Art Monthly 455: April 2022

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Jananne Al-Ani

Interviewed by Maria Walsh

The Art of Denial

Bob Dickinson

On Grief and Grieving

Morgan Quaintance

Ailbhe NÍ Bhriain

Profile by Chris Clarke

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Jananne Al-Ani, Timelines, 2022


Crime Scenes

Jananne Al-Ani interviewed by Maria Walsh

I’m interested in the idea of using the landscape as a crime scene, a place where evidence has been deposited. And it’s the same with objects in museum collections. They hold evidence or hidden information that we need to decipher like a Rosetta Stone.

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Marisa Cornejo, La Huella (The Footprint), 2013


The Art of Denial

Bob Dickinson discusses the ways in which artists have attempted to engage with the legacies of trauma

Following the denunciation of various officials who had been included in the book, Alexander Rodchenko brushed ink over their faces in the original copy he owned, and these inked-over images are the ones Nikita Kadan drew, thinking of them as ‘spirit spectators’ to historical revisionism.

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Matthew Krishanu, Hospital Bed (Barts), 2021


On Grief and Grieving

Morgan Quaintance considers the emotional cost of so much loss and isolation in our post-pandemic world

By placing my own fragility at the centre of this text, and by risking discomfort and embarrassment in the process, I am attempting to offer details of the personal so that they may be identified with or at least empathically related to.

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Ailbhe Ní Bhriain Inscriptions of an Immense Theatre, 2018


Ailbhe Ní Bhriain

Chris Clarke

For Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, the exposure of fixed taxonomies is analogous to mining: the extraction of information disturbs the very environment that one inhabits. Remnants of past events are revealed and ruined through the same processes, destroyed in the act of discovery.


Blue on Yellow

People all over the planet – and beyond – are showing support for Ukraine by adopting its colours, but gestures such as the prime minister’s twin-flag lapel pin ring hollow.

The event was live-streamed worldwide by both Nasa, the American space agency, and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, whose press service later denied that the cosmonauts were expressing their solidarity with Ukraine, claiming instead that, ‘sometimes yellow is just yellow’ – sometimes, it seems, it is not.


Life Between Islands cont.

Paul Carey-Kent offers further defence of Tate’s blockbuster exhibition

I have seen the majority of shows in London this century, so feel reasonably placed to say that, although there are plenty of well-known artists in ‘Life Between Islands’, the average UK gallery-goer won’t have seen much work by at least a third of them.



The art world reacts to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; artists withdraw from the British Art Show over the University of Manchester’s reported removal of Whitworth director Alistair Hudson; culture secretary Nadine Dorries instructs ACE to cut funding to London-based organisations by £24m per year; the Museums Association gives evidence to a Parliamentary Inquiry into the government’s so-called Levelling Up agenda; the National Portrait Gallery cuts ties with BP; the National Gallery comes under pressure over its ties to Credit Suisse in the wake of the ‘Suisse Secrets’ leak; plus the latest on galleries, people, prizes and more.


Dan Graham 1942–2022
Grenville Davey 1961–2022

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Every Ocean Hughes, One Big Bag, 2021, Studio Voltaire, London


A Century of the Artist’s Studio: 1920–2020

Hettie Judah

Erika Tan: Barang-Barang

Virginia Whiles

Anthea Hamilton: Mash Up

Chloe Carroll

Alice Theobald: IL Y AURA (There will be)

Adam Hines-Green

Rosa-Johan Uddoh: Pink Tongue, Brown Cheek

Tom Hastings

Angharad Williams: Picture the Others

Mike Pinnington

Galas Porras-Kim: Out of an instance of expiration comes a perennial showing

Chris Fite-Wassilak

Every Ocean Hughes: One Big Bag

Lucia Farinati

Helen Cammock: behind the eye is the promise of rain

Mark Prince

Anne-Marie Creamer: Dear Friend, I Can No Longer Hear Your Voice

Deborah Schultz


The Soul of a Nation Reader: Writings by and about Black American Artists, 1960–1980

Richard Hylton

Although primarily centred on New York, this is a veritable treasure trove of material, garnered from art journals, some long-defunct, self-published pamphlets, exhibition catalogues, exhibition statements and newspaper articles, as well as transcripts from interviews and public round table discussions.


Look Again

Travis Alabanza: Gender
Afua Hirsch: Empire
Nathalie Olah: Class
Bernadine Evaristo: Feminism

Jack Smurthwaite

Bernadine Evaristo says it best herself when she writes: ‘my personal taste in art transcends my political concerns, but my political concerns are more important than my personal tastes. When I have a platform to express my ideas about the arts, culture, society, I tend to get adversarial about inequalities and advocatory for change, because otherwise I regard it as a wasted opportunity.’


Linda Rosenkrantz: Peter Hujar’s Day

John Douglas Millar

Peter Hujar’s Day is the transcript of Hujar describing one day in his life, 18 December 1974. Hujar suggests at one point that he always feels like he does nothing with his time, but that’s certainly not the sense one gets here. No doubt because of the quality of their friendship, he talks engagingly, intimately and candidly with Rosenkrantz.

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Davide Stucchi, Light Switch (Bedroom), 2022


Letter from Rome

Agnieszka Gratza

A small but thoughtful intergenerational show at Ermes Ermes put Luisa Gardini’s photoceramics, featuring grainy images of hands, in dialogue with Davide Stucchi’s found photographs depicting the same subject-matter, but which are framed to resemble the gallery’s light switches.

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Annie Morris, Stack 10, Copper Blue, 2017, estimated at £40–60,000, sold for £201,600


No Change

Colin Gleadell

Overshadowing all this, Russia attacked Ukraine less than a week before the sales began. Although Russians are not the force they were ten years ago in the art market, it was feared that the invasion and sanctions would have a disruptive impact on financial markets, and that the inhumanity of the invasion would detract from the feel-good psychology of selling art.

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’Fabergé in London’ at the V&A Museum



Henry Lydiate

If the V&A decided to keep possession of the loaned Fabergé eggs until the end of Russia’s war against Ukraine, and if the war continued beyond November 2022, protection from seizure or forfeiture would end while the museum was still holding the eggs.

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