Critics’ Picks

View of “A to B,” 2010.

Toronto

“A to B”

MKG127
1445 Dundas Street West
July 3–July 31, 2010

While the expression “A to B” suggests the shortest distance between two points, artist Micah Lexier hasn’t cut any corners in curating this exhibition. Paralleling the serial and sequential aspects of his own work, Lexier has here brought together seventy-one objects classified individually as pairs, comparisons, or sequences into a precise and delightful arrangement.

Site-specific contributions by Josh Thorpe, Neil Campbell, and Kay Rosen complement the remainder of the selection, pieces housed in four horizontal vitrines. Of these small works by thirty-five artists, and prosaic objects from Lexier’s own collection of ephemera, notable pieces include: Kelly Mark’s Boomerang, 1998–2000, an ordered stack of hastily opened envelopes marking the 114 times the artist mailed the same letter to herself until it finally went AWOL; Lexier’s found “before-and-after” photographs of a forensic mortician doctoring up the face of a decomposing body; and Ingo Gerken’s readymade The Inner and the Outer Condition, 2010, which features a poetic composition of a slightly used ballpoint pen and a red-hued thermometer at room temperature lying side by side. In the same vitrine, Abbas Akhavan’s pair of wallet-size photos depict a man with his right hand outstretched toward the camera. In one, his inky index finger points upright, a sign of a diligent citizen participating in an electoral vote. In the second, he unfurls his hand to expose ink on every digit––as well as himself as a criminal. While Lexier cannot hide his guileless enthusiasm for collecting, it is tiny revelations like these that also reveal his considered acuity.