It’s been two years since the Saatchi Gallery’s year long survey of British Art concluded, and now it brings us a smaller exhibition looking at the latest emerging talents on the British art scene.
It opens with a photograph that sums up modern Britain, an artist who identifies himself as Dominic from Luton has photographed a Union Jack made from open and closed fried chicken boxes. After this humorous tribute we come across James Capper’s large metal sculptures, a cross between industrial machinery and animal claws — they sit ominously on the floor ready to spring into action.
The exhibition doesn’t naturally progress from here, but there are enough impressive works to keep visitors interested. Rafal Zawistowski’s portraits of saints have an anti-religious sentiment. They are featureless and the glow that surrounds them is less heavenly and more radioactive.
A favourite of ours is a video piece by Great Alfaro where a banquet is set up in Africa and we watch as vultures descend and decimate it. Even though we’ve seen it before, the carnage of the free-for-all is worth a second look.
Our top pick is Alejandro Guijarro’s blackboards of quantum mechanical equations from Cambridge University. We take his word for it, yet have no idea whether they are genuine or simply gobbledegook — a familiar feeling often encountered when trying to decipher conceptual art. Yet science is definitive while art is subjective, a contrast that makes this work all the more interesting.
We weren’t taken with all of the works, but there is enough here for us to recommend a visit. Though one criticism we have is that we’ve encountered almost a third of the works before and would’ve preferred that this exhibition only showcased pieces that were either new or unseen.
New Order: British Art Today is on at Saatchi Gallery, Kings Road, SW3 4RY until 9 June. Admission is free.
Also still on at Saatchi Gallery is the exhibition on Art From Russia.