every object – ho, ho, ho! | Painted glass by Lorenz Hauck; digital prints by Dani Levy and Patrick Doyle from The Broken Sign | Curated by Dr Chris Nicholson of the Fitzwilliam Museum | Photographs by Lucy Maclean
This show is a mix of distinct types of work on view – charming, straightforward watercolours in the artist’s native German, an opera sung by six women on a carousel in Rome (brought home by Deutsche Grammophon to present in the UK), a mirror made from a handkerchief, a reverse picture of the faces of one man, one woman, a pet – the works occupy multiple media and mythologies.
Carefully composed drawings, with light and airy, detailed lines, are as enchanting as swimming with fishes. Many of the watercolours are intended to be framed – a portrait of a female body transformed in this way, for example, will become new when paired with a black-and-white photograph of it. Art is about choice. First impressions are crucial to making a purchase: an artist who does not wow first time round is not likely to keep you coming back.
Other works, on the other hand, are immersive – albums of music – and used as set texts for group reading. Charlotte Cameron, whose work has been included in this show for years, one of many in which she pays homage to dead artists, reimagines a very different form of performance; she sits on a stool with book on one knee and cellphone in the other, drawing inspiration from works of art that are viewed from one angle by the audience. A 17th-century Chinese tradition takes us back to childhood, where children are projected on to an easel, where the viewer feels as though she is drawing on the mirror above.
A painting by the artist Lynne Harrison, while it is executed in pencil and gouache, also exerts a wistful weight in warm colours and a dusky sky, and in the work of its companion with a computer screen. Studies in thermal paper and reflective paper for Patrick Doyle are comprehensive and charming drawings, sure to bring a smile to you.
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