Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Queen West October 2, 2008

The numerous events that happened in Toronto over the Oct 4-6 weekend can’t be rushed through, not all necessarily need to be gone into thoroughly but considering the current political reality in Canada were artist are faceless non entities I think it is important to drop as many names as possible.

Noel Middelton's Platonic Material Plane at Gladstone Hotel

This blog begins on Thursday afternoon with a stop at the Gladstone Hotel at 1214 Queen Street West Toronto Ontario UPART Contemporary Art Fair. “UpArt is a new annual contemporary art fair. UpArt will transform the entire second floor of the Gladstone hotel with site specific installations produced specifically for this event and reflecting the diversity of contemporary art practices. UpArt 2008 presents artists, galleries and curated projects. This event is produced by the Gladstone Hotel and co-curated by Chris Mitchell and Jade Rude. This is not a salon style art fair!”For me with a focus on textiles and fibre work there was not much for me to view, I know this event and wasn’t disappointed by what I did see. Magic Ponies presentation of Noel Middleton’s “Platonic Material Plane” installation was the sight sound and smell of burlap, bark mulch and 3 in 1 oil. “Middleton’s Platonic Material Plane was conceived over several pilgrimages and denotes the more fundamental connections shared between groups, their interpretations and sense of direction guided by the visible Sun. From within the twelve-sided chamber a new connection is made, away from the distraction of light. Platonic Material Plane 'Sectional Dodecahedron' and figures are made from reclaimed Northern White-Cedar, found and collected materials.”

The esoteric thought of hearing the sun while wearing a mask that covers your whole head may be the main issue, but in all it was reminiscent of Allyson Mitchell’s Hungry Purse installation from a few years ago and sort of a fun possibility of an interactive piece. I didn’t stay long enough to see any public interaction. This may sound dismissive but it isn’t I have been seeing Noel Middleton’s oversized knitted and crochet multi media “fetish“ like dolls / sculpture on display at Magic Pony and always find them intriguing. They have a rough awkwardness about them because of the chosen materials but are almost as intriguing and powerful as American artist Nick Cave’s sound suits.
see below for List of all artist and Galleries presenting their work at UPART at the Gladstone with links to their site
After leaving the Gladstone I dropped into the Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects before heading to the “Art of the Book 08 opening at the Ontario Craft Council Gallery. Katherine Mulherin was going to be at the TIAF but I always like to check to see if there is anything new to see. In a new temporary location ( the buildings her gallery has been located in is for sale, like most of Queen West everything is turning into condo developments that no one is buying as the market is being to collapse, but the current tenants end up being evicted anyway to make room for “Show Suites”). as always there where a number of her textile regulars. In this Selected Works Exhibition July 26 - Nov 18, 2008, there was Drue Langlois from Winnipeg whose felt figurines are always on the move. There was a hutch of Heather Goodchild’s 3D stuffed felt “manamils” and an odd doll entitled “Nothing Face” by Andrew MacDonald

Drue Langlois

Heather Goodchild: Manamils

“Nothing Face” by Andrew MacDonald

Off to the opening of "Art of the Book 08"..... Toronto International Art Fair read above.


List of Artist, Galleries and links mentioned in this posting

Gladstone Hotel http://www.gladstonehotel.com/
Noel Middleton’s http://www.noelmiddleton.info/
Magic Pony http://www.magic-pony.com/index.php
Nick Cave’s sound suits. http://www.jackshainman.com/dynamic/artwork_display.asp?ArtworkID=503
Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects http://www.katharinemulherin.com/

Heather Goodchild heathergoodchild.com


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