• Dan Hays

    30 Underwood Street

    Dan Hays’ recent exhibition included several paintings that depict an empty cage—the sort of thing used to house a guinea pig or hamster, with a plastic tray for a base, and top and sides made from wire. There is no pet visible, however, nor any evidence of one: no food, water, bedding, or exercise wheel. All we see is the structure itself, something designed to confine nature so we can observe it, smile at and talk nonsense to it, admire it, and let it impress upon us the necessities of responsible existence. Insofar as this image evokes the mundane and ubiquitous rituals of pet-owning, Hays

    Read more
  • Joseph Grigely

    Barbican Art Gallery

    The Barbican’s front area is a typical art-center environment, with various levels leading to different parts of the theater, signs indicating the way to the gallery, the usual restaurants and cafés, a bookshop, vitrines displaying craft goods, and, of course, endless racks of flyers and leaflets advertising forthcoming attractions. It’s inevitable that you pick up a fistful of the promotional material, even if only to leave them lying around the house until they become scrap paper. This time, however, it appeared someone had gotten there first—a pamphlet had been scribbled on and put right back

    Read more