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Vanessa Baird: If Ever There Were an End to a Story That Had No Beginning

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Drawing Room / London / Art

The Norwegian artist Vanessa Baird doesn’t think about her audience while making her drawings. The deeply personal works are nonetheless as alluring as they are unnervingly Munch-like and nightmarish. In Baird’s first solo show in the U.K., the watercolors on view depict the psychodramas of domestic life. Intimate portraits and larger scenes focus on the Oslo home where Baird was raised, and where she still lives with her mother, who appears ghostly and near death, and her three teenage children, indifferently glued to their phones amid the chaos, illustrating the cruelty of youth. Baird points up both the tenderness of home life and the queasy intimacies of shared space—bathrooms, nakedness, the endless mess. A wall mural made specifically for the site conveys the artist’s flowing interior world, a kaleidoscopic seascape that recalls Japanese ink landscapes. This landmark show, twice postponed due to the pandemic, is now available online. —C.J.F.

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Drawing Room 1-27 Rodney Pl, London SE17 1PP, Regno Unito
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