October 23, 2014

What did we do to deserve this beautiful, warm day drenched in honey coloured light? People were actually walking around in tank tops as I exited the streetcar on the corner of Dundas and Ossington.

Cooper Cole Gallery

Jeremy Jansen and Graham Collins have filled the Cooper Cole space with bold, urban neo-Minimalist art works.

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 I was surprised to see references to arte provera, Germano Celant and Jannis Kounellis in the exhibition notes. Whereas the work does owe a lot to the manifestos and posturing of those Italian artists and critics of the sixties, it has been reinvigorated by these artists with a sophisticated update. The “poor” materials here are scrap metal, various found window frames and window tint polymers and the detritus of printing materials. Like the Minimalists before them these artists are overthrowing representation and symbolism to raise the truth-to-materials flag.

The painting depicted below, by Graham Collins, is made out of canvas, paint, reclaimed wood, glass and window tint

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Marcy II

The two artist’s pieces mesh well together and create a sleek and airy installation with lots of layers of glare and sheen.

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The really interesting part is that on closer inspection it appears that some of the materials have been upcycled so that the work has a distinctly hand-made look to it: the welding is lumpy, the window tint is bubbled, ill-fitting and wrinkled and the wooden frames are smacked together.

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Note to Self (Jeremy Jansen)

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Flag (Jeremy Jansen)

The aesthetic explored here is that of the cheap and hastily put together; and the materials championed are from industrial parks, DIY auto window tinting shops and down market condo sales centers. It is satisfying to see such a strong visually coherent statement emerge from all this junk.

Author: ssnbrttn

This blog is all about looking at art in Toronto now.

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