05w26:1 Cancon

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 26 number 1 (cancon)


The Daves I Know | Alison Gillmor
“David: Then & Now is a photography exhibition that marks increments of time in a very intimate way: by recording the way the passing years are marked onto our bodies. Sponsored by Plug In ICA (Winnipeg’s Institute of Contemporary Art), the public art project features black-and-white before-and-after photos of men named David, placed in bus shelters around the city. In each case, a life-size photograph taken in 1993 is matched with another taken 10 years later. Don’t expect any Fox TV extreme makeovers, though: there is a continuity here that is gently reassuring.”

Doodle Dandies | Sascha Hastings
“Last fall, I wandered into Weird Woods, a show by artist Seth Scriver at Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects on Toronto’s trendy Queen West gallery strip. After half an hour of looking at Scriver’s quirky little drawings of bushmen and furry blob creatures, I left with a nagging thought: is this the spawn of the Royal Art Lodge? Now don’t get me wrong – I love the Royal Art Lodge, Canada’s most successful artist collective since General Idea, the Regina Five and, long before them, the Group of Seven. […] Baerwald and Enright feel that a lot of it started back in the early 1980s with American artist Raymond Pettibon, who adopted a comic-book style of art, combining drawings and text that referred equally to pop culture and ‘high’ culture, philosophy and politics. But Pettibon was something of a voice in the wilderness amongst a generation of artists who preferred photography, slick video and vivid Neo-Expressionist paintings. According to Baerwald, it was a new, younger generation of artists who, in an attempt to define themselves in contrast to their elders, revived the somewhat forgotten art of drawing. Mulherin notes that at recent art fairs, she’s seen more and more works on paper, especially by emerging artists showing with younger galleries. She says that Toronto artist Shari Boyle was reluctant to display her drawings for a while precisely because she felt there was too much drawing around.”

Surface Tension | Alec Scott
“Lemieux’s popularity is easy to explain – at least on one level. He painted pretty pictures, ones that aren’t technically difficult to read and feel. He imbues all his pieces, particularly his winterscapes, with a magical luminosity. His subjects are generally accessible: families (remembered from his childhood) wearing their Edwardian Sunday best; unspoiled agricultural landscapes; and nighttime skies hinting (but not too broadly) at the infinite. Even during the post-Pollock 1960s and ’70s, Lemieux remained resolutely on the figurative side of the great figurative-abstract divide – unlike, say, his great friend Paul Emile Borduas. Formally, Lemieux’s compositions are as well balanced as the shots of a skilled amateur photographer. But there’s more to him: if a first glance at his work reveals an orderly prettiness, take two uncovers dark currents swirling under the apparently calm surfaces.”

Painting the Town Red | Megan Williams
“When it’s not even noon on day one of the press preview of the art exhibition at the Venice Biennale and there’s already a massive lineup outside the Canadian pavilion, you know the exhibit inside has struck a chord. Rebecca Belmore’s part-sculpture, part-video installation – aptly named Fountain – is a technologically complex and exquisitely executed piece of art. It begins with a simple, veil-like sheet of water falling across the inside of a darkened room. Slowly, clouds begin to take shape on the water’s surface – the opening images of a two-and-a-half-minute video loop that’s projected onto the liquid from behind. The images change as the camera begins to move across a driftwood-strewn shore and then toward a pile of wood, which bursts thunderously into yellow and orange flames, rendered almost crystalline as they flicker through the waterfall screen. Then, Belmore herself appears, with short-cropped hair, jeans and a sweater, and flails in the shallow water, struggling to fill an old pail. Looking exhausted but resolute, she emerges from the water, plods slowly toward the camera and then hurls the bucket’s contents at the lens; it’s no longer water, now, but blood. Through a downward stream of red, Belmore gazes accusingly out at the viewer.”

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emailed by Timothy on Thursday 30 June 2005 @ 1:00 PM

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