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Akimbo is a Toronto-based company that promotes contemporary visual art, video, new media and film locally, nationally and internationally via the internet. Established in November, 1999, Akimbo has built a readership of more than 6,800 Canadian and international media and visual arts professionals and a client base of some of the country's most important galleries, museums, art institutions and film and video festivals.

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  • 08/27/13--05:38: Saves Nine at aceartinc.
  • Saves Nine at aceartinc is an exhibition that claims to examine a "post-disciplinary" tendency in contemporary craft, particularly as it is expressed in Manitoba. The works are installed in fairly minimal fashion and they range from pieces that would be recognized by most people as craft, to pieces that are conceptual or performative. They bring up tensions between craft and fine art, a field of discourse that has been well trodden over the past decade.

    What exactly is post-disciplinary craft? Curator Kerri-Lynn Reeves uses the term to describe an erasing of boundaries between craft and fine art. It is true that boundaries related to media and technique are absent in this show, but some boundaries still exist here – for instance, all of the artists included have some formal education or training in fine arts.



    Leah Decter, Five blanket suite: jack pine (detail), 2008-2013, Hudson Bay blankets, wood

    Thematically, a commonality is the abundance of blankets visible around the room, a reminder of our need for warmth during the Manitoba winter. Leah Decter's Five Blanket Suite is a series of rug hooking panels done in Hudson's Bay colours. One of them is long and white, and has loose ends spilling onto the ground, reminiscent of blood or diseased skin. Many of the works in Saves Nine play with the idea of technique and mastery, even if the method breaks with tradition. Gaëtanne Sylvester's Delicate Sheathe is a collection of lace-like pieces of clay strung together to form a kind of quilt, which appears at once solid and airy. Work by Stephen Leyden Cochrane also examines materiality. Blanket is a fine, web-like drawing of an afghan, which hangs above Blanket, to Blanket, a sculpture made of the actual afghan covered in chalk ground.

    Blankets also appear in Corrie Peters' relational artwork act of trust. Peters has provided free afghans and made "nap zone" signs that can be taken out of the art gallery, and the work is an attempt to encourage different and potentially subversive uses of public space. However, it also brings up questions about intended audience: people who need blankets the most to sleep outside at night are probably the least likely to visit an art gallery.

    Saves Nine is a thought-provoking show that brings up questions about materiality, use, and mastery in relation to contemporary craft. To me, the issue of boundaries remains the most contentious. In a blog post, Reeves cited Glenn Adamson's theorization of post-disciplinary craft as an inspiration for the show (Adamson is Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum). This is intriguing, since Adamson has also argued that craft's "lowly," not-quite-art status is what makes it the most interesting. When boundaries are completely erased, craft simply enters the world of overly theorized postmodern contemporary art.

    Saves Nine brings up the question of boundaries between art and craft in the sense that there is no distinction being made between craft and contemporary art, while boundaries between artists and other makers remain in place. In my opinion, it would have been interesting to see work included that referenced the abundance of DIY or amateur craft practices in Manitoba, and to have been able to look at the interplay between these works. I'm left wondering if contemporary craft has more subversive potential when it remains slightly outside the world of fine art, when boundary lines still exist, but instead of being rigid like wood or stone, are soft and malleable; like pieces of yarn that might be knitted into new discursive webs.


    aceartinc.: http://www.aceart.org/
    Saves Nine continues until August 31.


    Noni Brynjolson is a writer and curator from Winnipeg whose work has been published in journals, exhibition catalogues, blogs, and zines. She is a recent graduate of the Master's program in Art History at Concordia University in Montreal and currently works as the Distribution Coordinator at the Winnipeg Film Group. She is Akimblog's Winnipeg correspondent and can be followed @NoniBrynjolson on Twitter.


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    As August closes, likewise concludes the annual run of summer exhibitions. So, what last visit might you squeeze in, or, if you took a hiatus, which art, artists or venues might you look out for in the future? Alternative Currency, a group show featuring Natasha Alphonse, Ashley Ohman, Lewis Liksi, Jesse Stilwell, Kris Weinmann, and Dan Zimmerman at the Art Gallery of Calgary raises lots of possibilities. There's a chance to see the work of this bevy of ACAD BFA grads one year after transitioning from art school, the AGC itself seems in transition, and even if you miss the show, Lewis Liski's feature length documentary, after which the show is named, will remain as a record.



    Alternative Currency installation view: Jesse Stilwell paintings

    In part inspired by Calgary 2012 Cultural Capital of Canada, the film explores the work of all the show's artists and presents distinct categories for critique and debate: this cohort of artists, Calgary 2012, Calgary as a place to make art, studio provisions, the challenges of being an emerging artist, art and the economy, and, key for any grad, whether to stay in town or leave.

    Aside from some audio and lighting quality issues, the film offers enduring content of record, life lessons for any art student (including make your own history) and many interviews with established cultural producers. A spectacular shattering of rose tinted glasses occurs via an interview with AGC director Val Cooper recorded shortly before she was arrested. Cooper is now convicted of defrauding the AGC of one hundred thousand dollars and will be sentenced November 1. Watch then for Linda Hawke's Artist Trading Card project at the AGC that marks varied forms of trading. The overall upshot nobly portrayed by AGC Curator Kayleigh Hall is that while the AGC tries "to win back respect and trust", there's a dedicated programming emphasis for emerging artists. Art is all about alternative currency.


    Art Gallery of Calgary: http://www.artgallerycalgary.org/
    Alternative Currency runs until August 30.


    Dick Averns is an interdisciplinary artist and writer whose exhibitions and performances have been presented internationally. He teaches at the Alberta College of Art + Design, and his writing has appeared in Canadian Art, Front, On Site Review, and many catalogues. He is Akimblog's Calgary correspondent and can be followed @DickAverns on Twitter.


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    Back in the day, before I had so clearly been identified as an art writer, I would ever so often be asked to make art. After viewing one of the few installations I created, a local curator of some repute had this response: "Too much to read." In retrospect, I should have taken the hint. And in a sense I did, leaving the visuals to the artists and taking up my pen/keyboard to concentrate on words. There are some artists, however, who think the word is free game. Some incorporate it into their paintings (Ed Ruscha), some author their own narratives for video or audio pieces (Janet Cardiff), and others draw on texts to supplement their installations (Thomas Hirschhorn). And then there are those who make writing their art. Lawrence Weiner might be the first to spring to mind, but there is a whole slew of them on view right now at The Power Plant, each in their own way making an argument against the criticism that reading and looking are mutually exclusive.



