Art Review: It’s A Wonderful Life @ Nancy Victor

A group show is an opportunity for a gallery to assemble a set of complementary works by emerging artists who may not have the recognition or number of works to front a solo show.

They are often an eclectic mix of works created in varied styles and can be hit or miss. The latest exhibition at Nancy Victor is a group show that packs in 27 works by 13 artists, ranging from colourful beetles painted on pages from novels to ceramic snowflakes. They are all linked together by the fact they are made from recycled materials, exploring the value that can be had from other people’s junk.

Chris Agnew is an artist we first spotted at a group show a few months ago at ArtEco, here he presents a drawing of a Romanian tower block that owes much to M. C. Escher but only hints at the surreal while remaining rooted in reality.

Another highlight of this exhibition are the works of Wayne Chisnall. We particularly liked his 90 degree periscope that looks back out into the gallery through a web of thorns and his model of a heart that is difficult to make out as it’s been penetrated by dozens of nails.

Our favourite work of the show is the tower by Lesley Hilling which dominates the gallery. It’s made up of items as diverse as wooden blocks, lenses and snooker balls. It has the look of a Victorian-era invention and we enjoyed circling the structure trying to identify all the components.

This exhibition features some talented artists taking their work in an interesting and appealing direction.

It’s a Wonderful Life is on display at Nancy Victor Gallery, 6 Charlotte Place, W1T 1SG until 3 January. Entrance is free.

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