As elsewhere, painting’s status is still fractious in Vancouver’s art scene, enough so that the press release for this recent group show at Catriona Jeffrieswhich featured an international, all-female lineup comprising Elizabeth McIntosh, Monique Mouton, and Silke Otto-Knappfelt the need to reassure people that “painting is not a problem.” Even if the medium has died a thousand deaths and undergone a thousand revivals, it seems destined to continually negotiate its associations with social complicity, bourgeois complacency, market contingency, etc.and to confront new possibilities in structuring meaning. At Catriona Jeffries, the works collectively pushed expression, gesture, and figuration into explorations of illusionistic spacenot only in the pictorial field but also in the realms of affect, memory, and history.
The first work the visitor encountered upon
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