    Christian Bök, Protein 13, 2012, plastic components

    In addition to that curator's retort from so many years ago, the other thing that kept echoing through my head as I made my way through Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art was the voice of every gallery patron who ever complained about having to read about the art to understand it (and I worked for over half a decade on the front lines of this exact publically funded art gallery, so I heard it a lot). The strange thing was, it was me doing the complaining this time. My problem was no so much with the words as the concepts. This isn't just an exhibition of artists using words; it is a collection of artists responding to a previous tradition of artists who used words to explore a range of philosophical ideas concerning meaning and representation as they relate to what we call art as it relates to how we engage with the world as beings who value something we call art. The work was often its own explanatory text in Conceptual Art, or it was at least directly engaged with eliciting that explanation. Post or Neo or whatever Conceptualists often append themselves to an earlier work, claiming to extend it or make it newly relevant through recontextualization or repetition. In far too many cases, this does little to add anything to the original gesture or its new context.

    Andy Warhol's routine refrain, "So what?" has long been a torment and a challenge for me to justify the art and writing I claim have value. I ask it of the work I see every week in the galleries and can usually come up with some convincing answers. Unfortunately, this week I'm coming up blank.


    The Power Plant: http://www.thepowerplant.org/
    Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art continues until September 2.


    Terence Dick is a freelance writer living in Toronto. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, BorderCrossings, Prefix Photo, Camera Austria, Fuse, Mix, C Magazine, Azure, and The Globe and Mail. He is the editor of Akimblog. You can follow his quickie reviews and art news announcements on Twitter @TerenceDick.


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    Rarely do I write that a show is a "must see," but this is one of those occasions. Coming at a time when the world is caught in a jam of international political juggernauts, jackknifing amid the toxic cloud of events emanating from Syria, here's an exhibition that artfully reveals the impact of past conflicts via the currency of women refugees. Handled remarkably sensitively 11 Women Facing War at The Founders' Gallery presents the work of photojournalist Nick Danziger, commencing with a 2001 Red Cross tour and research project assessing the unique needs of female refugees.



    Nick Danziger, Mariatu

    Danziger visited Sierra Leone, Palestine, Israel, Afghanistan, Colombia, and the Balkans, documenting the harsh reality of living conditions via a series of portraits and documentary-style images combined with first-person accounts. Stories are told not just through imagery but also concise text panels and video. Undoubtedly there are questions surrounding a male artist capturing the lives of what appear as female victims and whether there are cultural norms that may have been transgressed. However, Danziger transcends these concerns in his personal mission from 2008 to re-trace the lives of eleven females. He located all but a young girl in Afghanistan. Apparently Mah-Bibi had died along with the younger siblings in her care.

    Most striking to me is that all but one were still living in their homelands, many still struggling to find an even keel. Only Mariatu Kamara, who lost her hands to rebels, had moved away. Now living in Toronto, she'll tell her story in a free public program at the U of C Taylor Family Digital Library Gallery Hall on Wednesday September 4th (reception at 4:30pm, lecture at 5pm).


    The Founders' Gallery: http://www.themilitarymuseums.ca/gallery-founders
    Nick Danziger: 11 Women Facing War continues until December 2.


    Dick Averns is an interdisciplinary artist and writer whose exhibitions and performances have been presented internationally. He teaches at the Alberta College of Art + Design, and his writing has appeared in Canadian Art, Front, On Site Review, and many catalogues. He is Akimblog's Calgary correspondent and can be followed @DickAverns on Twitter.


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    Raymond Roussel: The President of the Republic of Dreams, curated by Francois Pillon for Galerie Buchholz, displays a variety of books, photographs, artworks, and memorabilia illustrating a constellation of research on this obscure, yet influential author. Roussel (1877-1933) was a wealthy eccentric and self-proclaimed "genie universel" or universal genius whose writing consisted of convoluted wordplay rendering his works inaccessible to a broad audience, while garnering the admiration of many surrealist poets and artists. The exhibition functions in three ways. First, aspects of his childhood and early inspirations are illustrated through items such as a portrait painted of him as a child (which Roussel used as his press portrait at the age of fifty-five) and copies of books by Victor Hugo and Jules Verne, his most admired writers.



    Sketch of an unrealized tombstone for Raymond Roussel at Père-Lachaise cemetery, ca. 1932, watercolor on paper

    Next, his creative output is catalogued, featuring examples of his amateur photography, lavishly self-published books and monographs (displayed in vitrines), theatre programs for his controversial stage plays, illustrations for one of his novels commissioned through a private detective, and a proposal for an elaborate tombstone which was never realized.

    Finally, Roussel's influence on seminal artists and writers such as by Alfred Jarry, Jean Cocteau, Andre Breton, and Marcel Duchamp is described through a series of monographs, prints, and small publications. Also in this section are two large-scale sculptures by Jacques Carleman based on fictional machines described in Roussel's novel Locus Solus.

    While direct engagement with Roussel's writing is limited (recent editions or translations of his work are not provided), this collection of objects reveals an uncannily contemporary conceptualism, while embellishing the timeless myth of the creative genius.


    Galerie Buchholz: http://www.galeriebuchholz.de/
    See website for current exhibitions.


    Holly Ward is a Vancouver/Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist working with sculpture, multi-media installation, architecture, video, and drawing. She is Akimblog's interim Berlin correspondent.


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    If you ever want to get on my good side, it never hurts to put your art in a space that isn't white or cubic. I've seen exhibitions in a church, a school, an abandoned architecture office, a house, a satchel, a bunch of wading pools, and random places throughout the city including some memorable parking garages. While the standard gallery provides a neutral space for artists to do their thing, the outside world brings art and life together in a way that – when it works – is mutually beneficial. If I had the time, I might even argue that art woven into the fabric of everyday spaces is the best way to experience it. Suffice to say: when you send me the exhibition invite to your alternative space, you'll have me at "site-specific."



