Nick Hackworth

Peter Davies, Gagosian

Essays & Reviews Evening Standard

Peter Davies’s work consists of two strands. First, he paints brightly coloured Top-of-the-Pops-style lists of famous artists with short, funny descriptions of each one, aping the art world’s concern with status and categorisation. One, The Hot One Hundred, was in the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Another, The Fun One Hundred, features in this show and lists 100 artists, supposedly in order of who had the most fun. Picasso occupies top slot. Duchamp, described as “a pisser”, comes second and, a non-mover at number three, Salvador Dali, who “liked lots of checks (sic) (+ gold)”.

His second strand of work consists of abstract and semi-abstract works that knowingly, and jokingly, refer to their heritage. His Blue & White Lines Painting, a mess of intersecting squareish

shapes of different hues of blue, and Red Circles Painting look like cheesy early-Seventies wallpaper.

Meanwhile, his Blue Strips and Green Triangles Painting makes the Russian Constructivists look silly by taking their serious abstract forms and painting them in lime greens, pinks and oranges instead of the blacks and reds that dignified them in the past.

By being funny, pretty and self-consciously vacant, Davies makes it easy for you to like his work, and hard to make criticism stick. At least what you see is what you get.

Until 21 April. Telephone: 020 7292 8222