Art that Avoids the Apocalypse
R.M. VaughanThe Globe and Mail, December 30, 2011
The world was supposed to end twice this year, and is scheduled to come to a crashing halt again in 2012, according to the Mayan calendar hysterics (and Euroskeptics).
Perilous times – and yet, I don’t see a lot of millennial or end-times anxiety in contemporary art (as I certainly did in the late 1990s). Artists are either too smart to buy into such perennial prophecies, or too self-absorbed. Likely both.
Thus, I predict 2012 will offer the visual-arts enthusiast experiences counter to the furies raging in the outside world – not pure escapism, but a different kind of questioning of norms and reality, one more considered, long-viewed and far more attractive.
Or, I could be wholly wrong, and artists will start smashing televisions, shredding plush toys and making blood paintings, again. Thank you, but no.
For the following upcoming exhibitions, I can at least promise that any or all of the above actions are highly unlikely. Not impossible, mind you….
Daniel Hutchinson at Angell Gallery
Feb. 23-March 24, 12 Ossington Ave., Toronto; angellgallery.com
Hutchinson’s penchant for dramatic multimedia works that explore the role of stages – humble shelf spaces to rotundas to platforms and theatres – and his crisp mixing of slate and fieldstone colours with occasional bouts of hot neon typically translates into a kind of oxymoronically serene spectacle. His new works promise to further these investigations, perhaps with a bit more colour (okay, that is me asking for a bit more colour). In 2011, Hutchinson was a semi-finalist for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, and they don’t just hand those out to anybody.