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Out of Focus: Photography

Art & Design

After sprawling collections of Chinese, Middle Eastern, American, Indian, German and British art at his King’s Road venue, Charles Saatchi has turned his attention away from geographical surveys to the consideration of a single medium, the first of which is also a biggie: photography.

Like those previous stabs at depicting a nationality or a vast region through its artists, this exhibition is necessarily sweeping, generalising and scattershot, just a toe-dip into the many factions, forms and focuses that make up what William Ewing delightfully describes in the catalogue as the ‘dis-United Nations’ of the ‘World of Photography’, including ‘the vast continents of ‘Commercia’, ‘Documentaria’ and ‘Amateuria’, as well as the smaller islands of ‘Artistica’ and ‘Artcontemporanea’. Would that this show had been broken down into such categories, however spurious, because the results – to bastardise the already disingenuous, overarching title – are thematically and conceptually ‘Out of Focus’.