Monday, November 29, 2010

Driving Art Up the Wall: Jeff Harrison, Cavalcade, Shannon Gerard

This past week, I've gone to a few fun shows that have artists working intensively with walls. All three are recommended for a drop by. For his exhibition at Parts Gallery, pictured above, Jeff Harrison takes his characteristically crazy-busy canvas style and extends it onto screenprints on newsprint, which paper the walls. Extra prints were handed out for free at the opening, and Parts tells me they still have a few on hand if you'd like. My favourite work in the show was was a work that spelled out "GRAVY," a word which seemed to sum up, for me, the enjoyable excess that characterizes Harrison's best work.

Over in the west end, there's a also Cavalcade, a terrific show by a group of young illustrators at Xpace. For this show, the illustrators have painted and collaged directly onto the gallery walls, often using the theme of the parade or procession. Apparently over the course of the show they're also adding details to each others' works. Very fun. Also reminds me, considering a different angle of the show, of the success that Team Macho has had mining the illustration/art divide. (Team Macho's show, which recently closed at Narwhal, was very fun as well. How, I wondered as I looked at their painting of a Batman/Spock/Han Solo hybrid, has this collective managed to so effectively plumb the depth of my husband's sci-fi-centric brain? Remarkable.) (Image of Cavalcade in progress from illustrator Nat Janin's website)

Finally, Shannon Gerard, fairly well known for her bookworks in Toronto and recent winner of This Magazine's literary competition, graphic novel category, has begun a wheatpaste wallwork near YYZ that will evolve slowly over the course of a year. Though the wheatpaste graphics are based on her recent bookwork Unspent Love, Gerard plans to add a twist in the wallwork of wheatpasting in changes twice a month to create short stop-motion animations. This way, over the course of the year, several narratives will slowly unfold on the wall. You can watch a GIF of her first animation here. (Detail of Shannon Gerard's wheatpaste installation from her Unspent Love tumblr)

No comments: