Linda Genereux

  • Eldon Garnet

    Eldon Garnet’s photographic tableaux explore the relationship between nature and still-life painting. Aptly titled Vanitas, 1992, each of the three triptychs in this exhibition focuses on the artificiality of the still-life genre. Ironically responding to our obsession with the environment, Garnet suggests that a fine line can be drawn between the estheticization of nature in traditional still-life imagery and in “green” politics: between the way in which each fulfills our desire for the “nautral.”

    Foregrounding and isolating single animals in each of his photographs, Garnet dramatically lights

  • Renée Van Halm

    Renée Van Halm’s large-scale sculptural works challenge Modernist conventions by incorporating marginalized artistic practices that have fallen outside the high-art canon into an ostensibly Modernist framework. For Van Halm, the marginalized consists of decorative flourishes, conventions that acknowledge the presence of the individual, and genres overlooked by the Modernist machine. Slowly moving away from her large-scale outdoor, architectural sculptures of the ’80s, Van Halm has fabricated measured and distilled works that comment on their own status as art objects, subtly challenging Modernist

  • Allan Harding MacKay

    Allan Harding MacKay situated his recent installation, Source/Derivations II, 1992, within the historical framework of Canadian painting, examining the relationship between depicted nature and real experience. MacKay has based 35 variations on one primary source, a widely reproduced painting by Lawren Harris, created around 1930. This exercise attempts to sever ties with the landscape painting tradition, presenting instead a facsimile of nature for our investigation.

    Harding’s enterprise begins with Isolation Peak, one of Harris’ most popular works, a classic scene of a single mountain peak

  • Roland Brener

    Plastic funnels and tubing, small radio speakers, steel armatures, and simple electronics are all incorporated in Roland Brener’s sculptures. In the two large works that are the focus of this exhibition, Brener uses rudimentary “basement workbench” technology to perform simple tasks that mimic human endeavors. A few tears falling from the eyes of a robot or a nearly subliminal computer-generated sound program suggesting the sounds of a forest incite reflections on human experience, rather than simply a meditation on the effects of technology.

    Brener’s relationship with technology is that of the

  • Barbara Claus

    In “Entr’ouverture,” an exhibition of enlarged details of photographs taken in unnamed European graveyards and charcoal drawings based on Minimalist structures, Barbara Claus explores memory and its erosion.

    Claus selects subjects—a tablet in the shape of an open book, cast-iron angels that stand guard in a cemetery, and an abandoned grave site—characterized by a sentimentality that permeates the exhibition. Their surfaces, flooded with gray light, read as details of a larger whole. Expanded in scale, these photographs have an authority that transcends the individual object. Together they serve

  • Robert McNealy

    Sifting through the remains of history, Robert McNealy presents an inventory of images that are at once political, subjective, and presented in a nonlinear fashion. This archaeological approach has characterized McNealy’s practice throughout the ’80s, and it is the recurrence of associations, easily mistaken as random, that reveal themselves here. In Four Rooms (A Home), 1991, McNealy delves into middle-class aspirations by playing off the structure of the exhibition space—a spacious turn-of-the-century home surrounded by expansive grounds, which has been converted into a public gallery. Each

  • Joanne Tod

    With the diversity of art media continually stretching boundaries, how is it that we continue to laud painting as the vehicle that will transcend the mundane? Why do we allow it to be the arbiter of the collective psyche and reap the benefits of a sanctioned art form? Over the past decade, Joanne Tod’s paintings have been taken as the barometer of Toronto art practice, so often characterized by ironic detachment and moral didacticism. Yet, while many artists have worked to escape the hierarchy that privileges painting, Tod’s survey exhibition intentionally feeds the mill.

    Adopting the tradition

  • Michael Snow

    For the past thirty years, Michael Snow has adopted diverse media to dissect the mechanisms of the perceptual process. This newest group of paintings reflects ironically on the conventions of the medium. Absent is the influence of the camera (Snow is known first as an experimental filmmaker); this time he is approaching painting on its own terms—as a practice implicitly freighted with a set of historical conditions that preface our reading of individual works.

    Snow uses the methodological conventions of pointillism and realism in order to undermine their pretensions of historical significance.

  • David Craven

    In his recent works David Craven attempts to reconcile his ongoing interest in issues of language, authority, and the demarcation of territory with his roots in formalist abstraction. Contrary to those artists who are now investing abstraction with subjective, expressive qualities, Craven is applying the mechanics of formalism to the sculptural and narrative conditions already extant in his works. The echoes of lyrical abstraction that typified his painting of the mid ’70s are still present, but now his objective is larger.

    Craven’s paintings function as a conceptual unit, with the canvases held

  • Iain Baxter

    Artwork addressing environmental issues may have found its antidote in the wall constructions of Iain Baxter. Calling upon a variety of domestic and industrial objects that range from kitchen knives and silk plants to steel and glass, these works galvanize many of the problems when art and politics meet. They serve as a remedy to the monolithic rhetoric of government officials and well-intentioned marchers who choose to speak with a collective voice.

