Monique Mouton, Untitled, 2012, oil on plywood, 94 × 8 × 1/2".

Elizabeth McIntosh, Monique Mouton, Silke Otto-Knapp

Catriona Jeffries

Monique Mouton, Untitled, 2012, oil on plywood, 94 × 8 × 1/2".

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 Jeffries—which featured an international, all-female lineup comprising Elizabeth McIntosh, Monique Mouton, and Silke Otto-Knapp—felt 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 space—not 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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