Focus (3-6), Pietro Paolini | Christopher Orr at Ibid until 4 June
Ibid gallery has started a series of 6 exhibitions, pairing works by modern and contemporary artists in intimate dialogue. If you missed the previous shows, start catching up because this is a unique opportunity to see up-close the flourishing relationship between a contemporary artist and their art history lineage. On this third pairing, Paolini and Orr’s work is presented with a brief accompanying text that discloses openly the artistic references of both artists. Artistic process often begins with a found image. Whilst Orr talks about Albrecht Dührer’s Jesus among the Doctors as his source of inspiration for the disembodied hands in his painting, Paolini had borrowed from Caravaggio’s The Lute Player. It is liberating to be presented with only two works. Go and rejoice.
Under a falling sky at Laura Bartlett Gallery, until 5 June
This group exhibition title gives an impending apocalyptic impression. Also, the press release is a non-stop of words like mined, dismantled, erasure, failure, ruin, erosion, wreck… This may be an imagined dystopia but it is a sleek, colour-saturated and glossy one. There is beauty in the ruin and it will lure you in. “I’m interested in things failing, in the beauty of failure, and the fall in general.” – Cyprien Gaillard.
Tomma Abts at greengrassi until 18 June
This show is a treat after 4 years since Abts exhibited last at the gallery. Except her works on paper, all her paintings measure 48x38cm, giving the viewer a manageable human scale to approach each canvas as a one-on-one conversation. The dialogue that originates involves deciphering the layers of picture planes; gazing the contours of geometries reverberating on the canvas shape; understanding the depth of flat colour blocks; following gradients and shadows as they hint at the voluminous space.
Oliver Osborne, False Friends Falsche Freunde, at Vilma Gold until 18 June
Osborne warns us from the start. He is telling us not to trust based on first appearances. There is a sense of subverted meaning; a play on balancing reference points with no communication goal. The use of illustration-like collage on a classic oil painting or the fish diagram devoid of anatomy explanations creates a deadpan juxtaposition which highlights the space between the commonplace and the muted. Borrowed, appropriated or found imagery converses with the idea of the cliché and the commonplace as an open field of meaning and interpretation. Osborne also plays beautifully with visual balances of colour planes and cuts through symmetry by introducing three-paneled canvases.