Edward Allington

Lisson Gallery | 27 Bell Street | London

Coincident with Edward Allington’s show, a Tate Gallery survey of early-20th-century responses to Mediterranean antiquity, entitled “On Classic Ground,” mapped three paths across that ground: nostalgic-melancholic (Metaphysical painting), Modernist (Cubism-Purism), and Dionysian (Surrealism). Implicitly, Allington has declared for the last of these. His earlier cornucopias and Pandora’s boxes seethed with the ravishing trash of cheap hallucination: Ovid metamorphosing in kitsch. Then came a beautiful bronze series of combined classical ornamental motifs. Like the English architect John Outram, Allington seemed to want to reanimate an oneiric life that slumbered in museum vaults; these copulating forms looked like what urns, volutes, and acroteria get up to after dark. This modern dionysian makes a burlesque of fragments, in which the classical body cracks up with laughter as much as with

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