Jonathan P. Watts

  • This Is Grime

    This Is Grime, by Hattie Collins and Olivia Rose. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2016. 320 pages.

    THE ONLY STATESIDE PHOTOGRAPH in Hattie Collins and Olivia Rose’s book This Is Grime flickers at the edge of abstraction. Illumined by camera flash, a hazy specter—the fug of weed smoke, maybe—renders the signage of Williamsburg’s Music Hall barely legible: DIZZEE RASCAL—BOY IN DA CORNER. The show took place this past May, and Dizzee, offered an undisclosed fee by the Red Bull Music Academy, had agreed to perform the entirety of his Mercury Prize–winning album Boy in da Corner (

  • Edward Thomasson

    Unwittingly enacting something central to Edward Thomasson’s exhibition “Other People,” I reflexively supplemented its title to constitute Jean-Paul Sartre’s familiar aphorism “Hell is . . .” Abstracted from its context, the line has become the meme-like slogan of misanthropes. Its separatist ideal, latently theological, envisions withdrawal into the self, the logical consequence of which is loss of intimacy or empathy.

    This is inimical to Sartre’s philosophy of le regard: that we are dependent on and qualified by the Other. To be seen, Sartre writes, is to be “the instrument of possibilities

  • Christodoulos Panayiotou

    Almost exactly a decade before Christodoulos Panayiotou opened his recent show “False Form,” the Cypriot artist convened a roundtable at the University of Oxford among an astrophysicist, a historian of antiquity, a philosopher, and an artist, Jem Finer, on the theme of absence. The antiquarian introduced negative theology as a way to think beyond reason; thus the Christian tradition, she explained, asks questions relating to what God is not.

    The notable sparseness of “False Form,” with its five unwrapped panels—their gilt edges showing—stacked facing the wall protected by U-shaped foam

  • Nicholas Cheveldave and Daniel Keller

    Billed as “a collaborative exhibition by twenty-four international galleries across eight London spaces” and coordinated by Vanessa Carlos, director of Carlos/Ishikawa, Condo generated discourse largely centered on the economic straits facing younger commercial galleries in the city. You might be the hottest ticket in town, but cultural capital alone won’t pay your invoices. For this experimental exhibition, various galleries from all corners of London—among them Arcadia Missa, The Sunday Painter, Southard Reid, Project Native Informant, Supplement, and Rodeo—hosted work from galleries

  • Beatrice Loft Schulz

    To enter Beatrice Loft Schulz’s “Living Arrangement #” meant passing through a ten-foot-wide, New Agey, patterned curtain of glass beads laboriously threaded by the artist. In advance of the exhibition’s opening, Arcadia Missa gallery director Rozsa Farkas told me, Loft Schulz and her assistant, Ruby Read, performed a magic spell to harness the earth’s energy for the gallery. Evidence of this ritual remained in the wiry stick bundles propped in the rear two corners of the space—charms signposting the invisible forces encircling this total environment. Loft Schulz’s work characterizes a