Group Shows

Superabundant: Pattern power in UK

This is the final week for “Superabundant,” an exhibition at Turner Contemporary Project Space that declares itself a celebration of pattern power. Artists Jacob Dahlgren, Jim Drain, Richard Woods, Lesley Halliwell, Paul Moss, Henna Nadeem, Jacqueline Poncelet, Wim Delvoye and Daniel Sturgis all use pattern and decoration in very different ways, some utilizing a systematic approach and others adopting more fluid, organic strategies. In Frieze, Colin Perry reports that the show�s curators have attempted to satisfy two competing impulses. “What could be more crowd-pleasing (and please the Arts Council more) than an exhibition subtitled �A Celebration of Pattern�? Equally, what could be more current within art world discourse than a critical re-engagement with pattern? Emblematic of this duality is Jacob Dahlgren�s work, which seeks to readdress pattern�s tendency to slip into anti-social formalism: his ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth'(2006-9) is a sort of family-friendly Carl Andre floor piece made from Ikea bathroom scales. Another option is explored by Jim Drain, whose baroque sculptural assemblages are the only works here that really have faith in pattern as a transformative form of social agency. His ‘Hex’ (2008) is a camp mannequin dressed in an outfit of gaudy sequins and an iron frame sculpture encrusted in beads and tassels. Clearly, pattern has a radical potential. Yet �Superabundant� is caught between populism and the fuller development of this theme. It seems like a missed opportunity.”

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Superabundant: A Celebration of Pattern,” curated by Sarah Martin. Turner Contemporary Project Space, Margate, UK. Through March 22.

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