Saturday, July 4, 2009

Back to School for TO's Best Shows


With convocations having wrapped across the country recently, the last place anybody wants to go this weekend is back to school. Alas, that's where some of T.O.'s strongest shows are right now—in university and college galleries. My condensed review on three of these exhibitions—"The Path of Most Resistance" at OCAD, "Noise Ghost" at the Barnicke and "A Sense of Place" at UTAC—appears in today's National Post. Here's an excerpt from the extended review:

Just opened last week, “The Path of Most Resistance” is a fun group show dealing with a typically dead-dry issue: art materials and techniques. The inventive, diverse approaches of four artists are what make it work. Vancouver’s Elizabeth McIntosh, best known for colourful, abstract, triangle-based paintings, shows two large canvases. One is done in her signature style, while another, much newer, shows experimentation with darker colours and diagonal lines, as well as pinning paper to the wall behind. (This is much more successful than McIntosh’s recent, disappointing show at Goodwater on Queen, which experimented only with pinned paper.) Less well known but just as strong are the paintings of Brit Alexis Harding. In these, shiny pigment puckers and wrinkles across taut canvases like a magical second skin. (Harding’s got a painting in progress in the gallery too, if you want to see just how he achieves this unusual effect.) Play with glossy colour also dominates the blobby sculptures of American Daniel Raedeke; a mesmerizing video animation of these is both silly and sophisticated. Finally, Toronto’s own Nestor Kruger uses the materials of the gallery itself—white walls and columns—to provide some witty (and unlabelled) architectural double-takes. To September 13.

I feel a bit oddmanoutish, as Gary Dault seemed to love McIntosh's show at Goodwater, as did Andrea Carson. But the pinned paper really fell flat for me on its own there. At OCAD, where it forms a backdrop/additional element to her amazing painting, I liked it a lot better.

Image of Alexis Harding's Depthplunge 2007 from Mummery + Schnelle

7 comments:

Lorna said...

I want to run out just to see that pink painting.

Leah Sandals said...

Eeek! Well don't Lorna... that's from his dealer. The paintings in the show are pretty dang great though.

Lisa Deanne Smith said...

The pink painting is in the exhibit... it was installed after the reception.

Leia said...

Actually, two large scale works have recently arrived at the gallery including the pink painting, Flexible or Fixed?, 2001, and trust me: it is a knockout work! These paintings were not available at the opening due to issues with customs, but Alexis' work is a must see.

--Leia Gore
Monitor, OCAD Professional Gallery
417-977-6000 x265

Leah Sandals said...

Hey Lisa & Leia --

I did visit the gallery after the opening, but before the larger paintings from the artist arrived.

Glad to hear they're installed now for all to see.

Lisa Deanne Smith said...

Oh Leah it is worth a second visit... I promise! I kinda want to eat the pink one.

The new one created on site, titled 'Wet Painting Number 10,'is a tad different every day.

Leah Sandals said...

Hmm.... Good to hear. Will have to drop by again!