toronto

Robert McNealy

Oakville Galleries

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 of the four rooms, now stripped bare, is reappointed via metaphoric associations that the artist cues through titling.

The library (“Benevolence”) establishes the history of the site. Five chairs covered with colored sheets are restacked with assorted chairs strewn about in a haphazard manner. Suggesting

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