Monday, December 22, 2008

Recommended Roundup: Andrew Morrow, Chris Flanagan, More Top Tens

A veritable roundup of recommendations:

Andrew Morrow @ Ed Day Gallery, Toronto - Morrow is a heckuva painter, who built his career by plucking the themes and techniques of romantic history painting into the present day. In the past few years, Morrow's become known for massive works on the big themes: sex and death, mostly death. Now the pendulum has swung back in the other direction: massive works on sex and death, mostly sex. The great thing about Morrow's work is there usually isn't viewer-torture heaviness involved--well, there's a little more of that in the newer work, with self-conscious "notes on painting" applied to the picture plane, stuff like "more blue here" or "x finds this hot" and such. That's a little distracting, and I think mostly due to Morrow's current grad studies--frequent crits'll do that do you. But overall, how can you beat a painting with a title like "Some asshole blocking my view of the apocalypse"--"and it really is a bared asshole blocking a distant view of an apocalypse? I know I can't. (Okay, I guess there is one big question outstanding: Is or isn't this macho war porn? Either way, it's worth a look to make a decision on.)

Chris Flanagan @ York Quay - The exhibition pamphlet says Flanagan is "an Australian installation artist based in Toronto" but I'm not sure I believe this. Because is this the standard description for an artist who would put an ugly baby vulture in an uglified vitrine (with extra wall cracks and water stains drawn into the space with pencil, natch) and soundtrack the whole thing with a reggae song about how great he is. Bizarre and sad enough to be worth seeing. 

Andrew Harwood's Top Ten and Four Worst @ Sally & LM - Read it, and believe in the acumen of insider commentary.

Gabby Moser's Top Ten at Gabrielle Moser Projects & Things - A tidy and well thought out list of works. Why did I not see Stephen Appleby-Barr? [Insert sound of kicking self.]

Jerry Saltz's Year in Art, in Superlatives & Top 9 Shows @ NY Magazine: I wish they gave him more space to expound and explain, but I understand print and budgets are a-shrinkin. That Urs Fisher show does look amazariffic.

Image of Andrew Morrow's "Oh Happy Meat" (96" x 192" in real life) from Edward Day Gallery

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