reviews

  • Patrick Caulfield

    Hayward Gallery

    My, how time flies—six years on, and Patrick Caulfield’s up for another retrospective. (The last one was at London’s Serpentine Gallery, in 1992–93.) It’s one of those things a person can rely on, a little like the eternal return of the commodity. (In fact, a lot like it.) The Hayward Gallery is currently stocking fifty-five jazzy, glowing Caulfield desirables, dating from 1961 to 1997, most of them expertly handcrafted in genuine acrylics. The best place to start window-shopping is right in the middle, at the precooked meals section, with exhibit number 28: Unfinished Painting, 1978.

    This work

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  • Steve McQueen

    INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS

    Those with a less-than-iron constitution may have come away from Steve McQueen’s recent exhibition feeling a bit queasy. The show had visitors spinning on a mirrored playground carousel, watching in silence as a house fell down, or sitting—it was better to sit—while Manhattan revolved around them in giddy triplicate.

    The merry-go-round, White Elephant, 1998, is a sort of oversize praxinoscope, the early cinematic device whose rotating mirrors created the illusion of movement in a series of images. Sitting in a neon-lit, Barbie-doll-pink space, McQueen’s mirrored carousel splinters your body into

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  • Thomas Demand

    Tate Gallery

    In an essay on Dürer, Roger Fry complained about the “perverted technical ingenuity” of German art; it was the product, he felt, of a society that privileged “acrobatic feats” of technique. Fry would surely have given short shrift to virtuosos such as Andreas Gursky, that master of the computer-assisted photographic print, and perhaps even to his younger compatriot, the Berlin-based photographer Thomas Demand.

    Demand is known for taking photographs of three-dimensional models of modernist architecture that he painstakingly constructs in his studio from paper and cardboard. In a further twist,

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