The art college degree show summer season is upon us, with the Slade open until Sunday, Goldsmiths just started, and more to come. I like to keep an eye on these; some curators and collectors do too — these benign vultures are said to have been seen sticking their heads round to prey early on particularly precocious talent.
The Slade’s graduate show contained enjoyable work of a good standard, a lot of flat colour plane figurative painting but some work I found thrilling. There is a growing fondness in art for creating sculptural installations as sites for performance; I kept happening upon signs saying “Next performance…” Francesca Aires Mateus’s One Centimetre Apart employs a choir to interpret blue lines drawn across the walls as a musical score.
Ziad Nagy is possibly the most fun among the conceptual installation sculptors with a pimped up orange portaloo called Father and a chair sitting a box of cereal rotating an inch above the floor called Mother. Katarzyna Perlak’s softly carpeted room glowed with irony and humorous self-awareness, gently mocking the childishness of female pampering.
Among painters Lucian Strindberg Boyle’s work varies but I liked his two larger abstracts, one with a sharp shock of red the other yellow, Jiyoung Yoo’s cartoony canvases with holes in them, and Roza Horowitz’s colorful and energetic post-expressionist depictions of delirious cities, Jewish experience, with bold parries at fictional baddies Macbeth and Trump.
I admired Rania Schoretsaniti’s precise take on analytical abstraction – inscrutable black geometric wall sculptures and blueprint-like designs. The pure minimalism of Ismene King’s nine 15-foot yellow pipes, a massive plastic bag/mattress of moist sand, and seven white tic-tac-like pods, is thoughtfully installed. Hyojoo Lee makes superb use of a larger space, wrapping sweating clay in a plastic dust sheet coiling rround a post, and fluffy white pillows leading dreamily up a spiral staircase.
In a bravura fusion of sculpture, painting and media art Dorus Tossijn lines up plastercasts of 19 paintings backed with the paintings themselves and then takes it to another level with documentation of their Likes on Facebook. I liked it very much.
The Slade School of Fine Art MA/MFA/PhD Degree Show 2017 runs until Sunday 18 June. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slade/shows/2017