3rd September 2011: “Ever since Marcel Duchamp exhibited his “found object” Urinal almost a century ago, art’s relationship with utility has been brought into question. What would happen to its artistic identity if Urinal was taken from its gallery mounting, replaced in the gents and peed into?… Here, four contemporary artists – Nicola Dale, Mike Gent, Alistair Owen and Paul Lewthwaite (work pictured) – present art that looks useful but is utterly useless. Here are prosthetic tools missing vital parts, a shelf rendered impractical by being made of cardboard, a water cabinet designated as sculptural and a roll of woodchip wallpaper with every single chip obsessively hand-coloured. All of which suggests that, while designers might go directly to the solution, perhaps artists are well ahead: already round the bend. Bloc Projects, to 17 Sep” RC.
The Guardian 3rd September 2011, p36