Saturday, March 27, 2010

Out today: Queen West Reviews of Rasmussen, Building Storeys & Micah Adams

While posters for Art Condominiums plaster Queen West these days, actual art can seem harder to find. (Greener Pastures Gallery is now a hair salon, for instance.) But there's still a few good shows out there, as I point out in today's National Post gallery column. Here's an excerpt:

Elise Rasmussen at Katharine Mulherin, 1082 Queen St. W.

Toronto-trained, Brooklyn-based artist Elise Rasmussen offers an alternately dreamy and dismal look at Newfoundland in this compact solo show. Revving up the romanticism are four large photos of windswept landscapes and lasses looking out to sea. Bringing the despair is a small-town mural of a bustling Main Street shown right next to the actual ultra-deserted strip. These extremes intertwine in other works, like After Shanawdithit, which photographs 30 Newfoundland women posing the same way the last known Beothuk did in a famed painting. A double-frame video, titled When the Sun Crosses the Line that Wind Will Rule the Weather, reinforces the effect, presenting shots of quaint fishermen and sunny forests alongside a voice-over on cultural extinction. First, Rasmussen seems to suggest, the Beothuk were driven to their deaths. Since then, the way of life that drove them out -- the colonial fishery -- has met dire straits, too. There's no resolution, and no masterpieces, but certainly evocative and considered stuff. Overall, Rasmussen's show represents a thoughtful attempt to get inside a place and its difficult complexities. To March 28.

Besides my other picks in the paper at the Gladstone and Queenspecific, I recommend Dorian Fitzgerald's show at Clint Roenisch--though I admit I'm a bit biased, having known Fitzgerald socially for a couple of years. Will Munro's show at Paul Petro, which closes this weekend, is also worth a stop by.

Image of Elise Rasmussen's Zephyr of the Bay from her website

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