Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Catch the Colour Excitement: 3 Bright 'n' Shiny TO Shows

So I've realized I really really do like bright and shiny objects. I know art writers shouldn't, really, because it can kind of make you blind to whether an artwork functions on many other levels. Still, here's 3 TO shows that I think fit the bill:

1) Elizabeth McIntosh & Elspeth Pratt at Diaz Contemporary to November 15
I will unabashedly say that I love Elizabeth McIntosh's work. Her abstract paintings, usually of technicolour triangle forms on canvas, just rock my world somehow. The one I saw at Blanket Gallery's TIAF booth was especially rockin, with lots of silver paint. The Diaz show is a bit more adult and grand, with larger canvases, a deeper palette, and a more greyed-down metal shade. But it's still quite lovely. Pratt's minimalist yet scruffy sculptures make a good complement with their piles of plywood parallelograms and corrugated cardboard made formally Flavian. A do-go-see.

2) Team Macho at Magic Pony to October 26
This show has already had a chunk of publicity, and strong sales, but it is good enough to merit more. Team Macho illustration collective indeed riffs on the much-trod Royal Art Lodge vein, but some of their work is plain old irresistible rather than just plain old. I loved the images with cats in sorcerer hats looming massive in classic English landscapes, the perfectly realist watercolour of a bicycle, the imaginary 1940s Women's Auxiliary Choir and Breast Exposition League. All gold. Even better: the "Perfect Day" painting showing a guy in a boat with two dolphins, it's implied, humping in the water. And even better than that: The "Worst Day" painting showing the same guy in a boat with a dolphin, it's implied, humping his girlfriend in the water. I do agree with my colleague Fran Schechter when she many of these faux-naive works make her "want to call the art therapist," stat. But I still like it.

3) Regine Schumann at Galerie Lausberg to November 4
Bright and shiny is pretty much the definition of German artist Regine Schumann's coloured plexiglas boxes. But they're not as shallow as they might seem. Sure, they could stand in for many a high-end-bar's lighting fixture. But they also have a really lovely colour-combination quality if you have the daylight available to really observe them in. Pretty, pretty stuff in that unadorned minimalist way.

Bonus: Instant Coffee's "Say Nothing in Bright Colours" at MKG127 to November 15
I haven't had a close look at this show, just a quick drop in, hence the bonus status. Still, from what I saw--folding signs with the eponymous "Say Nothing in Bright Colours" saying and similars, cellophane-covered flourescent light sculptures and neon-pink wallpaper, it seems to fit the bill. And hey, even though the economy's tanking and the weather's getting frostbitey, Instant Coffee has proclaimed it "The Year of Bright Days." And if you can't tell already, I'll take all of those I can get, irony coated and otherwise, thank you very much.

Artwork from top: Elizabeth McIntosh's Untitled (sectioned composition- triangles and parallel lines) 2008; Elspeth Pratt Facing Out 2008; Team Macho artwork; Regine Schumann's colourful plexi boxes.

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