Seeing Sounds: Gordon Monahan


Gordon Monahan, Speaker Swinging

We’re not unfamiliar with the use of sound to shape or reshape a physical space. I mean, in a way isn’t that what Muzak was intended to do?  Infect psychological space, inner space, and have us respond by, say, spending more money in a carefully structured physical space set up to enable just that? And haven’t I read about the use of classical music piped into outdoor settings to drive off young people who might otherwise congregate there? Isn’t that physical space being aurally reshaped to make it less amenable to a select and specific few? Continue reading

Emily Neufeld: Rupture


Yukon Street

That single word evokes and suggests and even yearns. Stripped down and devoid of any patina of emotion, it of course points to something physical, tangible – something real, something constructed, functional, useful. That might be fine and well for the Gods who have risen above human feeling, but for the rest of us mere mortals it is a word fraught with sensation at the emotional and psychological levels. It’s a word of intimacy, of family and love. Add “less” to it, and all those things are devastatingly ripped away. Continue reading

Do No Harm: Marlene Creates

Marlene Creates sculpture

Marlene, Creates, excerpt from Larch, Spruce, Fire, Birch, Hand

I spend a lot of time at a nearby beach on Lake Ontario, drawn by wind and wave, and especially by the rocky shingle of the shoreline. More often than not, I begin re-arranging stones, sometimes walking the beach’s length (about a half-mile or so) placing larger stone markers amidst the smaller stuff at the very edge of the surf. Continue reading

Dark Matter and Missing Mass: Allyson Mitchell

Allyson Mitchell, Ladies Sasquatch

Okay, so I start, at the titular level, with a cosmological reference: the idea of the missing mass in the universe, that those all-important galaxies strewn throughout the cosmos (and within one of which we exist) don’t seem to contain enough mass to account for galactic rotation. Herein was born the idea of “dark matter.” Continue reading

Phenomena: Cédric Ginart

Cedric Ginart, Molecular, 2013

Think of glass in a sculptural context and, well, it’s likely that the first (if not only) artist who comes to mind is Dale Chihuly.

Glass, it seems, has a bit of a perception problem. Either it’s showy sculptural installation of the Chihuly sort, or it’s the functional stuff of everyday, domestic use (within which I include the showier utilitarian stuff). Glass is a bit either/or that way, despite the best efforts of contemporary artists seeking to expand its presence, to bridge the fecund middle ground between the utile at one end of the spectrum and the ornamental at the other. So what’s an artist to do? Continue reading

Figuration (cont’d): Kathy Venter and Evan Penny

Evan Penny, Self Portrait after Gericault’s Fragments Anatomiques, 2017, pigmented silicon, fabric, resin, 57 x 78 x 18 in.

When last we spoke about what I’ve been calling “figuration ” – the aesthetic drive towards representing the living, breathing organisms that populate this here planet (even if only in our fevered imaginations – I’d introduced work that tended towards the smaller scale, towards sculptures that referenced figurines, addressing issues raised by such mass-produced items of collectible nostalgia, like Hummel or Royal Doulton figurines, or the even smaller stuff that once came with the tea bags we purchased. Continue reading