Dilettante's Diary

TOAE 2010
Who Do I Think I Am?
Index: Movies
Index: Writing
Index: Theatre
Index: Music
Index: Exhibitions
Artists' Blogs
Index: TV, Radio and Misc
MAY 27, 2024
Nov 3, 2023
Aug 2, 2023
July 4, 2023
Apr 21, 2023
Feb 10, 2023
Jan 24, 2023
Jan 11, 2023
Dec 2, 2022
July 26, 2022
July 4, 2022
June 2, 2022
March 25, 2022
March 11, 2022
Feb 14, 2022
Nov 19, 2021
Oct 2021
Sept 16, 2021
July 21, 2021
July 15, 2021
June 11, 2021
Apr 23, 2021
March 12, 2021
Feb 13, 2021
Jan 5, 2021
December 2020
Autumn Mysteries 2020
Aug 12/20
May 25/20
Apr 30/20
March 12/20
Dec 6/19
Jan 29/20
Nov 10/19
Oct 24/19
Sept 30/19
Aug 2/19
June 22/19
May 26/19
Apr 22/19
Feb 23/19
Jan 15/19
Dec 20/18
Dec 3/18
Oct 3/18
Sept 9/18
Aug 9/18
July 19/18
June 2/18
May 14/18
Apr 23/18
Feb 22/18
Dec 13/17
Nov 22/17
Nov 3/17
Oct 5/17
Sept 21/17
Aug 3/17
June 16/17
Mar 21/17
Feb 26/17
Feb 9/17
Jan 30/17
Dec 19/16
Dec 11/16
Nov 20/16
Sept 17/2016
Aug 21/16
July 17/16
June 29/16
June 2/16
Apr 23/16
Feb 28/16
Feb 1/16
Jan 27/16
Winter Reading 2016
Dec 15/15
Nov 19/15
Fall Reading 2015
Oct 29/15
Sept 16/15
Sept 4/15
July 29, 2015
July 1, 2015
June 7/15
Summer Reading 2015
May 19/15
Apr 30/15
Apr 19/15
Spring Reading 2015
March 23/15
March 11/15
Winter Reading 2015
Feb 20/15
Feb 8/15
Jan 29/15
Jan 20/15
Highs 'N Lows of 2014
Dec 19/14
Dec 2/14
Nov 10/14
Oct 29/14
Fall Reading 2014
Sept 17/14
Summer Reading 2014
Aug 22/14
Aug 8/14
July 11/14
June 16/14
May 28/14
Apr 30/14
Apr 16/14
Apr 2/14
March 21, 2014
March 13/14
Feb 11/14
Sept 23/13
Favourite Works: 2004-2013
Two Novels by BARBARA PYM
Sabbath's Theater by PHILIP ROTH
July 18/13
Summer Reading 2013
June 19/13
May 30/13
Spring Reading 2013
May 10/13
Apr 18/13
Mar 29/13
March 14, 2013
The Artist Project 2013
Feb 25/13
Winter Reading 2013
Feb 7/13
Jan 22/13
Jan 12/13
A Toast to 2012
Dec 19/12
Dec 16/12
Dec 4/12
Fall Reading 2012
Nov 17/12
Nov 6/12
Art Toronto 2012
Oct 23/12
Oct 4/12
Sept 28/12
Summer Reading 2012
Aug 26/12
Aug 8/12
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2012
July 14/12
June 28/12
May 27/12
May 20/12
May 4/12
La Traviata: Met's Live HD Version
Apr 21/12
Apr 6/12
Mar 22/12
Mar 9/12
The Artist Project 2012
Academy Awards Show 2012
Feb 26/12
