You can pretty much ignore the curatorial premise here, which is all about opening up the gallery to new artistic networks. All that really means is that Open Cube is an open submission exhibition. But since the 17 artists in this ‘international group exhibition’ are all young, all London-based and all the products of prominent art schools, it’s hardly the most profound overthrow of established art world values.
When it comes to the works themselves, though, there’s a lot that’s intelligent – and intelligently selected. One strand of the show revolves around notions of wealth and status – such as Jacopo Trabona’s sheets of paper slashed with a diamond and Martin John Callanan’s photographs of a penny, a euro and other units of currency, enlarged and illuminated like archeological treasures. Several other works focus on pattern and decoration, from delicate charcoal tracings of ornamental tiles by Rodrigo Garcia Dutra, to Fay Nicolson’s complex, colourful prints of kaleidoscopic rippling effects.
In fact, the show functions best as an overview of what an emerging generation is interested in. It’s smart and enjoyable, if not quite the system-challenging experiment it reckons itself to be.