reviews

  • View of “Cornelia Parker,” 2013. From left: Oil Stain (Bethlehem), 2012–13; Spilt Milk (Jerusalem), 2012–13.

    Cornelia Parker

    Frith Street Gallery | Golden Square

    Despite its ostensibly humble, idiosyncratic materials and elegant post-Minimalist aesthetic, Cornelia Parker’s work is often infused with a frisson of danger, the aura of celebrity, or the lure of the spectacle. All three are manifest in The Maybe, her 1995 collaboration with Tilda Swinton, in which the actress lies, apparently asleep, inside a glass vitrine. Reprised intermittently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York over the course of this year, the work has drawn criticism for pandering to our culture’s obsession with celebrity, albeit in acceptably highbrow form. And indeed, there is

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  • Sheila Hicks, Mauresque Etiquette, 2013, cotton, silk, paper, feather, 9 1/4 x 5 1/2".

    Sheila Hicks

    Alison Jacques Gallery

    Visiting Paris-based artist Sheila Hicks’s first solo show in the UK, “Pêcher dans la Rivière” (Fishing in the River), was like entering a seductive subterranean realm. In the titular installation, 1989–2013, some thirteen feet of creamy linen threads are wrapped together to resemble rippling waves. As one walked around the rectangular piece, its surface appeared to heave; shadows appeared and disappeared, as if cast by moving threads of sunlight on a sandy riverbed. When the fabric filaments caught the light filtering through the windows, they shimmered like schools of silver-scaled fish dancing

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  • Philip Akkerman, Self-Portrait: 2012, No. 155, tempera and oil paint on Masonite, 51 x 47 1/4".

    Philip Akkerman/Maria Chevska

    Mummery + Schnelle

    Despite all the new modes of artmaking that have come into play since the 1960s, the everyday work of most painters still remains much the same as it has been for centuries. Or at least that seemed to be the premise for this pairing of shows by Philip Akkerman and Maria Chevska.

    Over a thirty-year career, Akkerman has been painting his face and only that, but his real subject seems to be the daily grind of his praxis. Yet while some painters have translated the repetitive nature of their medium into a more reductive or conceptual practice, in which each repetition has just a few variables—think

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