new-york

Alan Turner

Koury Wingate Gallery

Alan Turner’s paintings strike a tone of disrupted civility peculiar to English art. Turner may be from the Bronx, but his show made me think initially of the skits of Monty Python, the films of Lindsay Anderson, and the music of the Pet Shop Boys. In each of these cases English society’s famous layer of politesse is lampooned with a self-reflexive cynicism disguised as parody. It’s a cynicism grown very agile through decades of use and misuse by artists in virtually every strata of English entertainment. This agility has allowed for some of the blackest of comedy, as well as some of the quirkiest. Turner’s whimsical depictions of what can best be described as human quilts may have as their ostensible subject matter the spooky flimsiness of the body’s covering, but their real specialty is a very dry, very proper dance around the boundaries of etiquette.

In a typical Turner, body parts are

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.