Iain Gale on exhibitions

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The Independent Culture
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the gallery - when you thought that the sharks might have left the water - the Saatchi Gallery does it again. Not, this time with our much-trumpeted home-grown Britpop talent, but with a quartet of its transatlantic cousins in "Young Americans (part 1)".

You have to feel sorry for poor Janine Antoni. It seems that whenever she shows her sculptures (600lb of gnawed chocolate, below) - portrait busts in particular - they are mutilated. I suppose that making them from chocolate is not the best recipe for a hands-off policy. In Venice, three years ago, a young Czech girl bit the noses off three of them.

Antoni's preoccupation with foodstuffs is shared by Charles Long, who finds his inspiration in half-eaten rolls and pieces of popcorn, which (according to the press release) "become a lesson in physics and a model for sculptural creation". Long is inspired by the "personality of each exploded popcorn to create sculpture that represents the specificity of human identity". Quite.

You're probably safer with Gregory Green, who just makes bombs. It's somehow easier to empathise with an art terrorist than with someone who relates to exploded cereal crops. Of course, Green doesn't actually use his carefully crafted combustibles. But the point is, he could. His action threatens violence just as much as the words of the fourth artist here, Sean Landers.

Landers writes. He writes big, right across the wall. Mostly, he writes diaries of his day-to-day existence. In his own way he is searching for the truth, and that is what these artists have in common. Sharing artistic roots in Romanticism, they are each, in their own way - whether they reveal the transubstantive power of chocolate or find eternity in a grain of popcorn - looking for the same thing.

Saatchi Gallery, 98a Boundary Rd, NW8 (0171-624 8299)

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