Critics’ Picks

Storm in a Teacup, 2006.

Storm in a Teacup, 2006.


Julie Verhoeven

79 Beak Street
July 24, 2013–November 18, 2006

A veritable decadence, Julie Verhoeven’s installation saturates this intimate and precious space with fantastical designs and textures. Referencing the historical milieu of central London’s Soho neighborhood yet offering a trendy contemporary appeal, Verhoeven has set up a series of dressing screens decorated with Victorian decoupage, soft fabric, and dozens of her iconic fashion sketches. These folding structures divide the space into a series of small chambers, granting visitors privacy in which to savor the dreamy atmosphere. The installation comes alive with Graham Coxon’s pulsing sound track. While Verhoeven’s work feels comforting in its softness and whimsy, Coxon’s audio (including the sound of footsteps and creaky doors) is a suggestion that someone is close by, causing a sense of anticipation, an awareness that an audience and stage are waiting. Upstairs, a series of Verhoeven’s sinfully delightful drawings are displayed as unique objects. Some of the drawings are framed and mounted on the wall, while others are laid in plush, satin-ribboned pillow boxes. Each drawing is presented in the manner in which Verhoeven renders her seductive female figures—as an entity both delicately private and unashamedly bold.