reviews

  • Anna-Bella Papp, Untitled, 2014, clay, 12 1/8 × 11 1/8 × 1 1/8".

    Anna-Bella Papp

    Stuart Shave Modern Art

    Occasionally I hear a sublime new song with a melody so perfect and infectious, I feel that, surely, this music must have existed before. Impossible for such timeless harmonies to have been invented only now! Anna-Bella Papp’s small, flat sculptures provoke the same sensation. Some artist or other must have previously landed upon the irresistible idea of these tile-like slabs of unglazed clay, laid out on smooth white tables, with unique markings that produce a singular world in low relief. The longest edge of each of the twenty-six works in her recent London exhibition measures about twelve

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  • View of “Than Hussein Clark,” 2015. From foreground: Than Hussein Clark, Cancellation-Microphone, 2015; Than Hussein Clark, KonninGratz/Himachuri/Konningratz/HimiChuri, 2013; Enrico David, Untitled, 2013. Photo: Mark Blower.

    Than Hussein Clark

    DRAF (David Roberts Art Foundation)

    It’s generally sound advice: Young artists should avoid curating themselves into group shows. Than Hussein Clark turned this adage on its head in “The Violet Crab at DRAF,” a presentation of seventy-six works by forty-one other artists—most from the David Roberts Collection—and one lab-grown alum crystal on loan from the University College London Geology Collection, along with forty-two of Clark’s own pieces. Under the tripartite rubric of “deviance, extravagance, and ventriloquism,” Clark mobilized the history of cabaret as a physical place and as a set of aesthetic practices. His

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  • Ydessa Hendeles, From her wooden sleep . . . (detail), 2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo: Mark Blower.

    Ydessa Hendeles

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

    As I entered Ydessa Hendeles’s installation From her wooden sleep . . . , 2015, I instantly became extremely anxious. I was equally entranced. The darkened theater space of the ICA was filled with 150 wooden artist’s mannequins—from miniature, doll-size figures to adult-human scale, dating from 1520 to 1930—collected by Hendeles over the past twenty years. Most were seated on rows of low oak pews designed for children, their backs turned as they looked toward a lone beech and steel figure, with an easel holding a portrait of a man to its right. On either side of this figure were four

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