london

Tania Kovats

aspreyjacques

THE GREATER AN OBJECT'S SIZE, according to Edmund Burke, the more violently it excites the retina: Thus giant objects give rise to perceptions of the sublime. His contemporary Richard Payne Knight scathingly responded that if Burke's physiological thesis were true, one's pen and writing paper, held in front of one's nose, would be more sublime than either the spire of Salisbury Cathedral or the peak of Tenerife viewed at a distance. Two and a half centuries on, in her exhibition “Schist,” Tania Kovats reworks the idea of sublime landscape, playing quietly witty, unpretentious games with scale and bringing together scientific empiricism and recognizably sublime motifs—rocky cliffs, mountain paths, dramatic geological formations—with a flattening effect that echoes the skepticism of Payne Knight's riposte. It's unheroic stuff: One can hardly imagine Kovats lashed, Turner-style,

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