zurich

Elizabeth Radcliffe, Caron in Caramac, 2010, tapestry, wool, wood, 32 5/8 x 32 5/8". From “Town-Gown Conflict.”

“Town-Gown Conflict”

Kunsthalle Zurich

Elizabeth Radcliffe, Caron in Caramac, 2010, tapestry, wool, wood, 32 5/8 x 32 5/8". From “Town-Gown Conflict.”

Lucy McKenzie must have opted to title the group show she organized “Town-Gown Conflict” well before the summer, so it would be unfair to twit her and her collaborators (or Beatrix Ruf, the exhibition’s official curator) for not predicting the flare-ups of real-life, class-based urban violence that took place in the UK during the exhibition’s run. Nevertheless, the lack of fit between the show’s casual allusion to class conflict (and its introductory text, studded with portentous references to “social differences, educational shortfalls . . . segregation and the demonstration of the superiority of the educated classes over the ‘productive’ members of society,” etc.) and this past August’s outbreak of the real stuff was too glaring to ignore.

Judged by the art on view, this was a light, fun show themed around fashion, crafts, and textiles and including various quirky, pretty,

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