Tamara Henderson

Green in the Grooves

★★★★☆

On until 30 December 2023

Having spent years tending to her garden in Australia, Henderson built a utopian version of it in Camden. There are imaginary plants and imaginary creatures everywhere. Some, like a sound installation of earthworms, may be real and alive. An army of scarecrow gardeners watches over this plot.

All is tranquil and whimsical until even the gallery gives way to decay. Things fall apart, elegantly. In three ornately framed paintings, a quartet of frogs become consumed by abstraction. Bronze and clay creatures emerge from dirt heaps to be absorbed by them again. In a sure sign of the end times, the plants have eyes. But to bring solace, a blissfully plotless film tracks the growth and decline of Henderson’s backyard, revealing that these cycles are one.

Dust to dust, joy to joy. The whole thing feels like a remake of Wind in the Willows directed by a garden gnome. But this gnome is one of Henderson’s accomplices, too. The show only falters when it brings the ‘creative process’ wholesale into the gallery. Ironically, this is the exhibition’s stated aim. One room hosts a quirky greenhouse studio filled with doodles and trinkets. This structure unduly protects the artist from nature’s graceful cruelty.


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

Asami Shoji et al., Gestures of Resistance at A.I. ★★★★☆

Asami Shoji et al.

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★★★★☆

The figures appear as though in x-ray and helplessly foretell their own ends.

Amanda Wall, Femcel at Almine Rech ★★★☆☆

Amanda Wall

Femcel

★★★☆☆

There’s no dignity in paint when the arc of art history tends to “show hole”.

Robert Ryman, Line at David Zwirner ★★★☆☆

Robert Ryman

Line

★★★☆☆

The artist’s signature becomes a distress call.

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.

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…

Sibylle Ruppert, Frenzy of the Visible at Project Native Informant ★★★★☆

Sibylle Ruppert

Frenzy of the Visible

★★★★☆

This is the fodder of DeviantArt and the last year’s AI engines.

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