Critics’ Picks

Charles Avery, Untitled, 2006, aluminum, acrylic paint, wood, mirror, silver candelabras, and candles, 68 1/2 x 78 3/4 x 39 3/8".

Charles Avery, Untitled, 2006, aluminum, acrylic paint, wood, mirror, silver candelabras, and candles, 68 1/2 x 78 3/4 x 39 3/8".

London

Charles Avery and Keith Wilson

Alexandre Pollazzon ltd
11 Howland Street
November 2–December 16, 2006

This two-person exhibition primarily features the drawings of the young Scot Charles Avery. Exquisitely detailed, yet with a sense of the incomplete sketch about them, Two Hunters (all works 2006) and Eternal Forest No. 7 especially call out his proficiency and near-obsessive fascination with the line. Two sculptures also on view (Untitled and The August Snakes Stand Erect as That Is How Their Beards Best Be Admired) utilize effects seen in the artist’s earlier work. Untitled uses a two-sided mirror standing vertically on the middle of a table to reflect the image of the silver candelabra on each side onto the other. It’s quite mesmerizing, as are the model cobras used in The August Snakes . . . , which are reminiscent of an earlier untitled work that uses the same mirror effect.

In 2003, Keith Wilson studded the regal grounds of Compton Verney with disused livestock cages and gates, and the standout piece here—Ring, 2006—carries on from that project. Dominating the gallery, this former portable livestock pen has been decommissioned and, suspended from the ceiling by thin wires, put into service as installation. It is a beautifully wrought, if straightforward, piece of ironmongering that, like much of Wilson’s previous work, not only questions dislocation and borders but addresses Britain’s great agricultural past by celebrating the matériel of its industry.