When Forms Come Alive

★★☆☆☆

On until 6 May 2024

This exhibition cannot decide if it’s a tourist attraction or a serious examination of sculpture’s relationship with movement. A survey so loosely framed could only ever be partial. This show, however, tries hard to rewrite the canon even when it needn’t. Where a more classic version of this story would have done with a David Medalla, for example, the Hayward’s account introduces a lesser-known Michel Blazy. This is one-upmanship confused by misreading of art history’s time arrow. Perversely, this method makes some works, like Choi Jeong Hwa’s mass-market totems, look like poor cousins even when they aren’t.

The project also betrays an impulse to read any material, shape, or colour as fad politics. A layer of faux more-than-human environmentalism, for example, is crowbarred into Teresa Solar Abboud’s resin legs and tongues and serves the work no favour. The show’s at least partly Ideological selection criteria, likewise, failed to exclude Marguerite Humeau’s macabre plastic fungi. By contrast, the equally atrocious rollercoaster by EJ Hill and Eva Fàbregas’ giant vibrating dildo can at least be excused as mindless selfie fodder.


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

Lutz Bacher, AYE! at Raven Row ★★★★☆

Lutz Bacher

AYE!

★★★★☆

There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition. There’s joy in repetition.

Christopher Aque, Alexandre Khondji at Sweetwater and Studio M ★★★★★

Christopher Aque, Alexandre Khondji

★★★★★

Aesthetic cognition or crossword puzzles only rarely bring such perverse pleasure.

Poppy Jones, Solid Objects at Herald St ★★★★☆

Poppy Jones

Solid Objects

★★★★☆

The lightness of the painter’s gesture cries out for a sledgehammer that would relieve the viewer of his doubt.

Paulina Olowska at Pace ★★★★☆

Paulina Olowska

Squelchy Garden Mules and Mamunas

★★★★☆

It should be within the resources of Pace and Olowska’s experience to advance her legend beyond the discretely marketable.

Nicole Eisenman, What Happened at Whitechapel Gallery ★★★☆☆

Nicole Eisenman

What Happened

★★★☆☆

There’s a Bosch hellscape dedicated to Trump and a whole “basket of deplorables” polishing their guns in a prepper cell.

Pope.L, Hospital at South London Gallery ★★★☆☆

Pope.L

Hospital

★★★☆☆

This project lands in the joke section of Animal Farm and not as a prophecy of the Jan 6th insurrection.

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