• Gary Hume

    White Cube | Mason's Yard

    “American Tan,” the title of this large exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculptures, suggests that sickly orange-caramel hue of cheap hosiery that gives a woman’s skin a sort of nylon veneer. Such off colors—with nauseating names like “warm salmon” or “minty cream”—are the decorator shades that Hume favors for his large, flat paintings with details drawn in relief. In general, the artist chooses undemanding subject matter: baby birds, flowers, celebrities. Here it’s American cheerleaders, fragmented and abstracted into random legs, arms, crotches, midriffs. They can be turned

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  • Eva Rothschild

    South London Gallery

    The advance notice was striking: The gallery’s tabloid-style newsletter featured a set of images in which individuals stand against a gallery wall holding snakes. Sometimes fondling the creatures, sometimes wearing them entwined around their arms or necks like exotic jewelry, the human subjects look entirely comfortable with their seductive, intimate, and potentially murderous companions. “Here,” Eva Rothschild seems to be saying with her photographs, “this is what I do.” The snakes are like simple, abstract lines, folding and refolding, moving from one to two to three dimensions. In this regard,

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  • Rita Ackermann


    “Nice framing!” is always useful as a backhanded compliment when you can’t think of anything encouraging to say about the art itself. With respect to Rita Ackermann’s first solo show in London since 1995, the comment means something more, because the work’s presentation and its substance were nearly inextricable. Eight drawings—not all of which were on paper—were presented with care and precision, and no ostentation, even when the means of display were unconventional. In Control/Stains (all works 2007), a double-sided drawing on vellum was “framed” by an entire wall from which a

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  • “Turner Prize”

    Tate Britain

    “NO JURY, NO PRIZES” was one of the great slogans of modernism, but since publicity is today valued more than autonomy, ours is a time when, as the Dodo said, “all must have prizes.” The art world’s best-known award, the Turner Prize, is a consequence of this shift in values, which naturally goes unmentioned, not to say unlamented, in Tate Britain’s retrospective of Turner-winning art. The exhibition does, however, shed light on the past twentytwo years of contemporary art in Britain, on that art’s relationship to the public, and—not least—on what kinds of artwork typically garner and

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