ART REVIEW: Surfaces
women and their Surfaces
By Nicole Laidler
|IS THAT A WHALE'S
TALE OR A TORSO? Answer: torso. Just one of the many Cathy Daley works
currently on display at the Gibson Gallery.
The unique artistic
approaches of five Canadian artists are currently on display at the Michael
Gibson Gallery in downtown London.
Cathy Daley, Elizabeth McIntosh, Laura Millard, Gina Rorai and Lorraine
Simms each use different artistic mediums and explore different themes
to create their work.
Daley works with black oil pastel on vellum. Her whimsical drawings depict
disembodied party-dresses and slender female legs that end in stiletto
shoes. Daley's dresses have an ephemeral quality, encouraging the viewer
to question the relationship between fashion, fantasy and female identity.
McIntosh is the youngest artist of the group. Her large, colourful oil-on-canvas
paintings are clearly influenced by pop art, presenting minimalist patterns
of abstract shapes painted in cheerful primary colours against a white
canvas. The paintings make an immediate visual impact, but offer little
for further contemplation.
On the other hand, Millard's cool mixed media works merit closer consideration.
Millard begins with microscopic photographs of ice and then applies paint
in response to the abstraction already found in nature. "Surge/Freeze"
seems to capture the movement of light on water and snow, but the photographs
actually depict air bubbles frozen in ice.
Rorai's oil-on-canvas paintings are the most traditional works on display.
Although abstracted by her bold use of paint, the objects in these interior
scenes remain easily identifiable. Rorai paints images of other images,
such as paintings and photographs, surrounded by everyday domestic objects.
The foreboding atmosphere of Simms' oil-on-linen paintings makes them
slightly out of place among the other works. The Montreal native is fascinated
by an image's ability to tell a story and the inherent ambiguity surrounding
the truth presented in pictures. Although painted in oranges, reds, yellows
and pinks, the shadowy, ambiguous nature of Simms' imagery creates an
Although Surfaces brings together five seemingly different artists,
the exhibit is unified by the vitality and conviction inherent in each
Surfaces runs until May 31 at the Michael Gibson Gallery (157 Carling
St.). Admission is free.