James Garner, 'Review' (The Metro, 27/11/2008)
Alex Frost is known for work that gently undermines notions of middle-class sophistication. Compassion Fatigue, while an able continuation of this preoccupation, doesn’t really add much to what he has already achieved, beyond moving into the bathroom.
In the first room, two pieces serve as a bridge between previous and new work; Adult (Optivia-Berry Oat Crisp) is a ceramic tile panel, and Young Adult (Rice Dream) a polymer clay and casting plaster sculpture. In both pieces there is an obvious tension between the mechanical and the handmade, as common in Frost’s work as his interest in foods that have become middle-class staples.
In the second room, Frost switches his attentions to the bathroom cabinet, and it’s here that the exhibition is at its strongest. The title of the show suddenly seems quite cutting when you look at the bloated, puffed-up little pencil on polymer clay and plaster-cast sculptures of consumer products designed to relieve stress, moisten eyes and skin, whiten teeth and leave hair looking healthier and bouncier. It suggests the start of an interesting new direction, one that starts to scratch beneath the surface of middle-cass vicariousness, but a tangent that is yet to be fully explored.