The booby-trapped bedroom, the mysterious mincing machine, the body under the patio … why the sudden spate of shows taking a creepy view of home life? By Hettie Judah
Exhibited as part of House Work, a home-themed group show at Victoria Miro, David Rayson's Patio is a grim study in homogenous perfection set against a concrete-grey sky. Rayson’s precise brushwork shows every tiny fleck of compost that has spilt on to the grey patio slabs, the little twist of blue plastic dropped into the herbaceous border, and the drips clustered along the edge of the white plastic table.
Equally tense is Mamma Andersson’s Pigeon House (2010), a painted interior in which every element jars. The decor seems arbitrary, and the three figures seated around a table have no evident reason to be there, nor apparent rapport. The domestic appearance feels like a masquerade but to imagine that this is a scene from a spy thriller is to ignore that the kitchen table is as much a site of anxiety, awkwardness, fury and pretense as any John Le Carré “safe house”.
Image: David Rayson, Patio, 1998, courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London