

Mandy El-Sayegh

Interiors

★★☆☆☆

For the abundance of material, there simply aren’t enough ideas in the exhibition to go around these Mayfair interiors.

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