Susan Schelle, Mark Gomes

Toronto Sculpture Garden

For the past few years, the Toronto Sculpture Garden has been a testing ground for public sculpture in the city. Its program gives younger, gallery-based sculptors a chance to show their work in a prominent public site. Although gallery sculpture has shifted toward documentary and representational issues over the past decade, it doesn’t necessarily follow that this “public” tilt translates into work that would benefit a public space. Expectations and interest have been high for the garden, yet it has seen a lot of weatherized indoor art—wrong for the site both in scale and intensity (too small, too overrefined). It has also seen work that acts as if “public” art meant permission to relax its usual conceptual concerns. All in all, it has been a reluctant prize.

This exhibition of work by Susan Schelle and Mark Gomes is a case in point. Although the show was a strong one, there was still a

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