Feb 11/12
Jan 23/12
Jan 15/12
Jan 7/12
Dec 20/11
Dec 12/11
Nov 27/11
Nov 18/11
Nov 7/11
Art Toronto 2011
Oct 22/11
Oct 17/11
Sept 30, 2011
Summer Reading 2011
Aug 11/11
July 28, 2011
July 19/11
TOAE 2011
June 25/11
June 20/11
June 2/11
May 14/11
Apr 29/11
Toronto Art Expo 2011
Apr 11/11
March 24/11
The Artist Project 2011
March 11/11
Feb 23/11
Feb 7/11
Jan 21/11
Jan 17/11
Dec 21/10
Dec 6/10
Nov 11/10
Fall Reading 2010
Oct 22/10
Summer Reading 2010
Aug 9/10
Aug 2/10
TOAE 2010
July 16/10
The Shack
June 27/10
June 3/10
May 5/10
April 17/10
Mar 28/10
Mar 17/10
The Artist Project 2010
Toronto Art Expo 2010
Feb 22/10
Feb 3/10
Notables of '09
Jan 11/10
Dec 31/09
Dec 17/09
How Fiction Works
Nov 24/09
Sex for Saints
Nov 11/09
Oct 22/09
Oct 6/09
Sept 18/09
Aug 23/09
July 31/09
July 17/09
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2009
Toronto Fringe 2009
Zen Wrapped In Karma Dipped In Chocolate
June 28/09
June 6/09
Myriad Mysteries 2009
May 10/09
CBC Radio -- "The New Two"
April 14/09
March 24/09
Toronto Art Expo '09
March 1/09
The Jesus Sayings
Feb 8/09
Jan 26/09
Jan 10/09
Stand-outs of 2008
Dec 24/08
Dec 4/08
Nov 16/08
Oct 27/08
Oct 16/08
Sept 26/08
Sept 5/08
July 21/08
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 08
July 5/08
June 23/08
June 4/08
May 18/08
May 4/08
April 16/08
March 26/08
Head to Head
Feb 26/08
Feb 13/08
Jan 30/08
Jan 17/08
Notables of 2007
Dec 30/07
Dec 8/07
Nov 22/07
Oct 25/07
Oct 4/07
Sept 18/07
Aug 29/07
Aug 8/07
Summer Mysteries '07
July 20/07
June 28/07
June 8/07
May 21/07
May 2/07
April 14/07
March 23/07
Toronto Art Expo 2007
March 8/07
Feb 16/07
Feb 2/07
Jan 24/07
Notables of 2006
Dec 27/06
December 11/06
November 28/06
Nov 8/06
October 14/06
Sept 22/06
Ring Psycho (Wagner on CBC Radio)
Sept 6/06
August 12/06
July 18/06
June 27/06
June 9/06
May 23/06
Me In Manhattan
May 2/06
April 12/06
March 17/06
March 9/06
Feb 16/06
Feb 1/06
Jan 11/06
Dec 31/05
Dec 12/05
Nov 25/05
Nov 4/05
Oct 24/05
Sept 7/05
Sept 16/05
Sept 1/05
Aug 10/05
July 21/05
Me and the Jays
July 10/05
June 15/05
May 18/05
April 27/05
April 18/05
April 8/05
March 21/05
Feb 28/05
Feb 21/05
Feb 4/05
Jan 28/05
Jan 19/05
Jan 5/05
About Me
Dec 20/04
Dec 5/04
OTHER STUFF: Art Exhibitions, Concerts, etc.

