Victoria Miro Gallery, London
Science smashes into art in this staggeringly ambitious attempt to map out reason itself
I can’t remember the last time an artist explained a body of work to me by referring to Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Come to think of it they never have before. According to Kuhn, the history of science progresses not through evolution but sudden “paradigm shifts”. One line of thought is developed until it hits the buffers and slips sideways into a new way of thinking. Or as Conrad Shawcross put it while we looked at his latest abstract sculptures: interlocking tetrahedrons are stacked up as high as they go until they reach the point of overbalancing.
According to Shawcross, who talks intensely and eloquently about his own work, he is modelling scientific thought, reason itself. Interesting stuff – but what does it add up to artistically? I dismiss the artist so I can look properly at his art.