Saturday, November 21, 2009

Janet Bellotto, Kathleen Hearn, Jin-Me Yoon Reviewed today in National Post

There's a number of strong shows on at 401 Richmond right now, and today's National Post contains my reviews of three: Janet Bellotto @ Red Head, Kathleen Hearn @ YYZ and Jin-Me Yoon @ Trinity Square Video. Here's an excerpt:

Dubai-based artist and Toronto native Janet Bellotto won attention last year when she exhibited a whale-skeleton sculpture at Red Head -- a show long on concept but a bit short on craft. Thankfully, Bellotto's new exhibition Wave is more satisfying. In it, she offers a topsy-turvy installation, with mountain-village landscapes and ersatz power poles hanging upside-down from the ceiling. The surfaces of many objects morph in relation to one's position, making streetscapes shift into hard, weathered wood and other surprises. A related film of an underwater scene grooves along to a jazzy headphone soundtrack. Overall, the feel is cute and enjoyable -- almost too cute, in fact, to conjure the more serious themes of looming piracy and environmental change that Bellotto is ostensibly aiming at. While one does successfully get the sense of being frozen for a moment under the prismatic shifts of a rogue wave, the show ends up more Little Mermaid than Moby Dick -- not horrible, but not quite what the artist may have intended.

If you're headed over, note Irish Venice Biennale-er Willie Doherty has a small show closing at Prefix this weekend, while A Space is hosting a smart group show on Days of the Dead themes. Open Studio also has a nice installation from Hazel Eckert and promising student work by Kelsey Schuett.

Image of Janet Bellotto's Wave installation from Red Head Gallery


Anonymous said...

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Leah Sandals said...

Thanks Anonymous! That sounds almost like a curse... "may you write an interesting blog...." but I know you mean it in a good way. More to come soon.