Openings, closings, and summer holidays
I'm officially on a week's vacation as of yesterday, but didn't want to vanish without pointing the way to at least a couple of things to see this week. First off, there's Transformer, at Jessica Bradley Art+Projects. My first guess is the title refers to the apparent ease with which JB's is able to place members of her ridiculously strong roster in important collections and events. The National Gallery just finished acquiring a large scale installation by Hadley + Maxwell, who are represented at Transformer by a tryptic of photographs of an installation the artists built for a sightless man in his apartment, which, visually, is a web of twine connecting various points to one another. Meanwhile, two of the five Sobey Award finalists -- Luanne Martineau and Shary Boyle -- are with JB.
All that aside, Transformer is as far from a summer place-filler as you'll find, as Bradley has curated some lovely synergies between the photographic pieces -- Zin Taylor's sanctified spitballs, looking oddly primal in that surrealist way, dried and mounted on pegs, next to an image by Pascal Grandmaison, of a crumpled sheaf of paper, shot reverentially on a crisp white backdrop, a studio convention conferring on the throwaway a keen sense of value (that's one from that series, above, but not the exact one in the show). There's work from Jed Lind, both astronomical and vernacular (go, and you'll see what I mean), as well as Nicolas Baier and Kristan Horton, who has a show opening in the fall.
Meanwhile, at Katherine Mulherin Art + Projects, painter Kris Knight's show is wrapping up next weekend. While I've never been a huge fan of the work, there's something stirring about Knight's devoutly Canuck hipster androgynes -- and it might just be the novelty of being able to say those four words together as a literal, non-ironic description. Technically, Knight is neither innovative nor masterful, falling just past very good comic book work; but he's bold and original in his content, and for the moment, that's enough to keep us looking for what he'll do next.