Modern Art Oxford at 50

REVIEW: 'Kaleidoscope: The Vanished Reality', currently showing at Modern Art Oxford

Louise Lawler, Still Life (candle) (traced), 2003 / 2013. Printed vinyl mounted to wall, 304 x 251 cm

A matte grey colour, popular amongst art schools as floor paint, saturates the Victorian brick-work of Modern Art Oxford’s Pembroke Street façade. The impact of its ugly exterior, a hybrid of a Shoreditch bistro and an Urban Outfitters, is softened by the familiarity of its “contemporary art institute” interior. Its clean white walls, a fantastically average café and a charming (expensive) shop indiscreetly positioned by the exit, reassures us of the building’s elevated societal status… Right?