As usual, we're giving this important Toronto art event a page of its own!

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2010 Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto; July 9-11

On Friday, opening day of this show, the steady rain kept me away. Saturday’s fresh, bright air was more inviting but, after a couple of hours, the heat and glare in Nathan Phillips Square were building to the point of being intolerable. Undoubtedly, several worthwhile artists were overlooked but there comes a time when a viewer who's been circling around and around in the heat can't tell the difference between a Picasso and a Port-a-potty. Still, I did my best to get a fair sampling of the many works on display, with particular concentration on my favourite genres: painting and drawing.

Sadly, several favourite artists from previous years were missing. It seems unthinkable that they could not have been juried into the show, had they wanted to participate. Perhaps they found that, given the downturn in the economy these past few years, sales did not warrant the layout of the participation fee. However, I was glad to see the work of many whose art I’ve admired in previous TOAE shows and elsewhere. For the sake of trying to keep these comments within reasonable limits, though, I’ll focus mainly on artists whose works are new discoveries for me.

Some of the most exciting would be the landscapes and city scenes by Charles Wakefield. His series featuring Toronto’s Brickworks I find particularly interesting. One of the most striking compositions shows stark trees in front of a conglomeration of rectangular, snow-covered roofs and, in the hazy distance, the city’s skyscrapers. What I love most about the paintings is their rough-hewn, individualistic quality – which may have something to do with the fact that they were mostly done on location. www.charleswakefieldartist.com

Another urban artist whose works pleased me very much is Jerry Campbell. His small paintings find unexpected beauty in the mundane and humdrum – like back lanes, abandoned garages and parking areas. Maybe some of the appeal of these paintings is that they too are done mostly en plein air.   www.jerrycampbell.blogspot.com

 An artist whose still lives make a distinct impression is Duane Nickerson. His large painting of a composition comprised of cardboard, crumpled paper and some gnarly wire is stunning. www.duanenickerson.com

As always at the TOAE, the students’ works are shoved off to the north end of the square, adjacent to the city hall buildings, on the east and west sides. Luckily, I pushed on to the very end of the row on the west side, past some empty space, where three or four lonely booths stood. There I discovered the very small – about three inches by four inches – watercolours of Stefan Nicoloff. Consisting of very simple designs, they suggest, with the minimum of means, various scenes. One, for example, might be a patch of green grass, a high rise building and a tree. These works show how little is required to create a good composition that evokes an urban ambiance we know so well.

Other works particularly interested me in the student areas. Stella Cade does very dramatic female nudes (or semi-nudes). www.stellacadeblogspot.com Jaspal Birdi’s painting of someone hovering over a sickbed struck me as a remarkable in execution and subject matter. Crafts don’t, as a rule, interest me very much, but I couldn’t not be charmed by the tea towels and aprons by Jen Kneulman and Lauren Hunter, featuring their fine drawings of things like sailboats, birds in flight and mason jars. And, if you’re looking for something crude and shocking – which every art show should offer – there are the cartoon-ish lithographs of Neil Lapierre.

In what might be called the strange or off-beat department, I’d include the small paintings of Anthony Diberardo with their comic book style approach to pop culture. www.diberardo.com Xiaoling Guo’s mostly black-and-white paintings make weirdly-skewed statements about human scenarios and village scenes. You get droll humour in Eric Cator’s paintings of odd situations. www.ericcator.com Patrick Sthelil’s marvellously intricate drawings also give you slightly fantastic slant on human affairs. www.patrickstaheli.com A brightly-coloured child-like feeling comes through in the comic art of Jennifer Barrett. www.jbarrettart.com Although painted with great skill in terms of realism, Shannon Partridge’s interiors, often with an exotic animal included, give daily life a thought-provoking twist. www.shannonpartridge.com

Among the abstracts, I especially liked the large bold works of Debora Sloan with their occasional suggestion of something like a door emerging from the morass of colour. www.artisin.ca Christina Vannelli’s small collages, incorporating things like bits of torn paper, are effective. www.christinavannelli.com Cara Dry makes strong statements with her mixed media abstracts, in spite of their limited chromatic range of grey, black and white, with touches of red. The colourful, chaotic abstracts of Scott Pattinson have appealed to me in other shows and now he’s going for even more exuberant explosions of colour. www.scottpattinsonart.com

Still lives that impressed me with their unique sensibility – a delicate, slightly surrealistic style showing an Iranian influence – are those of Sayeh Irankhah. www.firouza.com In a much more realistic way, Joanna Czub’s close-up views of folds of blue fabric have an arresting effect. www.joannaczub.ca Somewhat similar in the intensity of their realism are Lindsay Chambers’ takes on silver and crystal. www.lindsaychambers.ca

Cityscapes interest me very much – why not find the beauty in what we see around us every day? – and several artists caught my attention in this vein. Diana Menzies captures something of the fleeting quality of busy urban life. www.dianamenzies.com I like Pat Dumas-Hudecki’s signs sprouting like flowers on posts. www.dumas-hudecki.com Among several intriguing works, Karen Visser creates a fascinating composition of doors and metal rods in a sleek, modern setting. www.karenvisser.com Shannon Dickie’s blurry paintings convey the effect of kids skating and dancing. www.uoguelph.ca/~sdickie You get a bleak feeling of urban blight in David Ray Alexander’s boxcars and motels rendered by painting over photos. www.motelthirty.com Alison Fleming does attractive little studies of store fronts. www.alisonfleming.com The crowded, junky effect of the inner city comes through somewhat darkly in the paintings of Jessica McCann. www.jess-mccann.com A somewhat similar feeling – but in a more abstract way, incorporating splendid design – is conveyed in Rachel Vanderzwet’spaintings. I love the drawings that Nancy Oakes does while walking in the city; loose and "scribbly", they still manage to incorporate very strong compositional qualities. www.nancyoakes.ca Although Jae-hong Ahn’s paintings mostly focus on eerily dramatic studies of people, one that should be considered a cityscape is an ominous view of a white van at the side of a road. www.zhibit.org/jahn Nobody captures the neon razzle-dazzle of downtown better than Kyle Clemens does in his semi-abstracts with their joyous bravado. www.opengallery.ca

