london

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)

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.

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 elaborate staging became a framework for destabilizing distinctions between art and design, furniture and sculpture, exhibition and stage set, past and present.

Entering the fictional nightclub the Violet Crab through the cloakroom, visitors immediately encountered some of the show’s recurrent

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