Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Toronto Junction Art Galleries

Last Saturday our friend, Brent, took John, Shelley and I on a tour of the Junction galleries. The Junction neighbourhood around Dundas Street West and Bloor Street is a new artist's neighbourhood.
After lunch at the Starving Artist Cafe we started off with a visit to the Division Gallery which is very near to Brent's house. They were showing work by artists' cooperative, Arsenal.
The space is huge, very like spaces in New York's Chelsea neighbourhood.
Our friend, Shelley, is like us interested in artists' books and small publishing. So we favoured Neil Farber's Untitled (Book) and his small paintings with collaborator, Michael Dumontier.
In a courtyard just off Dundas Street West, the Olga Korper Gallery was having its opening for Reinhard Reitzenstein's Confessions of a Dendrophiliac. As his title suggests, Mr Reitzentstein presented many small drawings of trees and several sculptures as well. The big opening crowd kept Ms Korper busy greeting guests.
The Chrisptopher Cutts Gallery was showing his favourite works of 70's artists like David Bolduc, Dennis Burton and Gordon Rayner. John liked the "gallery cat" keeping an eye on the courtyard.
Shelley pauses before we leave the Narwhal gallery where Noel Middleton is having a cool solo show, Order of Operations. Mr Middleton uses found and collected objects to construct his clever sculptures.
Continuing along Ronscesvales Avenue toward Bloor, I was fascinated by the Bloor Street 24/7 Fitness club. Love those boxing gloves on the exterior.
Next stop was the Clint Roenisch Gallery. We all liked this series by Niall McClelland which seemed to be painted on the distressed, woven backs of large pieces of linoleum.
The Junction area isn't really pretty but it provides the disused factory and warehouse spaces that offer inexpensive studio and gallery spaces for Toronto's art community.
The Daniel Faria Gallery next door was showing part of the large exhibition of the artwork of Douglas Coupland. His work is being shown at MOCCA and the ROM as well.
Big fans of Mr Coupland's writing we were a bit underwhelmed 
by the work on display at Daniel Faria.
It seems to be a bit glossy, easy and derivative to our eyes.
This corner of collages for instance looks fun from a distance 
but up close the collages were uninspired. Lots of the same collage pieces were shared by many of them  giving the sense of being slapped together quickly. Maybe the other venues will have more exciting work.
For the tour's finale we wandered east on Dundas St West
to a packed opening for the show of Gareth Bate and Carolyn Dinsmore at the Loop Gallery.
I like the new element of human figures in Gareth's Cosmos and Anarchy Part 2. Humans amidst all that fire and brimstone make the images even more terrifying. Very much our world.
Carolyn grouped small studies inspired by markings on city pavements into larger combined images for Surface - A Collection. Nice work and a nice finale to our Junction tour. Thanks, Brent!

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