Bas Jan Ader
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Best to avoid Bas Jan Ader’s show if you’re feeling emotionally fragile. The seminal Dutch conceptual artist disappeared mysteriously in 1975 and left behind a body of just 35 works of art. The best pieces here are the series of ‘Falling’ films, with Ader crashing out of a tree into a stream, and balancing on one leg then smashing into the pavement, all shown in gritty, brutal, noisy 16mm. Another film finds the artist weeping uncontrollably, accompanied by a harrowing series of photos. It all works because the pieces are so beautifully composed; the videos and photos are full of neat classical touches and perfect framing. Powerful ideas + good aesthetics = conceptual art that doesn’t leave you scratching your head.