Image: Alvaro Barrington’s Expansive Art
Back that azz up (Black dress), 2021, velvet, concrete, wood, mixed media on burlap paper, 143 × 143 × 8 cm. © the artist. Photo: Charles Duprat. Courtesy Thaddaeus Ropac, London, Paris & Salzburg
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Alvaro Barrington’s Expansive Art Review

May 26, 2021
Paris Marais

By Tomas Weber 

What Alvaro Barrington loves becomes the work. In 2019 the Venezuela-born, London-based artist displayed the work of 49 artists in Ely House, the site of Ropac’s UK gallery, in an exhibition titled Artists I Steal From (cocurated with Julia Peyton-Jones). For his first show in France, though, it is music that takes the stage. The presentation has the frank sensuality, and vintage physicality, of a mixtape: the title of the exhibition is from Drake’s Fancy (2011), Notorious B.I.G. lyrics are carved in concrete (When I was just trying to feed my daughter / Coogi, all works 2021) and the show’s largest and most prominent work features Rihanna in the bath (The Bather Rio/Ro/St). (...) 

Each work is organised around a few tones, with bodily and spatial possibilities seeming to flow from juxtaposed blocks of colour. Barrington’s breadth, and his candour as an artist, should not be taken for looseness – these works are tightly structured and controlled, verging on overly restrained. But these cool études are effectively set off against more unruly bricolage: When I was just trying to feed my daughter / Coogi is an exuberant hymn to 1990s Brooklyn in yarn, spraypaint, concrete, Biggie lyrics and a cardboard box. It ties the show together. (...) 

Alvaro Barrington: You don’t do it for the man, men never notice. You just do it for yourself, you’re the fucking coldest at Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris,
2 March – 17 April

From the May 2021 issue of ArtReview

 

They have They Cant, 2021, hessian on aluminium frame, yarn, spray paint, concrete on cardboard, bandanas overall 229 x 245...
They have They Cant, 2021, hessian on aluminium frame, yarn, spray paint, concrete on cardboard, bandanas overall 229 x 245 x 56 cm. Photo: Charles Duprat. Courtesy Thaddaeus Ropac, London, Paris, Salzburg, Seoul. 

 

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