no boundary condition

I’ve been twice so far to see the current exhibition at the Lisson Gallery: No Boundary Condition – paintings and sculptures by Shirazeh Houshiary. It’s the paintings I’m most drawn to – shimmering, shifting, mirage-like pieces, with their captivating titles (‘Wither’, ‘Sigh’, ‘Ebb’, ‘Between’); the intense, bruised colours; and the surfaces, which appear to have torn mesh or netting stretched across the canvas, but, in fact, the delicate lace-like patterns are finely drawn in pencil. I stand in front of the canvases and think of laddered stockings, fragility, black holes in the universe, points of light, breaks in the clouds, constellations. Or I think of nothing. Half an hour away from the office desk, in the company of beautiful, resonating images. A stone’s throw from the grinding traffic and crowded pavements of Edgware Road, the gallery is a quiet, uncrowded haven. Art as solace, as a restorative, as a means of being lifted out of the mundane into a different place (resisting the term ‘spiritual’). And as much as I’m now trying to articulate my response to the work, part of the magic (why not?) of the experience is, briefly, inhabiting an inbetween space where I don’t have to articulate anything at all.

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