Volume 96, Issue 78
Tuesday, February 18, 2003

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Outrageous? Well, OK, not really...

Exhibit: Outrageous?
Artists: Various
Location: Art Rental and Sales Gallery (Museum London, 421 Ridout St.)

By Jen Bechard
Gazette Staff

Allen Chen/Gazette
THE BUILDING ITSELF DOESN'T LOOK TOO OUTRAGEOUS, BUT HEY... inside Museum London is a whole new world of art.

A delightful mixture of mainly London artists is the best way to describe Outrageous?, the Art Rental and Sales Gallery's latest exhibit. The assortment of local artists provides just a glimpse of the talent that comes out of southern Ontario.

The works in the collection range from abstract, colourful mixed media projects to more subtle watercolour scenes reflecting nature. Upon walking through the door, viewers will immediately begin to pick up on an overall feeling of cheerful exuberance.

Windsor-born Brian Saby is responsible for the majority of the more unique works. Saby's painting entitled "Anger to Passion #3" is an explosion of acrylic colours, which contrast with black shading to truly represent the title of the work.

As well as his own paintings, Saby works with Aidan Urquhart to produce "Cold Drinks, Hot Day" and "Aiden on the Jack Paar Show!," two creatively composed mixed media projects. Along with Saby, Urquhart, a resident of London and the McIntosh Gallery's Artist-in-Residence (1998), stand apart from the other artists in the show through their fun combination of pictures and colour.

Along with the oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings that make up the majority of the show are two etchings done by Linda Montgomery and Claire Kerwin. In addition, Josephine DeVincenzo creates a fascinating mixed media project, featuring pieces of copper embedded in the works.

"Yellow Carpet" by Pat O'Hara stands out as one of the most creative pieces in the show. O'Hara, winner of the Merit Award for painting (1981), uses layers of different mediums along with bright colours and metallic shades, relaying the "outrageous" theme of the show more effectively than any other work in the exhibit.

For those who prefer more traditional paintings, Outrageous? presents these as well. Western graduate Puck Merkies has two watercolours in the show: "Rainstorm – Lake Huron" and "The Chicago Run." These paintings, in addition to Francis Caprani's "Morning Mist," are typical impressionist pieces.

Though it is an enjoyable showcase, Outrageous? is not all that its title may suggest. Although many of the works in the show are brightly coloured and use creative techniques, few of them would be classified as truly "outrageous."

If you are looking for an exhibit of Canadian talent, primarily from the London area, then Outrageous? is for you; however, for those art lovers hoping to stumble across something completely zany and off the wall, let the search continue, because you won't find it here.


Outrageous? will continue at the Art Rental and Sales Gallery until the end of March. Admission is free.

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2002 THE GAZETTE