Ashitha Nagesh

  • Syd Shelton,  Specials Fans, RAR Carnival Against the Nazis, Leeds, 1981, gelatin silver fiber print, 16 x 20".
    interviews October 14, 2015

    Syd Shelton

    Syd Shelton is a photographer who first started working with the Rock Against Racism activist group in 1977, when racial tensions were at a peak in the UK. At a time when right-wing media attacks on the black community in southeast London were common and discriminatory policing was taking a toll on that community, Rock Against Racism brought together antiracist activists from across the country to attend concerts, exhibitions, and protests. Now, as racial tension and a refugee crisis grow again in both the US and the UK, Shelton’s photographs from his time with the group are on display at

  • View of “Viviane Sassen: Analemma: Fashion Photography 1992–2012,” 2014–15.
    picks December 10, 2014

    Viviane Sassen

    Viviane Sassen is known for challenging the conventions of fashion photography, but “Analemma: Fashion Photography 1992–2012”—her first solo exhibition in London—takes this element of her work to new, even more surreal levels. Over 350 images are primarily exhibited as a rolling slideshow projected onto the gallery’s walls, making the show one large immersive installation. A viewing area allows visitors to sit and observe the slideshow as if it were television.

    Meanwhile, a large mirror on one wall reflects and re-reflects the photographs being projected in the gallery’s corners, creating a

  • Mary Kelly, Circa 1968, 2004, compressed lint and projected light noise, 100 x 105 x 1".
    picks September 16, 2014

    Mary Kelly

    The works in “On the Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Period of Time,” American artist Mary Kelly’s first London solo exhibition in more than a decade, consider how an era is shaped by political events and their media representations. Circa 1968, 2004, for instance, is a cast of compressed lint depicting photojournalist Jean-Pierre Rey’s iconic image for Life magazine of a girl waving a flag during the May 1968 general strike when Paris was brought to a halt by civil unrest. Kelly’s version, enlarged and rendered in her signature material, is installed directly opposite her latest

  • View of “Zhang Enli: Space Painting,” 2013.
    interviews November 19, 2013

    Zhang Enli

    Currently based in Shanghai, Zhang Enli grew up in the provincial town of Jilin, Manchuria, and is well known for his interest in the materiality of painting. His ongoing “Space Paintings” series, begun in 2010, consists of full-scale frescoes covering the floors and walls of whichever room he is working within. In 2012, for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala, India, he created a “Space Painting” that evoked the vivid colors of the Hindu festival of Holi. Enli speaks here about his most recent “Space Painting,” for the ICA London, which is on view until December 22, 2013.

    WHEN I PAINT THESE

  • View of “Daniel Silver,” 2013.
    picks October 07, 2013

    Daniel Silver

    Artangel’s latest commission, Daniel Silver’s Dig, 2013, imbues new life into an otherwise abandoned, desolate corner of central London. Silver’s bilevel installation recalls Freud’s collection of statues (on display in his old house in Hampstead) while also more overtly referencing ancient artifacts uncovered in archaeological excavations.

    The upper level, an open space bathed in natural light, houses a vast collection of figurative statues—some appearing eroded, others broken—pragmatically laid out to give the impression of archaeological study. These sculptures, small and numerous, remind the

  • Ryan Foerster, Untitled #1, 2013, C-print, dust, 39 3/4 x 30”.
    picks August 21, 2013

    “The Instability of the Image”

    This group exhibition purports to demonstrate how technological progress has affected images through the deconstruction of its materiality. Hannah Perry’s Untitled #1, 2013, is one of the most striking pieces in the show—it seems to be a mounted canvas covered by a tar-like substance with a prominent tire mark running an inch deep through the center. It’s a relatively simple concept, but the piece wears this mark as a bold statement of its own physicality in an age of digital production.

    Two pieces by Ryan Foerster, Untitled #1, 2013, and Untitled #2, 2006–13, are similarly affecting. When severe

  • Jumana Emil Abboud, I Feel Nothing (detail), 2012–13, HD video, gouache, pencil, acrylic and pastel on paper, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks July 12, 2013

    “Points of Departure”

    This moving exhibition is an exploration of living in liminality—of Palestine and its people, as well as of war and occupation. Each artist here addresses a sense of homelessness, and mobilizes narratives concerning identity, history, and nationalism. Particularly striking is Jeremy Hutchison’s Fabrications, 2013, which is as touching as it is unsettling. The installation presents a selection of jeans, distorted in such a manner that they are unwearable. An adjacent plaque explains: A JEANS MANUFACTURER IN PALESTINE IS COMMISSIONED TO MANUFACTURE JEANS THAT REPRESENT WHAT IT IS LIKE TO MANUFACTURE

  • Subodh Gupta, What Does the Vessel Contain, That the River Does Not, 2012, mixed media, 3’ 7 1/5” x 10’ 4” x 70’ 1/2”.
    picks July 02, 2013

    Subodh Gupta

    Subodh Gupta’s life-size Keralan fishing boat, What Does the Vessel Contain, That the River Does Not, 2012, has made its first sojourn out of India. Originally created for the first Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala, India, the work represents a myriad of long journeys, implicated in the quotidian objects found inside the vessel that evoke the now displaced feeling of warm domesticity.

    The highly personal objects—each individually selected by Gupta—found inside the hand-sewn boat vividly recall the Indian towns from which they hail. Together, it appears as though the entire contents of someone’s

  • Falke Pisano, Structure for Repetition (not Representation), 2011-13, wood, fabric, collage, blackboards, chalk, dimensions variable.
    picks May 29, 2013

    Falke Pisano

    Falke Pisano’s solo debut in the United Kingdom takes up the mercurial nature of the mental condition, providing an unsettling representation of the mind. Consider 5 Black Boards, 2011-2013, an ongoing project that consists of six chalkboards featuring drawings by the artist. Each time Pisano presents this work, she brushes away her previous work and creates a new one. That said, dusty remnants of past chalk sketches conspicuously haunt the background—a wink at the process of erasure itself. Here, the artist presents drawings relating to her research on the human body as well as imagery based

  • Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession (Infinity Mirrored Room), 1998, mixed media. Installation view, 2013.
    picks April 22, 2013

    “Sous Influences”

    Sous Influences” (Under Influences) could be the most comprehensive exhibition of hallucinogenic drug-induced and drug-inspired artworks to have ever been conceived. Walking through the labyrinthine show is enough to make visitors feel as though they are inadvertently experiencing a dizzying trip; the ubiquitous presence of acidic colors, surrealist imagery, and neon lights only provide further gateways down the rabbit hole.

    One of the first and largest works one encounters is Vincent Mauger’s 2007 untitled sculpture consisting of silver-grey waves of PVC tubes arranged in such a way as to trick

  • Eileen Gray, Paravent en bricques (Brick Screen), 1919–22, black lacquered wood, dimensions variable.
    picks April 16, 2013

    Eileen Gray

    The first work encountered in this exhibition is not, as might be expected, one of Eileen Gray’s designs or objects, but rather a Percy Wyndham Lewis drawing, Lady with a French Poodle, 1902. The “Lady” in question is indeed Gray herself, and the portrait prefigures the refreshing tone of this important retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. Here is an artist-designer whose works—each of which is unique due to her refusal to manufacture products en masse—are inherently born from her relationships with those around her.

    The exhibition is presented in sections relating either to, on the