akron

“The Analytical Theatre: New Art from Britain”

Akron Art Museum

“The Analytical Theatre: New Art from Britain,” a traveling exhibition organized by Independent Curators Incorporated, offers a strong and interesting selection of works, marred, however, by the overall concept by which curators Milena Kalinovska and Michael Newman have tried to link together a broad variety of approaches in recent British art. Newman, in his catalogue essay, proposes a shorthand way of reading post-Modem art and then strains to fit these 24 works by ten British artists into that framework.

Here, “analytical theatre” does not derive from Freud’s theatrum analyticum (mentioned by Newman in passing); only Helen Chadwick’s Ego Geometria Sum, 1983, addresses psychoanalytic themes. Rather, “analytical” refers to the Conceptual/Minimalist model, and “theatre” revives the “theatricality” that Diderot first condemned—the assumption that the beholder’s imagined presence informed a

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