    Relying on the blackest humor, these eight works traverse the globe, acknowledging environmental infractions. All the major tragedies are represented

  • Irene F. Whittome

    Irene F. Whittome’s Musée des Traces (Museum of Traces), is an artist’s museum—a site for the perservation of objects and the restructuring of the past. Filled with selected artifacts, the Musée des Traces adopts the physical structure of the museum, to serve as a repository of the artist’s experiences. Reconstructed as an installation at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Whittome’s Museum evolved between 1985 and ’89 and was first exhibited in an unused garage in Montreal. In its current form, the installation serves as a museum within a museum, mirroring our desire to order and identify while

  • Roland Poulin

    The presence of Roland Poulin’s monumental, laminated wood sculptures is both formidable and disconcerting. Dense human-scale blocks penetrate the viewer’s space in an assertion of their physicality. Consisting of forms built up through a slow process of layering, covered with dense nuanced color, and then carved into, these two multipart works acquire a strong material presence that Poulin highlights by exposing the rough grain and edges of the wood. Intersecting planes and shifting related colors play tricks on our eyes, causing the spaces to advance and recede. It is this physical presence,

  • Janet Cardiff

    Janet Cardiff’s photography tests the conventions of visual presentation. Using a pinhole camera and extended light exposures, she creates dark foreboding images of the human presence in nature that defy the documentary vantage point of straight photography. In the two groups of work presented here, Cardiff develops short, open-ended narratives. Two-photo wall constructions, which she calls “Hidden Images,” each consist of a small framed photograph beneath a light, positioned behind a larger image mounted on an open steel frame. Cardiff’s couplings of images, such as a dark house emerging through

  • Brian Groombridge

    Minimalism provides the precedent for Brian Groombridge’s most recent sculpture entitled Within One Action There Are Many Gestures, 1990. Here Groombridge has arrived at a synthesis of form that reduces the superfluous to the necessary and immediate. Using a stainless steel I beam which projects 20 feet into the air, the artist has fixed a rod halfway up that holds two carpenter’s set squares welded together to form a rectangle. The work echoes its downtown Toronto setting that is dominated by a construction frenzy and the verticality of skyscrapers.

    Groombridge’s piece is a simple configuration

  • Judith Schwarz

    The strength of Judith Schwarz’s work depends upon her dexterous handling of material and a growing vocabulary of forms. Schwarz has an affinity for steel and wood, and the majority of the wall pieces exhibited here incorporate both materials in seemingly effortless union.

    The earliest sculpture in the exhibition is a three-part work entitled Parallel Language, 1987, which juxtaposes a circular die-cut steel sheet mounted on the wall, a minimalist steel beam that angles out from it and onto the floor, and a steel stencil of a leaf shape leaning against the wall beside a magnificent slice of oak.

  • Carolyn White

    Carolyn White’s near mural-size photopaintings of men and women weeping adopt the conventions of traditional portraiture to examine the distinctions which separate photography and painting. The product of an adapted, computerized spray-printing process, commonly seen in billboard advertising, these ten works are experienced in the gallery as a barrage to the senses; they engulf the viewer in a sea of spent tears, swollen lips, and suspect emotion.

    White has created a catchall of art chic. She references the scale, subject, and pointillist technique of Chuck Close, while adopting the earnestness

  • Yves Gaucher

    With the emergence of his new “Pale Series,” 1988–89, Montreal-based painter Yves Gaucher has brought full circle his 25-year-long preoccupation with color. Using pale blues, light violets, and grayish mauves, rusts, and greens, Gaucher paints on a monumental scale––his canvases can reach 20 feet in length. The paintings are sectioned off into four or five vertical surfaces of flat, even color presented in a sequential progression. By now, his use of diagonal abutments has become a formula which serves almost as a hallmark, distinguishing his paintings from those of others working in a minimalist

  • Andre Fauteux

    Andre Fauteux’s dedication to the exploration of abstract form has not wavered since the early ’70s. During this time he has moved away from a reliance on the vocabulary of formalism to an exploration of space and the translation of sculptural form within that space. With the shift in taste that has reconfirmed the importance of abstraction, Fauteux’s sculptures are now being reexamined with keen interest. In these six recent sculptures, Fauteux is predominantly working in brass, a material that exerts its tensile strength while implying a visual rigidity. By leaving the brass roughly hewn, he

  • Gerard Päs

    Gerard Päs’ sculptures and watercolors are a fusion of pure form within a self-sustaining vision of purgatory. Päs uses the utopian vision of the Russian Constructivist and De Stijl movements, adopting their clean precise lines, stark geometry, and the latter’s primary-color combinations. This is not to suggest, though, that the exhibition serves as a sweeping homage; rather, it sets the ideals of purity and order against the artist’s personal backdrop of physical disability. At a very early age, Päs was stricken with the polio virus, which resulted in physical impairment. Since 1977 his disability

  • Betty Goodwin

    Betty Goodwin’s drawings explore the physical parameters of gesture, both real and imaginary. Working with wax, pigment, and ash, Goodwin creates life-size figures that seem to hover on enormous sheets of translucent vellum. Her characters are remote and faceless, caught between human presence and absence. She takes full liberty to remove a limb or extend the significance of a movement through repeated layers of opalescent color. In drawings such as Figure with Megaphone, 1988, the individual forms entwine themselves in a multiplicity of arm and leg movements that offer few clues. By stripping