Xie Nanxing
Hello, Portrait!


On until 16 December 2023

At the very first glance, Xie’s sizeable canvasses look like the kind of crass abstractions that routinely fill the walls of galleries in need of a cashflow injection. A moment later – and this says nothing of the work’s commercial allure – they reveal a clef, a code by which one finds that they are, in fact, portraits of figures lost between brushstrokes, renders, and planes.

Looking at these paintings is a little like wearing an augmented reality headset over only one eye: here is the figure, here is the artefact. This one is lost in a canvas within a canvas. Another one you only know from a laptop screen. That one is how you’ll dream when your data plan runs out.

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

Mohammad Ghazali, Trilogy: Then… at Ab-Anbar ★★★★☆

Mohammad Ghazali

Trilogy: Then…


Repetition and framing are photography’s greatest tricks.

Avery Singer, Free Fall at Hauser & Wirth ★★☆☆☆

Avery Singer

Free Fall


This show would be better without the baggage of the artist’s personal story and even better without the Twin Towers altogether.

Open Group, The Polish pavilion in Venice ★★★☆☆

Open Group

Repeat After Me II


The applause was rapturous. A sense of tragedy, however, was altogether missing.

Diego Marcon, Dolle at Sadie Coles HQ ★★★☆☆

Diego Marcon



Idle work became indistinguishable from leisure, vegetative time-passing from family life.

RE/SISTERS at Barbican ★★☆☆☆



Too many deadpan landscape photographs turn intrigue into fatigue and into paralysis.

RM, A Story Backwards at Auto Italia ★★☆☆☆


A Story Backwards


Having forgotten what the ‘dramatic’ in art stands for, visual artists today too often mistake hacked theory for stage directions.