Paper @ Saatchi

I often find exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery to be a little hit and miss. It is such a big gallery space that sometimes it feels like the curators have packed it with many ‘filler’ pieces – those which are on display to make up gaps in shows but aren’t necessarily memorable, or dare I say it particularly good. Unfortunately, I felt the same way about the current Paper exhibition.

The show in SW3 is made up entirely of works on paper and out of paper. Everything from two dimensional drawings and collages to sculpture and origami are on show. The sprawling lyrical text of Dawn Clements opens the show across a mural which spreads out over multiple walls. It is different, but it looks more like a personal doodle than a work of art that I would go to hang in my own home. Perhaps this is the problem with much of the work here; most of it seems like preparatory work, studies, the work on paper before the final ‘masterpiece’, something was lacking throughout, a large injection of ‘oomph’ was much called for.

However, the work of one artist did catch my eye. Yuken Teruya’s entry in the show comprised of shopping bags which had been transformed into boxes encasing beautiful paper trees. These bags range from McDonalds take away carriers to high end, high quality card of the bags of Louis Vuitton and Dior. The works are awfully delicate, giving a big nod to recycling whilst also raising questions of consumerism in the modern age.

While much on the work shown wasn’t to my personal taste, Saatchi is worth a visit, with so much on display, there is bound to be something for everyone.


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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and has written for After Nyne, Arteviste, Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, ReOrient and Suitcase Magazine. Lizzy is also curator of Arab Women Artists Now - AWAN 2018 (London).

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