Complex and absorbing exhibition by former GSA classmates Jennifer Bailey, Lauren Hall, Tessa Lynch, Sarah Rose
Despite That’s Genetic being a group show, the outcome feels more like a solo exhibition. The four Glasgow-based artists share a similar sensibility, and there is a distinctive playfulness and self-awareness about their practices. Crucially, they are at a similar stage in their lives and careers, and they each graduated from Glasgow School of Art’s MFA programme within the last few years. While there is a faintly feminist agenda perceptible with some the works, this by no means defines this all-female exhibition: the focus is very much on the shared ideas, processes and formal considerations of the conceptual artists.
That’s Genetic is a decidedly minimal affair with only a smattering of works across the two levels of 16 Nicholson St. This feels necessary given the density of the ideas underpinning each artwork and helps give the objects gravitas, encouraging us to look harder for clues as to what the backstory might be. The exhibition handout is essential to understanding what’s so special about an appropriated wooden beam (Sarah Rose’s Rumour 1) and steel barrier (Tessa Lynch’s Upright/Downright): the artists’ processes give significance to the objects by complicating the procedures by which they are made, either by creating a quotidian object from memory, or by passing on the responsibility of making it to someone else. There is a lot to unpack with this subtle exhibition, but it's worth persevering with.
At 16 Nicholson Street, Glasgow until Sun 8 Nov.