reviews

  • João Penalva

    Francis Graham-Dixon Gallery

    João Penalva’s paintings are willfully beautiful. Yet their charm is not something that obscures reality for the sake of a little rarefied sensation. Sensation there is, but as the viewer shuttles back and forth between different techniques, effects, and ways of picturing, the experience of the work includes both more overtly physical and more purely abstract moments as part of the larger texture of response. Penalva’s preferred format is a binary one: two panels, slightly taller than they are wide, placed one above the other. Whether he is working on a small or large scale, this configuration

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  • Simon Lewty

    Austin/Desmond & Phipps

    In Simon Lewty’s show defacement becomes a full-blown practice of picture-making. The fact that words sometimes resemble, or can be made to resemble, pictures, and vice versa, informs a grim circularity—a stasis, in fact, not unlike the sort depicted in the high-Modernist drama of Samuel Beckett. But bear in mind that the void of meaning produced by excess can only be pulled off if you suspend your critical faculties of differentiation in the first instance; street signs in Arabic or Cyrillic look fascinatingly exotic until you learn to read them, and realize that they signify the familiar “

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