Though I guess I should mention ...
It's been a busy month. I can hardly recall how busy, but some stuff I've done in the order I can recall it:
A fun piece (for me, anyway) on Ken Nicol, an artist's artist if ever there was one
A close-up look at Tony Scherman
A review of Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde
A piece on Paul Butler, the AGO's first-ever artist in residence
Uh, Nuit Blanche
A review-ish piece on Micah Lexier's new show
A look at David Hockney's iPad sketches
And a bunch of other stuff, including stuff I didn't do, specifically Art Toronto; I always go, and it was ... fine. I guess. I don't really have much to say about it, year in, year out. There's always the cheeky, self-conscious installation that makes fun of the art biz at the top of the escalators (this year Kent Monkman; last year Jeremy Laing), and the tradeshow beyond. It's as though the hope is to cancel one another out -- an apology for vulgarity, and then the vulgarity, duly apologized for, beyond. Anyway. Not to be so precious. I just wish we'd stop apologizing, partly because it is what it is, and partly because who, other than the insiders themselves, care?
But what took basically most of my October was a huge feature on Tom Thomson and the West Wind at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, and an accompanying review and video (for heaven's sake; and yes, that's my voice. Cringe).
Anyway, those who know my preferences are well aware of my luke warm-ness to the old G7, but over this intensive exposure, I found some points of communion, particularly in Thomson, whose gifts were remarkable.
Once you strip away the layers of maudlin nationalism, you can start to see these guys as painters engaged with the tectionic shifts in representation that embodied early 20th century modernism, in painting, at least. Thomson was a standout not only for his raw abilities, but his relative lack of schooling; he was an intuitive genius, I think, and I've finally made my peace with him. See if you agree.