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On a bitterly cold January 16th I meandered over to  Birch Libralto on Tecumseh St. to view the exhibition “Multiples IV” which was a substantial group show of at least nine artists along with a few collectives.  Art Metropole had a presence along with General Idea and the exhibition in itself was curated by two independent curators Ann Dean and Roger Bywater.  A representation of works shown were Tim Lee’s 45 rpm records, Julie Voyce silk screens, Euan Mc Donald sculpture, Luis Jacob neon works, Ed Pien prints, Micah Lexier’s series of incremental system books and Mitch Robertson’s plaster cast snow globes.  Overall it was a very strong faction showcasing a diverse range of eclectic artists.  


            Next door at Georgia Schermann Projects I was again treated to a group show “True Lies” featuring their newest represented artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins along with the galleries regular stable of artists.  The exhibiton had as its undertones the themes of paradox and juxtaposition both which informed the artist’s theory and work on display.  An element of clear-cut craftsmanship also showed through in the construction of the pieces giving them an aura of quality and preciseness.  The conceptual work of Marman and Borins addresses themes and tensions that give rise to questions of politics, history and the overall visuality of their artwork.  This was a departure as Marman and Borins were previously  represented by Diaz Contemporary…….hmmmmmm!!!


            At Susan Hobbs Gallery the paintings of Patrick Howlett were on display in the downstairs gallery which were from his 2008 collection.  These hard angled geometric painted shapes done in egg tempura on wood panel were reminiscent of the work created by the artists in the Montreal art movement the “Plasticiens” but were far removed from their own theory.  Instead Patrick creates these designs in response to fragments from critical texts that takes form from meaning. These texts derived from trolling the internet are googled and the resultant images gleaned in response to these writings are then photoshopped into the geometric collages that are the paintings themselves.  Pretty impressive and quite stimulating to view.   In the upstairs gallery Althea Thauberger had on display three digital C-prints of a figurative nature which dealt with a German civil service project with undertones of social development.  They were large format photos and were obviously taken in the country of Germany which informs the pieces themselves.   Not groundbreaking but indicative of today’s conceptual practice.


            I finished off at Diaz Contemporary examining the work of James Carl who has had a spate of exhibitions recently throughout the province including a recent showing at our own JMB Gallery.  This mid-career artist’s show entitled “Jalousie” were monumental sculptures composed of twisted and manipulated venetian blind slats that have been taken from their original context to create vast modernist pieces that contemplate both positive and negative space.  The blinds were bent to form shapes that were not always apparent to the artist at first but are akin to molecular structures that one sees in science textbooks.  Carl always seems to pointedly reference the effluence of consumer and cultural items and this show was no exception.





One Comment

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