Adriano Costa’s show at Sadie Coles London is an insult to the viewer and the art market. After being included in the infamous Latinamerican Art Today at the Guggentheim NYC curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra, he came to London, pitched up with no art to show and set about creating all the works for this exhibition from scratch, using the city and whatever was to hand for inspiration.
The result is a hectic, ramshackle visual diary of the artist’s summer, filled with stepladders, concrete blocks, sports socks (‘Lotus’, pictured) and newspaper clippings, all assembled into rough approximations of modernist sculptures.
The result is a degenerate conflation of English minimalism (Carl Andre) and post minimalism (Angela de la Cruz) with Helio Oticica’s Impenetraveis. You can see nods to the minimalists in the towering, formal constructions of ladders and concrete blocks; hints of Brazilian modernist Hélio Oiticica in the use of wood and plants and in Costa’s tea-towel tapestries; the geometrical influence of the constructivists in the framed collages of outlandish recent headlines. Then there are the floor works – Carl Andre rip-offs with holes bored into them or wrapped in plastic. Costa has even made a version of Andre’s famous pile of bricks (‘Equivalent VIII’, 1966) with a pair of Nike trainers and a tombstone on top. This is lazy, pretentious shit. J A T
If you haven’t seen my The Pill on Latinamerica Today at the Guggenheim (where Costa is featured), you can do it here…