Nancy Cadogan: Mind Zero, Saatchi Gallery - ★★★★ - Until September 22, 2019


These cool, dispassionate observations conceal more than they reveal. The subjects do not make eye contact and the objects stand alone usually dissociated from their surroundings. Like the kitten in "A Room of One's Own" there is curiosity about, but only very hesitant engagement with the external world. The literary references (books are frequently pictured) and the widespread citations of other artists' work (Matisse, Van Gogh, Hogarth et al.) create an impersonality and distance that may engage the mind, but discourages a more direct emotional response to the work. These are clearly Matisse's goldfish and his palette in many places and there is also a certain Japanese sensibility being evoked. Indeed, the depiction of Fragonard's "The Swing" with its lascivious observer stands in ironic contrast to the distancing observation presented in these paintings. The windows here play with perception. They apparently look out but like the foregrounds they present they do not invite us in. These are representations for contemplation which almost seem to evade any self-revelation. While this is rather a relief from some contemporary art, it provokes an interest in seeing more work from this artist as she comes to address her audience more directly.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until September 22, 2019
Mon - Sun: 10 am - 6 pm
Saatchi Gallery
Nearest tube: Sloane Square
https://www.saatchigallery.com/art/mind_zero.php

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