Monday, March 16, 2009

Recommended: Jarod Charzewski, Stephane LaRue, Jenny LeBlanc & more


I'm off to Florida till Friday, where I'm looking forward to going to the Miami Art Museum and perhaps a couple of other spots. But the weather's finally warming in Toronto and I'm actually kind of sad to be missing that. Anyway, here are some shows to duck into that I've seen and recommend:

  • Jeremy Bailey & Jarod Charzewski at Pari Nadimi Gallery - Pari is often on the lookout for up-and-coming work, and here she offers a couple of rather different views. Charzewski, a Winnipeg-born, US-based artist, creates carefully organized piles of folded clothes that end up being quite like geologic strata. I swear I saw a "Mountain Gear" forest green fleece that was once mine in junior high. Whether it's the fleece that gets ya or not, though, there is something resonant about these minimalist-meets-maximimalist clothes cubes. I just wish they were bigger, as in accompanying install shots from another work. Bailey, for his part, goes in a rather different direction, playing with digital video quite skilfully. His dance sequence for New Order takes the Gillian Wearing dancing-in-Peckham-initated genre to a whole new digipainted level, disembodying bodily pleasure in more, well, clickable kinds of pleasures, perhaps.
  • St├ęphane LaRue at Diaz Contemporary - Goddammit Stephane LaRue loves edges. He loves them so much he makes you love them too, staring at his mini squares with tiny bits of edge shaved off, folding them into elegant graph-paper pieces, masking-taping them lovingly, like a dull yellow hug. Lovely.
  • Kyle Bravo, Jenny LeBlanc and Claire Rau at Open Studio - In what seems like the product of an elaborate dare, New Orleans artists Bravo and LeBlanc have screenprinted themselves a kind of snowball fight in 3-D at open studio. The ideas their installation and video of the installation process raise about the transformative powers of art are serious, though -- screenprinted snow acting as snow? art acting as life? this is big stuff. And so what if an abominadable snowman somehow makes an appearance too? Levity is always appreciated, at least by me.

Image from Jarod Charzewski's website

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