    Noel Middleton, Sterling Caer Observer, 2013, mixed media

    Art Spin is a Toronto-based organization that brings together bike tours with gallery crawls. They also curate their own pop-up annual exhibition; the most recent one took place this past weekend in a heritage-protected, but long dormant building (that also appeared in a Drake video) on the creative hub that is Sterling Road. It's just the type of place you expect to see an exhibition of edgy young artists carving out a space for themselves in the city: industrial, cavernous, raw, dusty, dim, somewhat dangerous. Given the unique environment, the participants who most succeeded in bring their game were those who built on what they found. I'm not sure what is accomplished by hanging a painting on a wall here; it seems no different that it would in a gallery. Making use of the space, as Lois Schklar did with her wire sculpture, is really what made this a memorable experience. Noel Middleton did it with a shrine to some abject geometric deity that looked like it might have been found here by the curators. And Marcus Heckmann's laser art interacted with the architecture to turn a dead elevator shaft into the frame for his light show.



    Michael Toke, WE ARE HAPPY, 2013, video sculpture

    Michael Toke used alcoves to design his interactive video sculpture, but you needed at least two people to get the full effect and I travel solo. Alas. There was also the powerful Ghost Barn by John Haney and Carey Jernigan (when in doubt, go big), but the exhibition ended two days after it began, so you'll just have to use your imagination (and Google image search). That's the downside to these guerilla exhibitions: they tend to be short lived. Then again, that's also what makes them special.


    Art Spin: http://www.artspin.ca/


    Terence Dick is a freelance writer living in Toronto. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, BorderCrossings, Prefix Photo, Camera Austria, Fuse, Mix, C Magazine, Azure, and The Globe and Mail. He is the editor of Akimblog. You can follow his quickie reviews and art news announcements on Twitter @TerenceDick.


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  • 09/10/13--21:35: Lynne Marsh at Or Gallery
  • "All things are in motion and nothing at rest," said Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic philosopher whose writing is largely imbued with the weight of melancholia and loneliness. The resignation that all things move beyond our control reads as an ambivalent gesture towards the abject. This feeling of decay clearly pronounces itself within the Or Gallery for their current exhibition of Lynne Marsh's Plänterwald.



    Lynne Marsh, Plänterwald, 2010

    At times gliding beneath sunlit tree branches and skimming the skin of algae-infested ponds, the camera in Plänterwald leads us to more abstract and fantastical positions, hovering up and over rusted-out rollercoaster tracks and taking on awe-inspiring viewpoints from beneath the machinery of a long ago abandoned Ferris wheel. The formal tension lies in the park grounds as a hybrid of public, private, and pastoral space. The abjectness of private control is embodied by two security guards roaming the deserted grounds, slowly pushing their way through the thickets, and appearing as anomalies in a failed social experiment to keep this space separate from the public. They are resigned to the unruly natural growth that has been enveloping the amusement park through the sheer force of time. The uniformed men, on foot patrol and carrying out the appearances of safeguarding a world far beyond their control, carry tones of a past and passive surveillance that is more ritualistic than effective.

    Shot in a plushly overgrown amusement park in the former GDR, Plänterwald hearkens back to a Victorian sensibility where nature once again overcomes urbanity. As a series of shots in continuum, Marsh leads us through this in-between world of nature and human, growth and control, reminding us all along that change and decay are always in motion; nothing is ever at rest.


    Or Gallery: http://www.orgallery.org/
    Lynne Marsh: Plänterwald continues until October 12.


    Amy Fung is a writer and organizer who publishes nationally and internationally in journals, magazines, catalogues, and monographs in print and online. She is the Programs Manager at Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and her ongoings can be found at POSTpacificPOST.com and on Twitter @someasianbitch. She is Akimblog's Vancouver correspondent.


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    Thea Yabut's MFA exhibition Lines of Necessity at the McIntosh Gallery focuses on expanding both traditional and contemporary drawing vocabularies within a highly personal project. Through a process of sedimentation, pattern, and physical yet careful mark-making, Yabut's experience of drawing is made palpable. Color appears more like texture – Yabut favors tonal color via a wide spectrum of greys. Drawings of dense, armor-like waves of marks compete with small paper constructions more concerned with pared down gestures. In these smaller works, string, wire, and folded paper both fix and continue drawings without really leaving the intimate confines of the paper. A lone diamond-shaped drawing of a yellow pattern resembling snakeskin or fur is rendered upon the wall itself, shifting the traditional sense of paper's flatness into a zone that is deliberately haptic. Other drawings resemble digitally manipulated effects that feign melting, smearing, and stretching. Yabut created these in part with improvised drawing tools such as a graphite "comb". In the largest drawing, Yabut's repeated inclusion of unmarked areas of paper in between territories of heavily-attentive pattern appear as desert or bodies of water next to intricately mapped continents.



    Thea Yabut, Links, 2013, string, ink, chalk pastel (photo: Brad Isaacs)

    A second MFA exhibition, Giles Whitaker's Listening Space, is featured in the McIntosh's smaller gallery. His "soundscapes"– audio-recordings of London-based spaces – are linked to looped videos of running water, slanted weeds and insects, corroding metal, and assorted outdoor spaces. When the fluctuating sounds of weather and traffic match directly with corresponding outdoor shots, those spaces are made heavier, wetter, and colder, or seem dispersed like dust. Other audio recordings less tied to visual cues behave more like partial mind-maps of daily space. In markets, bars, restaurants, buses, and various buildings, distinct human voices float, serving as anchors and guides. Without the inherently instructional nature of visuals, these recordings are experienced drip-by-drip, allowing more room to think through previous spaces and layers of sound, and remain more conscious of the natural bracing and straining of the ear.

    Structural Breakdown, an off-site series of works installed on a busy downtown area of London consist of metal boxes (carefully installed and designed to be innocuous) containing sound-synthesis software written by Whitaker. The boxes' sounds randomly shift in volume and tones meant to blend in while simultaneously insinuating themselves within the territorial routines of public space. On my visit, these sounds were barely discernible from the usual swarm of traffic, wind, and passing Londoners. Listening closer, I heard the boxes' oddly structured sounds become more independent, although still quite camouflaged. Perhaps they are better tested by those waiting for buses or sitting on nearby patios. My brief exposure was akin to listening to a slow, seething, low-toned mimicry of (or dry commentary on) the monotonous, reverberating fog of surrounding noise.


    McIntosh Gallery: http://mcintoshgallery.ca/exhibitions/current.html
    Thea Yabut: Lines of Necessity continues until September 14.
    Giles Whitaker: Listening Space continues until September 14.


    Kim Neudorf is an artist and writer currently living in London, Ontario. Her paintings have shown widely in Alberta, including the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Stride Gallery, and Skew Gallery in Calgary. She has contributed writing to FFWD, shotgun-review.ca, Prairie Artsters, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Stride Gallery, Truck Gallery, and most recently Susan Hobbs Gallery. She is Akimbo's London correspondent and can be followed @KimNeudorf on Twitter.


