Adrian Searle reviews works by Tomma Abts at the Serpentine Gallery, London, on view through September 9, 2018.
Searle writes: “Someone once said Abts’ work reminded them of wallpaper designs from East Germany. The paintings flirt with a kind of datedness. They do not quite belong to their moment. They are hard to place. This is a good thing. They zip and flower and unfurl and fold in on themselves. Her paintings are snares and puzzles. They open and close like a fan in the hand of an animated Andalucían. They make impossible jiujitsu moves. They are a kind of visual origami, or a conjurer’s trick with a handkerchief. They confound us with false steps and trip hazards.”