York MFA Group Show
On until July 26, 2008
By Carolyn Tripp
I’ve always had problems with the smörgåsbord. So much so in fact, that when I was younger I refused to eat anything but food that was a particular colour for weeks on end. I guess this was in hopes that the distinct lack of variance would someday make me a more discriminating person.
Well, it didn’t. Like with so many botched experiments, my mother swooped in with her usual culinary prowess to cook up something I couldn’t resist. (Orange was my favourite colour when it came to food, though, just for the record.)
So you see, I walk into Xpace, and I’m spoiled with choice. The York MFA program shows its chops with the strength of its current lineup, but solo shows would really do it better for me here. The theses of these grads (or very soon to be) aren’t entirely apparent from the work shown, and being a sucker for the two-hour critique, I left wanting to see more.
We’re launched into geometric wonder with the work of Jay Wilson and Lauren Nurse, who exhibit sculpture and screen prints, respectively. Nurse’s shapes remind me of delightful globular hives, as though there was a meeting in the colony, and every bee finally decided the world was no longer flat.
Wilson exhibits his usual stunning (yet subtle) eye for turning ordinary material into gorgeous abstraction with “blackgreenslick,” a small pipe cleaner structure emerging from a black mirrored base.
Figuratively speaking, my heart lies with the untitled chromogenic print by Emily Gove, where she stands awkwardly with what looks like her shorter, slightly confused date for the evening. They both don what is quickly becoming Gove’s signature retro manifest.
Other strong pieces belonging to David McDougall, Lisa Neighbour and Mike Hansen display the impressive sculptural range that this particular group of artists embody, but still, it never seems like enough. Perhaps I can be content once I view each and every solo show. Until that time, perhaps I’ll comfort myself with Cheesies, Tropicana, and most certainly, orange Gobstoppers.