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    I have never not been disappointed by a David Cronenberg film. Which isn't to say I think they're bad. It's just they promise so much that my expectations inevitably exceed the final product. Even the early, low-budget horror stuff alludes to a brainy sci-fi intellect that had yet to fully flourish. And then Videodrome is a movie I've gone back to time and time again, seduced by it's mash-up of McLuhan and ultraviolence, but as the end credits roll, I'm never fully convinced. The Canadian director set the bar even higher by taking on two of my most treasured (at the time) authors for adaptation. Suffice to say, I avoid re-watching Naked Lunch to this day, so I can rid myself of the vision of Muppet-like asshole/typewriter hybrids and laconic Mugwumps.



    Marcel Dzama, Une Danse Des Bouffons (or A Jester's Dance), 2013, video

    Those early and mid-career movies inspired much of the art in the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art's exhibition David Cronenberg: Transformations. A collaboration with the Toronto International Film Festival, the commissioned projects in this collection get the ball rolling for a bigger tribute to the local celebrity with another exhibition curated by the man himself coming soon, as well as an exhibition of props from his movies. (Fun fact: My first piece of published writing was a review of an exhibition of Cronenberg's props at The Power Plant way back in 1987 or 88.)

    As with his films, the promise of the works on display is great. Marcel Dzama contributes a jam-packed short film that references Duchamp and Beuys (among others), features Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, and includes a soundtrack by Arcade Fire. The now New York-based artist has never been short on the imagination, and the psychodrama depicted brings his playfully twisted drawings to life. My main disappointment is that he doesn't seem to have shot this black and white video on film. If you're going to put so much work into something, you might as well go all the way to make it look good.

    Jamie Shovlin's multi-screen documentary of the filming of a non-existence B-movie called Hiker Meat is clever and full of recognizable tropes for those of us who spent our adolescence tending to the twin fires of sex and violence through a seemingly endless stream of god-awful VHS rentals. But I'm not sure it's much more than that. And the thing with Cronenberg's early trash is that it wasn't about punishing our impulses so much as releasing them into the world. We were the monsters. Which is maybe what James Coupe is getting at with his surveillance-oriented piece Swarm, but I couldn't tell, no matter how many times I circled it.

    Whether they work or not, the artists in this show give us plenty to chew on – which has always been the case with the director they take inspiration from. And if you need some respite, Camille Henrot's award-winning Grosse Fatigue is screening in a side gallery. Though I'd like to suggest she be better suited to a future tribute to English director Peter Greenaway. And finally, if you really want to be serious about film, why not see some actual movies like the experimental/fringe/formal/whatever delights in TIFF's Wavelengths series. Ben Wheatley's feature A Field in England is getting all the attention but sounds like it's better suited to Midnight Madness. The hardcore amongst you will go directly to the short film programs for the works that lean furthest into the realm of contemporary art. There are no stand-out celebrities that I've noticed this year, but long looks from the likes of Sarah J. Christman, whose Gowanus Canal makes ugly pretty and back again, will do your eyes a favour.


    Toronto International Film Festival: http://tiff.net/thefestival

    MOCCA: http://www.mocca.ca/
    David Cronenberg: Transformation continues until December 29


    Terence Dick is a freelance writer living in Toronto. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, BorderCrossings, Prefix Photo, Camera Austria, Fuse, Mix, C Magazine, Azure, and The Globe and Mail. He is the editor of Akimblog. You can follow his quickie reviews and art news announcements on Twitter @TerenceDick.


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    As I wander into the exhibition Entangled Particles: Four Contemporary Chinese Artists, I inhale sharply at the eerie scene before my eyes. A series of ghostly white shirts are suspended from the ceiling. Some could fit a small infant, others a broad-chested adult, but all have been ripped and pieced loosely together with red thread, making them appear maimed. Lin Jingjing's My Promise for Your Happiness creates an overwhelming display that tangibly evokes universal notions of loss. By "hurting" ordinary garments via needle and thread, he makes viewers mourn those strangers who seem to have left pieces of themselves behind in the room.



    Xiao Yu, Power, 2013

    Saint Mary's University Art Gallery's current exhibition provides a fresh look at contemporary Chinese art, highlighting the artists' diverse reactions to post-Mao China. Theirs is a China facing issues such as rapid industrialization, social unrest, and rising consumerism. The exhibition features the work of younger artists who "explore issues of dizzying change and dislocation," according to former managing editor of Art in America Richard Vine.

    I end my walk through the exhibition at Xiao Yu's sculpture Power. Featuring a tree that appears to be literally smothered in duct tape, this work prompted me to consider the Chinese government's expropriation of rural land in China and the global pollution of our natural resources. The tree trunk falls limply to the gallery floor; however, one lone branch pokes out of the tape – a hopeful sign of life and renewal.


    Saint Mary's University Art Gallery: http://www.smu.ca/administration/externalaffairs/artgallery/ex.html
    Entangled Particles continues until October 6.


    Lizzy Hill is an internationally published writer and the editor of Visual Arts News, Atlantic Canada's only magazine focusing on the work of visual artists. Lizzy loves her community in Halifax's artistic north end, a wonderful summer camp for grown ups full of underground restaurants and pop-up galleries. She is Akimblog's Halifax correspondent and can be followed @LizzyFHill on Twitter.


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    There are two things I require as a critic when I view art: anonymity and an absence of distraction. Anything less than the former and I risk having my evaluation influenced by my desire to be liked. Any instance of the latter and I lose concentration, forget my purpose, and fall astray. The worst – because it is the most tempting – of these distractions is other people. They are also an obstacle for my secret identity, which in any other situation I'd be more than happy to give up because I am – truth be told – quite the gregarious guy (or, at least, a wannabe).

    These thoughts came up this past weekend when I delayed my usual Saturday afternoon jaunt so as to avoid the annual Gallery Hop, which I otherwise would have enjoyed (and which I've participated in in the past), but, after a couple straight weekends of running in and running aground in gallery events, I have become wary of.



    Kelly Jazvac with Patricia Corcoran, Plastiglomerate and Plastic Samples, 2013

    As a back-up plan, I had a leisurely Sunday in Oakville scheduled, away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto and its ubiquitous weekend road closures and impenetrable traffic, until I realized I'd be running alongside the opening weekend bus tour of downtown art lovers searching out the increasingly unavoidable excellent exhibition in smaller centres around southern Ontario. The Oakville Galleries have long been the leader in this regard and their current shows only serve to reinforce that position.