Two landscape artists whose expansive, moody works made particularly strong impressions at this show are Peter Fischer and Peter Rotter. www.peterrotter.com Joseph Samson’s seascapes have a somewhat similar appeal. Combining both seascape and urban elements, the works of Marie Rioux, rather greyish and dark, are striking in their bold composition. Celeste Keller shows many accomplished works, but a small painting of a crowd around Niagara Falls fascinates. www.celestekeller.com George Raab’s solemn, dark etchings express a love for nature that’s trance-inducing. www.georgeraab.com I wouldn’t normally include fibre art in a discussion of landscape paintings but Sylvia J. Naylor’s works are so fine that they deserve mentioning. www.sylvianaylor.com Craig MacNaughton’s free-wheeling ink and watercolour works, done on location, express his enjoyment of many sights encountered on his travels. www.craigmacnaughton.com

It’s a little hard to decide whether Agnieszka ‘Mishi’ Foltyn’s works in cont on mylar fit into the category of painting about nature or about people but her dark renderings of bird wings in flight and her bright evocation of dancing striped stockings are equally captivating. When it comes to the human figure, the line drawings of Cagil Atas Dogan offer much to admire. www.doganart.com/cagilmain.htm I was also impressed with the figure work in Clint Griffin’s large, loose picture, in a somewhat dripping-paint style, of three people, including one nude, who are walking away from us. www.cuckoocollection.com

Of course, many favourite artists from previous shows reminded me why I like their work. Todd Tremeer’s watercolours have often focussed in an ironic way on military themes. Now I’m seeing strange groups of men meeting around tables, as well as some more conventional themes like waterfalls and boating, all stamped with Mr. Tremeer’s unique personality. www.toddtremeer.com For superb handling of watercolour, in a loose and very wet technique, no one could do any better than Yaohua Yan’s lanscapes and city scenes. www.yaohauyan.com For an entirely different watercolour thrill, there are the meticulously worked and dazzling paintings of Micheal Zarowsky. www.zarowsky.net Or the sublimely minimalist watercolours of Dominique Prvost who creates scenes merely with broad swaths of colour. www.dominiqueprevost.com In other landscape modes, there are Laura Culic’s brooding vistas and Anne Renouf’s skeletal trees against mysterious horizons. www.lauraculic.com www.annerenouf.com Andrea Maguire’s shadowy human shapes have intrigued me previously but now I’m particularly struck by her rectangular abstracts in subtle, earthy tones.www.andreamaguire.com Speaking of the human element, Paul Robert Turner’s dramatic portraits always command attention. www.paulrobertturner.com Steven Beckly’s photographs, although I’ve seen most of them before, still send off erotic vibes, with bare legs glimpsed from behind doors and in bathtubs. www.stevenbeckly.com Randy Hryhorczuk, well known for his paintings of billboards, now shows portentous paintings of airplanes flying low over roads and overpasses. www.hryhorczuk.com When it comes to dynamic depictions of older buildings in inner cities, I’d be hard pressed to choose between those of Brian Harvey and Stewart Jones. www.brianharvey.ca www.stewartjones.ca But one of the artists whose take on the city pleases me most is Gordon Leverton. His geometric compositions showing the upper portions of houses crowded close together – roofs, eaves, walls windows – always invite lengthy contemplation. www.gordonleverton.com

[Where available, links to artists’ websites have been provided. Note to artists: If you want to enhance your chances of being mentioned in a review and having the reviewer provide links to your website, please print up a card with your info presented in clear, easy-to-read format. It doesn’t help when a reviewer working late into the night is forced to fumble for the magnifying glass to read the fine print on your oh-so-tastefully designed little card!]

You can respond to: patrick@dilettantesdiary.com