Ur at the Transition Gallery
Even a charitable observer would concede that most of these exhibits are eyesores. The Transition Gallery apparently does a good traffic in work that “deliberately sidesteps the standards of good taste”. This, no doubt, will be their coup de… well, perhaps not grâce. The theme of Ur is of hidden signs and lost originals, and is derived from the German word for jungle – urwald. There are critiques of Picasso’s appropriation of ethnic art and if one were to take the pieces here seriously, one would say that their affected postmodernism is a cover for an enfeebled romanticism.
Katherine Tulloh may have talent, but she has submitted some truly terrible work. One cannot tell what the problem is – has she worked on too large or too small a scale for her talent? Is it the jejune subject matter, which allows her to be both coy and gaudy at once? Most likely she is a lost cause. The same goes for Alex Crocker.
Leah Rainey’s work is not determinedly ugly, and may have a good deal yet to accomplish. She is not yet in her prime artistically, but may, if she is not careful, end up a bore. Gary McDonald is one to watch: his work has a certain talent and youthful energy about it. Caroline Achaintre is gratuitous, and one can briefly enjoy being gratuitous with her.
This show is damaged by the hope that these artists would yoke together with a theme. The theme is self-indulgent nonsense. The few good artists here are slumming it, and will no doubt be seen elsewhere.
Photos: Tania Olive
Ur is at Transition Gallery until 22nd December 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.