    The Gairloch Gardens location features a survey of Kelly Jazvac's work that sacrifices coherence for breadth. A small selection of her signature vinyl works (that when massed together as they were in her recent Diaz Contemporary show acquire some powerful aesthetic heft by playing crafty games with form and material) offset by two less than necessary short videos and a wallpaper installation that means well but stumbles.

    That said, any misgivings are resolved with two more strong works from her in the whip smart group show on the theme of representational surface at Oakville's Centennial Square location. Curated by Jacob Korczynski, Surface Tension brings together a handful of clever installation by an eye-opening bunch of international artists who rub up against each other to even greater effect. The projections in works by Mark Soo, Matthew Buckingham, Youngmi Chun, and Sreshta Rit Premnath each demonstrate unique but complementary variations on light and image, while one of Jazvac's pieces was created specifically to resonate with Soo's streetlights. The collected experience engages me so much, I can't wait to tell someone about it. Unfortunately, no one is around.

    Oakville Galleries: http://oakvillegalleries.com/
    Kelly Jazvac & Surface Tension continue until November 17.


    Terence Dick is a freelance writer living in Toronto. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, BorderCrossings, Prefix Photo, Camera Austria, Fuse, Mix, C Magazine, Azure, and The Globe and Mail. He is the editor of Akimblog. You can follow his quickie reviews and art news announcements on Twitter @TerenceDick.


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    The first thing visitors to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia's 2013 Sobey Art Award exhibition will notice is a series of five neon birds. Each is a different colour and their wings are splayed as though someone has mounted them on the gallery wall as taxidermied prizes. Award winner Duane Linklater created these neon birds for a series he aptly named Tautology. As the title implies, the work's repetition of a generic symbol represents the self-reinforcing pretense of truth, while his use of neon alludes to the absence of authenticity.



    Duane Linklater, Tautology

    The work itself is an appropriation of Canadian aboriginal artist Norval Morriseau's painting Androgyny, which is a tableau presenting an impossible utopia: an idyllic world in which all the diverse elements are in perfect balance. In many North American Native cultures, the thunderbird is a mythological creature of immense power and strength. Linklater, an Omaskêko Cree from Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario, calls this power into question by creating multiple copies of a missing original. This work employs a similar modus operandi to a piece at MASS MoCA's recent Oh Canada exhibition by New York-based Canadian artist Brendan Fernandes. In From Hiz Hands the artist, who is Indian by way of Kenya, depicts a series of neon masks that similarly explore themes relating to identity and authorship, but in his case are inspired by those rip-offs of African carvings vendors sell to tourists outside of New York galleries.

    Despite his use of multiples, Linklater's Tautology still has an undeniable presence, compelling viewers to come up with their own on-the-spot interpretations of the symbols. "His positive and generous approach to art-making creates space for collaboration and audience engagement," explained the Sobey Award panel in a press statement. "Linklater actively investigates the authority of language and pushes its boundaries." The copy has superseded the original, and growing its own wings developed a unique staying power.


    Art Gallery of Nova Scotia: http://www.artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/en/SobeyArtAward/default.aspx
    The 2013 Sobey Art Award continues until January 5.


    Lizzy Hill is an internationally published writer and the editor of Visual Arts News, Atlantic Canada's only magazine focusing on the work of visual artists. Lizzy loves her community in Halifax's artistic north end, a wonderful summer camp for grown ups full of underground restaurants and pop-up galleries. She is Akimblog's Halifax correspondent and can be followed @LizzyFHill on Twitter.


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    I had to leave Toronto on Sunday afternoon to escape all the horseshit that was spewing out of the radio, so I headed over to our nearest neighbour to enjoy a city with a mayor who doesn't smoke crack, doesn't get hammered on the job, and has yet, as far as I know, to be put under police surveillance for consorting with alleged extortionists. But if that were my only object, I could have headed to Oakville. Instead, I took this as an opportunity to visit the Art Gallery of Mississauga, which, under the directorship of Stuart Keeler, has in the last year or so upped the ante in terms of what a public institution some distance away from the reigning art centre can accomplish with some challenging programming and a bit of healthy self-promotion.



    Hazel Meyer, ding-dong Wall (...s to the Ball), 2013, fine gauge, circular knit jersey

    There's a certain wonder to the terrain around the AGM; the only apartment towers I ever admire – Absolute World– loom in the distance, while the City Hall is an oddball postmodern creation with a looming interior court that is always empty because I always come on a Sunday (unfortunately, the Amanda Browder installation that draped down into it had just been taken up). It's a shame then that the gallery within is cursed with such an ungainly interior. It twists and turns down a narrow hall, opens on one side to a wedge-shaped resource room and a cramped exhibition space before heading into the main gallery. Keeler makes the most of it by cramming every surface with expansive works that rub right up against each other. On top of the twelve artists he's squeezed into his current exhibition on contemporary trends in fibre art, he's also thrown in three performance artists. The more, the merrier! And what merry making there is! Elder statesmen like Kai Chan make strange bedfellows with young upstarts like Hazel Meyer but mid-generation stalwarts like Ed Pien provide insulation. The overall curatorial thesis feels dated with its suggestion that fibre is still considered a "women's art" and there's an offhand connection to Harald Szeemann's landmark conceptual art exhibition When Attitudes Become Forms that is a bit of a reach, but the works themselves, particularly those by the fresher faces (eg. Meyer, Claire Ashley, and Franco Arcieri) make my temporary escape from Crackopolis a rewarding one. (You can experience the same but only for a short time! The show closes this weekend!)



    Geoffrey Farmer

    Mercer Union takes the opposite tact when they limit themselves to two works (and a couple small pieces in the foyer) in their recently opened solo exhibition by Geoffrey Farmer. Of all the next generation Vancouver artists, he is the one who most clearly takes over the mantle of clever and oblique investigator into the crevices of cultural history from Rodney Graham. Farmer has forged his own path through object-oriented installations that rely on the shadows and images that Plato ranked as the lowest form of doxa but we 21st Century types hold so highly. The two major works here are art history machines that use an overload of images and recombinant arrangements to either stop viewers in the tracks or force them to race in pursuit of interpretation. The game is a fun one to play on a quiet Saturday afternoon, but I don't feel like I leave the gallery changed in any way, only amused.


