Rhys Coren: Whistle Bump Super Strut

Art Free
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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Your youth filters into everything you do – whether it’s childhood trauma or the cartoons you watched as a kid, you’re a product of your upbringing. English artist Rhys Coren’s work feels like the result of thousands of hours spent in front of countless late ’80s and early ’90s TV shows. 

The multi-coloured shaped panels here – created by intricately slicing together layers of wooden board – look like glitchy title sequences from pre-grunge high school dramas. The gentle airbrushed palette, soft speech-bubble-like shapes and squiggles make them feel like half-remembered memories of ‘Saved by the Bell’ or ‘Ren & Stimpy’. They’re like analogue clip art, frozen moments of the aesthetics of youth. 

As bits of pure abstraction, they’re cute enough: colourful, rhythmic, neatly composed, heavily indebted to abstract greats like Josef Albers and the tacky designs of the Memphis Group. But they’re a bit cleverer than that implies. They’re evocative, contemporary and nostalgic, and they will make you long for the days of cereal and cartoons.



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