Friday, February 25, 2011

Hogtown Heroics: Reviews of Luis Jacob, Davida Nemeroff and the Toronto Show up @ National Post

Toronto was recently named one of the Top 10 most livable cities in the world. Is its art also as amenable? Find out on a tour of three Hogtown-centric exhibitions I've reviewed over at Posted Toronto: Luis Jacob @ MOCCA, Davida Nemeroff @ TPW and the much-buzzed Toronto Show @ Stephen Bulger. An excerpt:

Luis Jacob at MOCCA
952 Queen St. W., to March 27
Queen West fixture Luis Jacob studied philosophy in university, not art, and it shows (to favourable effect) in the way he uses visual items to investigate perception and culture. This mid-career survey opens with Eclipse, a life-size glass eye. From there, the installation alternates between early abstract paintings and large versions of Jacob’s 2008 series They Sleep with One Eye Open — tie-dyed faces that waver between abstraction and figuration, between Rothko and radical hippie. It all leads up to the highlight, Album X, a wall-long assemblage of images that ricochet around the idea of the frame and its role in identifying something as “art.” Several images belong to big names including Michael Snow, Claude Cahun and Jeff Wall, but in one of those tidy rhetorical twists, Jacob, through his reframing, makes their reframings his own. There’s also a lot of self-reflexive moments as visitors gaze at pictures of people looking at art … as, erm, art. These themes are further refracted in Cabinet, a nice show of National Gallery works curated by Jacob in an adjoining gallery. Some might quibble with the hype Jacob currently enjoys, but one thing’s for certain — he sure is a whiz at discoursing with the discourse.

Read on for the Nemeroff and Toronto Show reviews here at Posted Toronto. I'll admit that I'm a self-reflexive gal, and those questions I pose about the Nemeroff could very well apply to me through that old and neat trick of projection.

Some other Toronto-related shows I haven't seen yet but that look promising and I want to check out: Sandy Plotnikoff @ Paul Petro and Dean Drever @ MKG127. The current student show at Xpace on the monochrome is also kinda interesting--what up with the new formalism, yo?

(Image of Luis Jacob's They Sleep with One Eye Open from MOCCA via the National Post)

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