Critic’s Guide to London: The Best Shows in Town
Our skin encases human cells, but our bodies are also host to alien objects, trace metals and billions of microorganisms. Aimée Parrott’s first solo exhibition at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is a visual representation of these leaky, porous and tidal bodies. Specifically, the show uses René Quinton’s scientific discovery that ‘blood plasma has an almost identical chemical composition to sea water,’ but this is only the starting point.
The compact, one-room show is comprised of ten abstract works on canvas. Each is stained wet-on-wet with blue, yellow, fuchsia and mauve inks, like a distant galaxy or bacteria festering in a petri dish. Six of the works are overlaid with gestural mono prints, and almost all feature a sculptural element (a new direction for Parrott): patches of leather and felt bulge out of one canvas, and a triangle of velvet the colour of rosewood is pinned to another, its drape yonic. Parrott’s works are abstract yet legible. In Beat (2018), the canvas is pinched and sewn, forming a delicate ridge that resembles a ribcage or rising waves.
‘Blood, Sea’ makes connections between microbial and galactic, human and non-human, and gives painting a voice in the ecological discussions of today.
As part of 6 things we couldn’t do, but can do now (2004/18) White and longtime collaborator, Jimmy Robert, painstakingly learnt and performed Yvonne Rainer’s avant-gardeand ground-breaking dance, Trio A (1966). White understood that one way to grasp a gesture is to learn it yourself. As curators, Bell and Sperlinger abide by this dictum, re-presenting White’s practice in a manner faithful to its internal logic.
- Figgy Guyver