CURATED COLLECTIONS

With Digby Warde - Aldam

Art writer for The Week and other publications

January 2021

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'The grease mark left by a passengers hair on a bus window 3' 

Jack Brown

 

"Does exactly what the title suggests, and it’s great. This is an exercise in using the most boring (and, let’s face it, slightly gross) details of your surroundings to create something weirdly beautiful. 1960s conceptual art by way of a particularly depressing night bus journey back from Soho. I think the late John Baldessari would have loved it."

'Artefact no4' 

Tayo Adekunle

"It’s a pretty brave move for an artist to put their own likeness at the centre of their practice. Yet clad in prime Marcel Marceau garb, Tayo Adekunle squares up to a colonial-era “ethnographic” photo of a bear-breasted African woman taken by a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. Lots of pictures like this were taken ostensibly for scientific reasons, but tacitly traded back in Europe as “exotic” pornography. By quite literally facing off against the subject, Adekunle is asking us how we should treat these interesting but nonetheless exploitative archival images in this day and age. At a time when a British government actively stokes nostalgia for the days of Empire, it could hardly be a more salient question."

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'Grid'

Irina Razmovskaya

"In a time like this, you can’t look at this without thinking about the collapse of human infrastructure and modernist rationality. The columns remind me of Palmyra, while the blue and white grid immediately evokes the standard design of municipal swimming pools; in fact, it reminds me of an abandoned, Communist-era lido I saw in Bulgaria just before the pandemic made foreign travel all but impossible. Irina may disagree with me, but I think this is a really potent vision of the ruins of a certain ideal of a post-war future."

'Edward James'

Kitty Rice

"I've spent a lot of time in the past few years in El Paso, on the Texan side of the USA-Mexico border. Looking south, I’ve always wanted to visit Edward James’s bizarre-sounding surreal sculpture park in central Mexico. Sadly - and for obvious reasons - it doesn’t look like I’m going to get there anytime soon.

 

Kitty, who has actually spent a lot of time in Mexico proper, has created a body of work based on James’s fantasia that make me want to get out there all the more. The detail here is making my feet itch and my brain hurt."

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'Hampstead'

Beth Rodway

"I love this Ligne Claire articulation of a vaguely bohemian-looking London interior - which I would quite like to live in; failing that - SEAM partners take note - I’d happily settle for the drawing, which has an infectiously 1960s vibe to it  Nevertherless, I have a few questions for the artist: 

 

1) Is this based on a photo? 

 

2) And do you like Patrick Caulfield as much as I do?"