Nevine Mahmoud: Belly Room review

Art
4 out of 5 stars
Nevine Mahmoud: Belly Room review
Photography by Paul Salveson. Image courtesy of Nevine Mahmoud and Soft Opening, London.

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

There’s stuff happening in Nevine Mahmoud’s first European solo show. Sensual, tactile stuff; sexual, bodily stuff. You feel like you’re walking in on a seriously private moment, bodies caught midway through something you maybe shouldn’t be seeing.

There are just five sculptures here – all tits, butts and tongues made of marble and glass –  but they are totally lovely. The glass breasts are bulbous and bulging, real loose and flabby. They look dangerously fragile, glistening against the white gallery walls like they’re perpetually moist. On the ground there’s a stunning marble peach, as immediately evocative of a tuchus as a peach emoji, with a single glass droplet of what might be sweat or saliva slipping off it. Opposite, a big marble slide sits on coloured panels. It looks like the peach has just rolled off it, like a body part off a tongue. See? Stuff is happening.

The stone carving is gorgeous. Each work looks soft and undulating, like it’s made of dust and candy floss instead of marble. It’s a playground of body forms and textures: slides and balls, soft and hard, opaque and transparent. For all the formal compositional ideas here, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s halfway between glorying in the body and making you feel a bit icky and uncomfortable.

These are joyful, sexual, playful sculptures. Even if it feels like you maybe shouldn’t be looking, they’re more than worth a quick peek.

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