Leaves Left: Works On Paper, Online At Cob Gallery

Jacob Barnes, The Quietus, June 26, 2020

An online gallery of works on paper at Cob Gallery both reflects and resists the present moment, finds Jacob Barnes.


Despite the slow thaw of lockdown measures in the UK, the online viewing room continues to act as the primary means of exhibition for galleries, necessitating a reconceptualisation on behalf of the viewer of what it means to “experience” art. Making use of this already destabilized ground, the London-based Cob Gallery’s new online group show, titled Paintings On, And, With Paper, asks the viewer to reconsider paper as an artistic material, examining it not as a primarily disposable art supply, but instead as a formidable site for permanent work. However, while this alone could prove a sufficient crux for the exhibition – after all, the current moment has forced us to think about notions of disposability, NEcessity, and making do – this lens provides a mere entrypoint. There is much more than simply medium that binds the work of the sixteen UK-based artists on display, who include Florence Hutchings, Lucia Ferrari, Christabel Macgreevy, and Aly Helyer amongst their ranks.