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Review: Dorothy Cross, Damascus Rose exhibition at Firth Street Gallery.



A few months ago, I kept seeing ads on Instagram about this exhibition. Sorry, but there is no more breathtaking art practice for me than carving in marble (I still love you conceptual and socially engaged art!). So these ads showed Dorothy Cross working in her dusty, filled with fantastic light and sculptures studio. You know, the type of studio you walk into, and you know how it's filled with decades of practice, tears and blood. That's how I also imagined this exhibition. At some point, I forgot about it because they started the marketing quite before the show opened, but I saw it thanks to my new assistant (YES! I HAVE AN ASSISTANT NOW) who reminded me about it.



The disappointment was inexpressible. I know that Frith Street Gallery is very commercial but what a waste of space and potential. I haven't seen the big marble piece I posted at the beginning. I saw a photo of it. I know it's enormously heavy, but why would you take photographs of it in front of your gallery and use it as the main photo representing the exhibition on your website when people can't even see it there?


There were a few interesting pieces and photographs of the pieces in Cross's studio and the video they used as a part of their Instagram ads. It was presented on a slightly bigger than A4 size screen. Following the words 'More art in the basement', I thought, Okay, maybe not everything is lost yet. But I was wrong. There were no Dorothy Cross artworks downstairs. It just looked like a storeroom of not-great artworks that had been hung up there to keep the basement from appearing empty. I even took a picture of huge pipes on the wall because they looked more interesting than these works of art.


Press releases were, as usual, hidden behind the wall on the staff desk. The architecture of this place always gives me the impression that the people who work there are offended by me and that they don't want to have anything to do with me. A vast exhibition space with concrete floors does not help this impression either. However, I wondered why the press releases text was written in simple and easy to understand language - for everyone and not only for the elite who buys there. It seemed that this feeling of separation as a spectator from art and space was not connected with what I was reading about.


As much as I love Dorothy Cross's work, this exhibition gets a total score of Disappointment out of Professional Art Bullshit.

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