• Colin Cina

    Serpentine Galleries

    The demise of a credible avant-garde has led to a welcome relaxation of attitudes towards progress in art. There’s currently a more open exchange between the past and the present; not only is traditionalism respectable again (for many painters, at least, it was never suspect) but also, it seems, yesterday’s cliché all the more rapidly—and apparently—has become tomorrow’s new image. It ought to be said, though, that there’s a fine distinction between pedestrian reiteration of historical precedents whether of five or five hundred years standing, and a real inventiveness which stems from a less

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  • Noel Forster

    House Gallery

    The Grid and The Process have preoccupied artists for a number of years now and have accounted for both good and bad works—mostly bad. Conversationally, they once sounded good—as did talk of The Edge and Tonal Spread (mix The Grid with Tonal Spread and you come up with Tonal Waffles), and elevated talk of The Process, art which “displayed the history of its making” justified almost anything laboriously executed, and probably still continues to do so. Truth to process, like truth to materials, became not only a vague edict but a moral imperative for some artists during the ’70s. It must be said,

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  • Michael Craig-Martin

    Rowan Gallery

    Michael Craig-Martin’s last comparable show of large-scale drawings (again, projected from slides onto the wall, and then drawn in directly with the black tape) looked like Al Held’s compiled with household articles instead of with plain geometric figures. The drawings were spatially ambiguous and relied heavily on the fact that everything was drawn openly on top of everything else with no regard for the relative scale of the objects depicted. The white of the wall (like white paper in linear drawing) accommodated both the internal forms of the objects and the spaces between them. Craig-Martin,

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