Toronto Exhibitions

Daniel Barrow: Mirror Bouquet (2010): Mixed media. Courtesy Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto.Daniel Barrow: Mirror Bouquet (2010): Mixed media. Courtesy Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto.

Daniel Barrow
Jessica Bradley Art + Projects
To Dec. 23, 2010

The latest winner of Canada’s prestigious Sobey Art Award, Montreal-based Daniel Barrow’s first solo show at this gallery, Good Gets Better, features three suites of his luridly coloured and riotous, yet deeply personal, works on paper that combine drawing and collage, and are humorous and horrifying at the same time. A new ‘manual animation’, in which the artist overlays drawings on an overhead projector, allows visitors to scroll through one of Barrow’s narratives; the effect is like an animated graphic novel. The works in Good Gets Better travel to the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal in February/March 2011.


Dennis Ekstedt: Cluster #49 (2010): Oil on canvas. Courtesy Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art, Toronto.Dennis Ekstedt: Cluster #49 (2010): Oil on canvas. Courtesy Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art, Toronto.

Dennis Ekstedt
Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art
To Dec. 19, 2010

In this new suite of large-scale paintings, the Toronto-based Ekstedt presents views of cityscapes at night, stretching far off into the horizon. His illuminated cities, when viewed from above (as through an airplane window or the balcony of a really tall building) look like well-organized and idealized nervous systems as opposed to the cacophonous places they can be ‘on the ground’. Cities, the painter seems to be saying, both electrify, and are electrified by, us. New photographs by Elaine Stocki and paintings by Sara MacCulloch are also on view.


Greg Curnoe: Goodyear Collage, March 24 (1962): Stamp pad ink, collage. Courtesy Wynick Tuck Gallery, Toronto.Greg Curnoe: Goodyear Collage, March 24 (1962): Stamp pad ink, collage. Courtesy Wynick Tuck Gallery, Toronto.

Greg Curnoe
Wynick Tuck Gallery
To Jan. 15, 2011

By 1962, Curnoe had become an early adopter of text-based art, and started basing his art on autobiographical details and his experience of his immediate environment. This survey of Curnoe’s collages and ink stamp pieces, dating from the small works of the early-60s to the large-scale pieces of the mid-80s, serves to illustrate how the London, Ontario-based artist, who died tragically in a cycling accident in 1992, was making Conceptual and Process Art before the terms had even come into common usage.


Melanie Authier: Dead Letter Emblem (2010): Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto.Melanie Authier: Dead Letter Emblem (2010): Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto.

Melanie Authier
Georgia Scherman Projects
To Dec. 22, 2010

In her latest exhibition, The Ribbon and the Lightning Rod, Ottawa-based Melanie Authier continues to explore the tensions between maintaining control and revelling in chaos. In paintings that erupt in bold strokes and swaths of colour, Authier, an RBC Painting Competition Honourable Mention recipient, seems to channel abstract expressionists like Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler while keeping her work vibrantly contemporary.


Massimo Guerrera: courtesy Clint Roenisch, Toronto.Massimo Guerrera: courtesy Clint Roenisch, Toronto.

Massimo Guerrera
Clint Roenisch
To Jan. 15. 2011

Rome-born, Montreal-based Guerrera, whose work was recently included in the 2010 Liverpool Biennial, steps back from the gallery-filling installations previously shown here with this exhibition of new large-scale drawings. Titled The Reunion of the Practices, the suite of drawings addresses Guerrera’s ongoing interest in social interaction and emotional exchange, and represents a world in constant flux. In a 2004 piece on Guerrera, critic Sarah Milroy likened his drawing style to “the blissful, delicate erotic touch of Italian artist Francesco Clemente”.


R.York Wilson: Dance (detail from The Seven Lively Arts, 1960): Courtesy the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.R.York Wilson: Dance (detail from The Seven Lively Arts, 1960): Courtesy the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.

R. York Wilson
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Through July, 2011

If you have tickets to something coming up at the Sony Centre within the next several months, get there a bit early to grab a drink and look at the exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Canadian abstract expressionist R. York Wilson (1907-1984). The exhibition features work from every stage of Wilson’s career; from Cubist-inspired canvases from the 1940s and 50s that suggest Picasso and Dubuffet through colourful, hard-edged abstractions from the 1960s and early-70s. (A set of ink-on-newspaper figurative works — the French Figures from 1960 — is a highlight.) Wilson achieved international acclaim as a muralist, and the exhibition at the Sony Centre commemorates the 50th anniversary of Wilson’s installation (in 1960, when the building was called the O’Keefe Centre) of the sprawling, multi-panel The Seven Lively Arts, a wonderfully prismatic riot full of biomorphic and realistic shapes that, after an extensive restoration, again hangs in the Centre's central foyer over the main doors.


Miles Collyer: Haudenosaunee (2010): Felt. Courtesy the artist.Miles Collyer: Haudenosaunee (2010): Felt. Courtesy the artist.

Miles Collyer
G Gallery
To December 18

The former Goodwater Gallery space returns as G Gallery with an exhibition examining the symbolism of the flag in contemporary society. Toronto-based Miles Collyer searches the Internet for images in which flags are used as props during political events, protest marches or military funerals, and then bases the designs for his flags, which he hand-sews in felt, on these fleeting and fuzzy images. According to critic Jen Hutton, who wrote the essay accompanying the show, this raises a number of questions, such as whether Collyer’s appropriation of these designs means solidarity on his part with the messages these groups convey, or whether Collyer’s work is a critique of “Western perceptions [that] conflate foreign yet distinct socio-political groups into one vague terrorist threat”.