reviews

  • Ellen Cantor

    1 000 000 MPH Project Space

    Can a blow job be a religious experience, and if so, for whom? The dictionary specifies that the word is “usu. considered vulgar”—and the same might be considered true of the act itself—but perhaps that’s all to the better, since abasement and transcendence tend to function hand in hand. But the work of Ellen Cantor suggests that the question could be rephrased: Is a blow job even possible? The motif has been recurrent in Cantor’s drawings, yet she has arguably never depicted it as anything other than imaginary, a fever dream.

    Look at any of her drawings in which the act is shown—Path of Sun—Road

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  • Jonathan Wateridge

    David Risley Gallery

    Immense shipwrecks and the mysterious remains of plane crashes sur- rounded by magnificent natural landscapes—stormy oceans; steaming jungles; majestic mountains straight out of “America the Beautiful”—figure in “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” Jonathan Wateridge’s debut exhibition. The four big, irresistibly romantic paintings that comprise the show are evocative of both nineteenth-century American landscape painting à la Frederic Church and Hollywood extravaganzas like Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon (1937). Wateridge’s sublime paintings turn contemporary, however, by virtue of the unique,

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  • Charles Avery

    Cubitt Gallery/Alexandre Pollazzon LTD

    Forget about Charles Avery’s extraordinary abilities as a draftsman. Forget the complex relationships between text, installation, sculpture, model making, illustration, and the readymade; forget the overlap of abstraction, geometry, figuration, and mapping. These exhibitions (the one at Pollazzon was shared with Keith Wilson’s suspended sculpture Ring, 2006, a readymade, old-fashioned tubular iron structure that in bygone days functioned as a portable livestock pen—and which, like Avery’s work, examines notions of inside/outside) are merely introductory chapters in the slow unfolding of Avery’s

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  • Christoph Büchel

    Hauser & Wirth Coppermill

    Acting as an obsessive set designer, Christoph Büchel has transformed Hauser & Wirth’s recently acquired warehouse space in London’s East End into Simply Botiful, 2006, the dystopian scene of a sprawling recycling camp and sweatshop fronted by a seedy hotel-cum-brothel and an import-export shop. Visitors must crawl through dirt tunnels and climb ladders to discover hidden spaces that suggest yearnings for escape—via religious transcendence, pornographic fantasy, and extremist ideology—ostensibly created by the imaginary inhabitants to help them survive in their terrible world. Cruelly, these

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