“In Jest,” Ilana Savdie’s first solo present in Britain, presents a marshaled profusion of monstrous kinds, shiny surfaces, mobile patterns, animal elements, gobbets of decaying human flesh, and big expanses of erratically saturated shade. At first look, the licks and curls of paint recommend Helen Frankenthaler or Lee Krasner gone fluorescent, however Savdie interrupts the floor of her abstractions with figurative components sourced from her drawings and manipulations of photographs discovered within the digital realm (as an example, microscopic views of viruses or a clown’s efficiency ritual posted on social media). Look carefully and also you may see a torso, a parasite, a manicured nail. These particulars yield little shocks; There is no such thing as a mounted sum of their elements.
The lurid hues and stressed parasitic kinds recall the summary works of Dorothea Tanning, who represented the physique as splintered and stuffed with kaleidoscopic luminosity. Paraphyletics, 2022, invitations comparisons to horror and science fiction: At its middle a white physique descends into swirls of black washes, grasped by two hooded figures with claws as a substitute of arms. On this exhibition, painterly accretion is predominant. However there’s something textural at play, too: Savdie topics the canvases to her strategy of “masking,” protecting acrylic and oil with beeswax. In The Mouth briefly shut itself, 2022, delicate ripples and indents emerge throughout the huge stretch of gold. For Continual irritations (Collective edging), 2022, the depth of shade creates a form of mirage. The hues appear to stream down the highest of the canvas, their shifting depths and layers by no means fairly settling. Savdie, it appears, prefers her universe fluid and risky.