It may look an improbable pairing, but two shows opening last Thursday felt as if they had a common core. Terry Rodgers has his first London solo at Jerome Zodo: ten of his characteristically large, lush paintings of beautiful people. They’re in party mode, but hardly having fun: of the 40 figures whose faces are visible, none smile, and nor do they make any connection with each other: expressions which made sense individually loses coherence as separately posed models are brought not-so-together. It’s easy to assume that these are a routine production, but the painting is passionately engaged and Rodgers’ compositions can be daring, as in the radical prominence of a fur in ‘It’s Complicated’, 2017. There are no figures in Clay Ketter’s photographically-based works at Bartha Contemporary, where he has an impressive mini-retrospective. However, his most recent series, emphasises social isolation in a complementary way. Tract (2010-ongoing) – taken from satellite images stitched together with CGI technology – depicts the architecture which part-causes, part-consolidates the distancing which Rodgers depicts; and the formal interest is largely in the baroque interplay of pattern, just as it is in Rodgers. Are we setting up a world – offline and on – in which interaction has been impoverished to such an extent that the individual, never mind community, well-being is under threat? That’s what I take Ketter and Rodgers to fear.
The London Art Fair’s online edition runs 18th-31st Jan. As in the physical versions, the best material is fairly evenly split between 20th century British classics and contemporary work – so here are two picks from each category:
Back in the days when people asked ‘does my bum look big in this?’ rather than ‘does my bum look […]
Just how long does Christmas last? Maybe it’s because covid time passes oddly, but I’ve recently noticed some artworks which might be taken as stretching it out somewhat…
One characteristic of the computer is its potential to cause glitches. That’s been of interest to artists, either as a […]