    Art Gallery of Mississauga: http://www.artgalleryofmississauga.com/
    F'd Up! continues until November 9.

    Mercer Union: http://mercerunion.org/
    Geoffrey Farmer: A Light in the Moon continues until January 11.


    Terence Dick is a freelance writer living in Toronto. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, BorderCrossings, Prefix Photo, Camera Austria, Fuse, Mix, C Magazine, Azure, and The Globe and Mail. He is the editor of Akimblog. You can follow his quickie reviews and art news announcements on Twitter @TerenceDick.


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    Having lost my father eight years ago, the title of Sherry Walchuk's show at ARCH 2 Gallery caught my attention immediately. For My Dad is an installation, including cardboard sculptures and pencil crayon drawings, inspired by her father's morose yet measured decision to follow in his own father's footsteps by dying at the age of sixty via heart attack in a K-Mart. The motivation for the work came from a desire to create a space for her father to prepare for death, but also to push past it, and move forward. As the story was being told to me by the artist herself, I could not help but fall for the disarming and sincere way she recounted the path to the present work. A map of the installation, crudely thumbtacked to the wall with rough notes highlighting key thoughts about various elements, is there for her as much as it is for us. Many of the sculptural elements found scattered around the deck are repurposed for this exhibition: the grey refrigerator tomb Mud, patio lanterns, Cat the dog, pet houses, Yellow the cat, and Whiskey – the yoga-practicing dog.



    Sherry Walchuck, For My Dad (detail) (photo: G. L'Heureux)

    Climbing into a cardboard RV, bathed in a sea of minty green and warm lights, I instantly felt as though I was a character in the artist's deeply considered world. I sat on the couch, on the bed, and in the driver's seat; I looked into the closets and found it surprisingly simple to "get there" in my mind. In reality, the interior is the exterior free from decoration. The actual "rooms" are suggested, but the artist doesn't mind if they are treated as such. The RV is a blank slate, a space for containment, and a practice room for the imminent, unavoidable outcome of death.

    That the work can function as playful when dealing with such weighted subjects as death, sense of place (home), and containment, is praiseworthy. Walchuk has engaged in her role as child and seamlessly incorporated its creative tools into her process. For My Dad is a deeply personal project that finds a way to extend beyond the personal. On the surface, she has assembled play-forts out of cardboard and tape, composed pencil crayon drawings of the outside world (housed in plastic binder sleeves), and created a moveable, penetrable sun. Digging deeper, Walchuk has formed an animated, touching world blanketed in safety, and warmth.


    ARCH 2 Gallery: http://umanitoba.ca/architecture/
    Sherry Walchuk: For My Dad continues until December 15.


    Lisa Kehler is a writer and curator from Winnipeg. She most recently co-authored the forthcoming publication Art Tomorrow: 40 Years of the Future Now (Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art 1972 - 2012). She holds a Masters in Cultural Studies: Curatorial Practices from the University of Winnipeg and is currently the Special Projects Director at Border Crossings. She is Akimblog's Winnipeg correspondent and can be followed @LisaKehler on Twitter.


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    Just for the record, I don't really believe in abstraction. We don't see that way; courtesy millennia of Natural Selection, living beings on this planet excel at pattern recognition. Those species that didn't died out long ago. New Century Abstracts, which just opened at the Art Gallery of Peterborough, didn't alter my belief. But then, it wasn't intended to. Carlo Cesta, Cathy Daley, Sanaz Mazinani, Shaan Syed, Dermot Wilson, and Jinny Yu aren't trying to wrench anyone away from the necessarily representational seeing with which we're all biologically equipped. They're just trying to mess with it.



    Dermot Wilson, Notches and Spirals

    So Carlo Cesta aesthetically reiterates classic 1960s architectural elements with geometrically sculptural forms in Insulated Shed, an installation that incorporates – but of course – a garage door, but which is, alas, aesthetically held in check by its aggressive periodness. The intense optical quality of Dermot Wilson's three large notched spiral drawings invoke the intent of the abstract camouflage patterns painted on the sides of WWI dazzle ships to mislead the human eye and muck up visual information, yet make room for the suggestive charges of other available levels of meaning.

    And Sanaz Mazinani's large abstract compositions – two circular, one ovoid – made for visually interesting geometric patterns when seen from afar, but became far less benign, far more politically charged entities read close up at the level of detail. The multiple rings of reiterated imagery comprising Amsterdam/Sidi Bouzid, for instance, includes that of a Tunisian man horrifically immolating himself in an extreme act of political protest that began the so-called Arab Spring.

    And like I said, I don't believe in abstraction anyway.


    Art Gallery of Peterborough: http://agp.on.ca/
    New Century Abstracts continues until January 14.


    Gil McElroy is a poet, artist, independent curator, and freelance art critic. He is the author of Gravity & Grace: Selected Writing on Contemporary Canadian Art, four books of poetry, and Cold Comfort: Growing Up Cold War. McElroy lives in Colborne, Ontario with his wife Heather. He is Akimblog's roving Ontario correspondent and can be followed @GilMcElroy on Twitter.


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    I occasionally write for a local design magazine that has a regular feature profiling people, their living spaces, and their stuff. The first person I was asked to cover was the artist Micah Lexier, who I knew about (and how could you not in a city like Toronto where examples of his work both public and private lurk around every corner) but didn't know know. Spending an afternoon in his domestic space, which is also his studio space, checking out the many things he collects and organizes, afforded me a surprising angle on the solo-but-not exhibition he is currently enjoying at The Power Plant. Given the opportunity to showcase his decades of work, Lexier instead opted for one short and elegant video work that functions as a quasi-retrospective précis, a display of sketches and plans that does the same, a trio of duets with writers, and – most selflessly but also as we shall see idiosyncratically self-serving – a group exhibition within a solo exhibition of a hundred Toronto artists, none of whom happen to be Micah Lexier.



