London

John Scott

Air Gallery

This show was my first chance to see an installation work by John Scott outside Toronto, where he lives. Scott made his name in Canada with big, smudgy drawings of advanced military machines and futuristic cars doing their stuff while seeming to emanate darkness. In the drawings’ margins, he would often scrawl bits of forbidding nomenclature and technical data. These images strike an anxious response in anyone who reads newspapers, but they are particularly compelling to Canadians, who tend to view the growth of American military “deterrence” as dangerously undeterred. Recently Scott has returned to the imagery of weapons, but for a couple of years he turned his attention fully to the victim population (including himself) implied by the systems of destruction that give him nightmares. His drawings were filled with rude figures and faces, many of them rabbit eared, with black blobs for

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