November 2014
The Week | Issue 995

The Week reviews an exhibition in a private gallery

Cultish effigies and references to tribal art abound in the work of British artist Tim Ellis (born 1981).  Judging from his new show at FOLD, there’s a fair bit of nonsense involved in his work (much ado about “philosophical meditation”).  However, the best of it needs no pseudo-intellectual justification.  It has a power all of its own.

Ellis’s sculptures, made of driftwood found on the beaches of the Orkney Islands, work well arranged in a gallery, but one senses they could easily get lost in isolation.  His abstract paintings, though, are altogether more interesting.

Works such as United in Different Guises CCX suggest everything from Mayan temple art to Malevich’s suprematist paintings – or, for that matter, the floor plan for an alien spacecraft.  Spooky stuff – but it’s undeniably charismatic.  Prices range from £2,500 to £8,000.

15 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R. Until 22 November