    Lisa Neighbour, various works from 2009, carved and dried skin of pomelo fruit

    The epiphany I had in his apartment is the same one I had wandering the aisles of More Than Two (Let It Make Itself). This collection of over two hundred works leans to the formal, small-m minimal gestures that end up as intriguing objects clearly identified as art-things but often purposefully oblique in exactly what that art-thingness entails. The works gather steam as ongoing effluvia of an artist's vision and there isn't enough representation of any one artist to give you a good handle on their thing, but, of course, it's not really about them. Lexier has made a career of a clever conceptual inversion which takes the impersonal actions of a previous generation of non-artist artists – repetition, found material, arbitrary ordering principles, deferral of subjectivity or taste – and makes them autobiographical. This is the exact thing it isn't supposed to be, but it so clearly reflects how the man lives his life (as I witnessed that afternoon in his apartment) and engages with the world. To be clear, this is not the life story of a sentimental hero who faces trials and tribulations; this is the accounting of an individual who, faced with the plethora of modern and postmodern noise, does his best to wrest some sense from it, if only just to point out the patterns. To have someone so dedicated to this task so close at hand is a blessing indeed.



    Marigold Santos, light as a feather, stiff as a board (2), 2012, watercolour, acrylic, fluorescent paint, pigment, gold leaf on canvas

    A further blessing can be found next door on the various exhibition walls of the Harbourfront Centre and most particularly in the space that used to be (and might well still be) known at the York Quay Gallery. Here one can find Other Worlds, a tight, four-person show on the theme of word and image that features a couple familiar works by Ian Carr-Harris alongside a healthy number of Carol Wainio canvases, a pair of oddities by Robyn Cumming, and two mega-drawings by Marigold Santos. While I don't love everything here (Carr-Harris, I confess), it's good to see senior artists and older works exhibited alongside new things for the simple reason that it's too easy to forget our own art history and get wrapped up in novelty. There isn't enough of this kind of curating going on in our public institutions (and very little privately, though Paul Petro's recent Tom Dean mini-survey was a step in the right direction), so it should be celebrated and encouraged.


    The Power Plant: http://www.thepowerplant.org/
    Micah Lexier: One, and Two, and More Than Two continues until January 5.

    Harbourfront Centre: http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/visualarts/current/
    Exhibitions continue until December 29.

    Terence Dick is a freelance writer living in Toronto. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, BorderCrossings, Prefix Photo, Camera Austria, Fuse, Mix, C Magazine, Azure, and The Globe and Mail. He is the editor of Akimblog. You can follow his quickie reviews and art news announcements on Twitter @TerenceDick.


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    Colette Urban: Incognito at Museum London's Ivey Galleries is an uneven attempt to introduce viewers to a lifetime of the late artist's prolific practice. The performance-based work which grounds the exhibition is mainly represented by drawings, collages, sparse props, and accompanying costumes. Didactic text tries to give a sense of past performances with increasingly fruitless results. Gaping at the regal, exaggerated theatricality of Urban's costumes in their presently frozen stance, it's difficult to imagine, for example, "[Urban's] arrival announced by the squawking of air horns..." Only a small number of these displays are accompanied by video footage. In Bare from 2008, the artist, in faux-fur bear head, robe, and rubber boots, slowly swings a "krumholtz" (a log fitted with a strap) through a wooded space, her movements heavy and her gaze comically impeded by the clumsy cocoon of the bear's head. Occasionally faint audio from other original performances can be heard from speakers positioned like showerheads above designated platforms. Perhaps this is an attempt to place visitors in a more central, unconventional space like that of a performer, but the gesture feels confusing and unnecessary.



    Colette Urban, Bare, 2008, performance documentation (photo: Katherine Knight)

    In Orchestrina, a performance from 1989, a series of acrylic and pastel drawings of drumming, heart-faced figures hang next to several makeshift instruments. Mechanically operated (wheelbarrow-style) by performers, these apparatuses are meant to play a selection of vintage children's records. Influenced by the effort of each performer, the records play at varying volumes and speeds, filtering in and out of audibility like the tuning of a weak radio signal. Incomparable Compatibles from 1995, made of bicycle parts, plastic and rubber toys, an alarm clock, brooms, a toy piano, and sandals attached to toy accordions, make up a symmetrical, intestinal arrangement of parts that culminate in an elaborate sculpture. A sample of audio suggests that this "instrument" was played both politely and enthusiastically, and I can't help but picture the stoic, hectic efforts of the strained musicians in the 1935 Disney cartoon The Band Concert.

    Visitors on the exhibition's opening night were able to view a screening of Pretend Not to See Me, a 48-minute documentary from 2009 on Urban's life and work, directed by Katherine Knight. Mounting many of her past performances on her then-residence in Newfoundland, Urban uses various tactics of camouflage, mimicry, and audience-activated rituals in order to question and externalize the role of the "art-maker." Throughout, Urban continually sends out calls and signals without really knowing if anyone or anything will call or signal back. Her use of materials is often in response to preliminary drawings or the performance site itself. Unwieldy costumes and heavy props hamper and prolong her efforts, emphasizing what the artist calls "the rawness of experience" in the various landscapes of her home and working space. Following Knight's documentary, students from Western University's School of Visual Arts re-enacted some of Urban's performances, such as Augur, wherein a performer in a wildly sprouting flowery "hat" provoked a call-and-response to the audience with an Audubon bird whistle. The transparent, generous way in which Urban searches for and sends out communication is instantly tangible. Without access to this history, the impact and rich context of Urban's practice may be lost on visitors who missed this chance to experience her work for the first time.


    Museum London: http://www.museumlondon.ca/exhibitions:88
    Colette Urban: Incognito continues until January 5.


    Kim Neudorf is an artist and writer currently living in London, Ontario. Her paintings have shown widely in Alberta, including the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Stride Gallery, and Skew Gallery in Calgary. She has contributed writing to FFWD, shotgun-review.ca, Prairie Artsters, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Stride Gallery, Truck Gallery, and most recently Susan Hobbs Gallery. She is Akimbo's London correspondent and can be followed @KimNeudorf on Twitter.


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    For those of us who don't make it out to the biennial circuit on a regular basis, the work of American artist Sarah Sze is something we have to satisfy ourselves to read about. And that's a shame because her intricate and expansive sculptures (for lack of a better term) are some of the best arguments for contemporary visual-art-as-something-to-be-seen going. While I would never suggest it as a replacement for a foot-on-the-pavement gallery visit, there is a lot of work out there that can be "got" with a short verbal description. Sze, on the other hand, demands firsthand experience to catch all the detail, to walk around, to discover, and to figure out. If I needed a solid piece to convince a skeptic of the merits of contemporary art, I would be more than happy to use one of her accessible (in that it looks like art should), crafted (in that it looks like the artist put a lot of work into it), beautiful (in that it draws on and plays with classical notions of what art should be), and brainy (in that it slowly reveals layers the more time you spend with it) works.



