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death becomes them

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Whispers of Immortality, the sublime group show now up at Stockholm’s Natalia Goldin gallery, takes its title from a poem by T.S. Eliot. But the theme is more succinctly expressed by Philip Larkin’s description of death: “Most things may never happen: this one will.” Working from this awareness, the six young British artists on view mix morbidity and sensuality to create arrestingly beautiful results. Rebecca Stevenson calls her subversive porcelain sculptures Carniflora, a word she coined to express how her work foreshadows the flesh’s eventual transformation into earth and then into plants. Equally enticing are the deceptively delicate images by 23-year-old Sam Branton. Taking inspiration from bawdy Baroque, Renaissance, and Rococo paintings, Branton inserts his own cast of suggestive alien characters to create vast orgiastic scenes of deranged, witty, and ultimately life-affirming beauty.

Photo: Sam Branton, courtesy of Natalia Goldin

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Dept. of Culture