    Locating Ourselves, installation view

    Lucky for us Torontonians (in a time when we are the most politically unlucky people on the planet) that a medium-sized Sze is currently free for the viewing at Scrap Metal Gallery alongside two equally-sized individual pieces by Shary Boyle and Joana Vasconcelos (all three of whom, it should be noted, are currently representing their home countries at the Venice Biennial). For a compact rundown on what artists can do given a bit of space and a budget, Locating Ourselves (as the exhibition is called) is worth a gander. The Sze explodes spherical forms, blue skies, and perspective viewing in a work that is half scientific model, half labyrinth. Boyle's wall piece traces an unnerving artistic lineage through figures both literary and horrible. And the Vasconcelos thing brings together kitchen tiles and knitted worms in an abomination (meant in the best possible way) of domestic labour. Together, the trio serves as both a lovely introduction for the gallery tyro and a solid tasting plate for the art veteran.



    Derek Liddington, A love worth fighting over (a monument to those that preceded me), 2013, graphite, canvas, steel rods

    Derek Liddington is another story entirely, locking down his current show at Daniel Faria Gallery with a love letter to Constructivism that rewards the art history majors in the audience but leaves everyone else cold. His works on paper attempt to generate some frisson by combining the hard geometries of his Russian forebears with the artist's own scribbly pencil shading. The need for ten of these seems less an end in itself and more an exercise in preparation for the main attraction: a 100 foot long canvas arranged like a gothic nest atop several steel rods. While I'm suspicious it might be just another serendipitous collection of suggestive signifiers, the hidden spaces within and the possibility that the ratty shapes stitched into the weathered grey fabric add up to something more than a series of footnotes keeps me looking and later thinking about it. I wonder if the performance that often accompanies the artist's work could provide an additional piece of the puzzle. I also wonder what more will be revealed if and when I make the trek out to Cambridge Galleries to see his recently opened solo exhibition. Suffice to say, this story isn't over yet.


    Scrap Metal Gallery: http://www.scrapmetalgallery.com/
    Locating Ourselves continues until February 22.

    Daniel Faria Gallery: http://danielfariagallery.com/
    Derek Liddington: Modern Love continues until November 23.


    Terence Dick is a freelance writer living in Toronto. His art criticism has appeared in Canadian Art, BorderCrossings, Prefix Photo, Camera Austria, Fuse, Mix, C Magazine, Azure, and The Globe and Mail. He is the editor of Akimblog. You can follow his quickie reviews and art news announcements on Twitter @TerenceDick.


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    We pay so little attention to our built environment that things often disappear rather quickly from view. Structures become all but invisible because ubiquity makes them so. Such can be the case with the dozens of water towers scattered across southern Ontario. Though they tend to be by far the biggest structures in many municipalities, over-familiarity renders them all but unseeable. For an installation at the Cambridge Sculpture Garden, Kitchener-based artist Gareth Lichty has employed the ubiquitous shape of the water tower to create a very seeable three and a half metre high sculptural representation of one built from a series of woven-wire forms known as Gabion baskets.



    Gareth Lichty, Gabion Tower

    The latter are devices from civil engineering, and are typically filled with rocks and stacked together to hold back soil or direct the flow of water. However, in Gabion Tower, they're empty. Well, sort of. At the base of the tower Lichty planted Virginia Creeper, a vine that has, over the course of the year the work has been in place, rapidly grown up and through its open wire lattice. There's a process of reclamation occurring here; nature is being allowed to symbolically take over. The overall shape of the work – a bulbous head atop what amounts to a stem – lends it a passing resemblance to a flowering plant, so maybe Lichty is doing some aesthetic enabling. Or, at least, that's one possible aesthetic thread to tease out of Gabion Tower's much bigger weave.


    Cambridge Sculpture Garden: http://www.cambridgesculpturegarden.ca/
    Gareth Lichty: Gabion Tower runs until the summer of 2014.


    Gil McElroy is a poet, artist, independent curator, and freelance art critic. He is the author of Gravity & Grace: Selected Writing on Contemporary Canadian Art, four books of poetry, and Cold Comfort: Growing Up Cold War. McElroy lives in Colborne, Ontario with his wife Heather. He is Akimblog's roving Ontario correspondent and can be followed @GilMcElroy on Twitter.


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    Thanks to a recent and vigorous history of exchange programs and related exhibitions, Hamilton's art scene has enjoyed exceptional exposure to Cuban artists. So much so that I greeted the polar bears of Carlos Rene Aguilera Tamayo's recent works as familiar friends rather than the oddities that they are in his frequently cryptic works. The paintings and prints in his current exhibition at you me gallery conduct an act of world-building that is both approachable in its themes and shot through with enigmas that keep the artist's perspective hauntingly suspended between the cosmos and the deeper dangers of the sea.



    Carlos Rene Aguilera Tamayo

    Large canvases hung as tapestries on the wall and smaller paintings folded loosely over their stretchers insist upon the transient objecthood of these works and add dimensional depth to images that are already heavily layered in both print and paint. This materiality is necessary in realms where figures are precariously balanced on shallow forms adrift in darkness enlivened by scatterings of waves and the swelling of stars.

    In the largest of Aguilera's works, the cosmic spheres flatten into medallion-like shapes scrawled with images of animals and humans alike, iconic as the Barbie and Ken dolls who play out a Kama Sutra on their own nautical journey. These symbolic forms lends a whiff of something Greco-Roman to these odysseys, but those ever-present polar bears, Aguilera's own Ursa Major, disrupts any easy classicism – as with the disembodied triad of arms wielding fans like the branches of a tree, these tokens of familiarity provide uncertain shelter against this storm.


    you me gallery: http://www.youmegallery.ca/
    Carlos Rene Aguilera Tamayo: Paintings continues until December 8.


    Stephanie Vegh is a Hamilton-based visual artist and writer whose criticism has appeared in Scotland's Map Magazine, Canadian Art, C Magazine, and Hamilton Arts & Letters, in addition to her own blog. Her drawings and installations have shown most recently at the upArt Contemporary Art Fair and Nathaniel Hughson Gallery in Hamilton. She is the Executive Director of the Hamilton Arts Council and a member of the Curatorial Committee for Hamilton's annual Supercrawl. She is also Akimblog's Hamilton correspondent and can be followed @Stephanie_Vegh on Twitter.


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