Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Dan Goorevitch, Sophia Lada, Eva Lewarne & William Oldacre
At the Artscape Triangle Gallery

38 Abell Street, Toronto, Ontario, June 8-18
Curated by Daryl Bank and Wendy Campbell

Full disclosure: I am Dan Goorevitch and I will benefit financially if you heed my sage advice and put Dan Goorevitch’s art at the top of your fine art buying list. “I refuse to recuse.”

William Oldacre’s photographs are one legitimate answer to the many thorny problems of color in photography. First there is focus. A shallow depth of field will enable the viewer to see the thing of greatest importance first, everything else being less focused to the extent of it distance from the focal point. But here’s the problem: trivial and important things at that same distance will be equal in focus because they lie on the same focal plane. When the mind sees, it sees according to its interests. Another problem is that black and white photos are a quick read. Color slows down the process. So Oldacre’s photos eliminate both problems with ultra-soft focus that rids unwanted detail. They read quick. Not only that but they also give something photography isn’t good at but painting and sculpture are: it emphasizes the surface of the paper. You can see every tooth. The photo looks more like a pastel than a photo. Cheap! $500 each!

Eva Lewarne’s work is always funny. There’s a dog in a dress with what looks like a woman’s legs. Full disclosure: we’re neighbors. The dog is sweet but kind of old and her hip hurts. The other painting shows some kind of know-it-all: some lecturer with his finger up about to make another point. It’s called “And Another Thing.” Beside him appears to be some kind of chart, like the ones used for economic projections and for some reason I think of a Canadian flag. So he might be a politician. In the left bottom corner it’s like the edge of the image is coming loose, implying the wish to just rip this fellow up and throw him away. Cheap! $750 each.

Sophia Lada’s embroidery involves tall narrow canvases stretched with linen on which is stitched another piece of linen into which is stitched cotton thread. The color is profoundly subtle. The outer linen canvas has a rosy glow compared to the workpiece stitched on top of it, which has an olive green hue. The cotton thread by contrast is quite yellow, like straw, putting harvests in mind. It’s as if the closer you go toward an absence of color, the more visible it is.

The iconography is complex, intricate and the interplay between stitching thread into a fabric and letting it hang like hair (in fact, it represents hair) on top makes these works deserving of serious scrutiny and tLinkhought. The symbolism clearly has something to do with nature and has a ritualistic feeling. I believe they are related to a spring ritual though they recall harvests to me. But hey, sow and reap... or in Lada’s case, sew and reap. I’m not sure if these meticulous works are for sale.

Last but not least, Dan Goorevitch’s two drawings are kind of disgusting, like something a mother would see opening her teenaged son’s door at just the wrong time. But as repulsive and klutzy as they are [and personally embarrasing to me -ed] they are “human, all too human.” There are many artists whose works have had these attributes but modesty forbids me the comparison. Together they explain the artist’s rejection by the MFA program at York University with these words, “Although the board agreed that your work was of a very high quality, it is too psycho-sexual and not socio-politically committed enough.” It’s true. I am not a communist. The drawings are a mere $2,000 and $2,200. That’s cheaper than your last trip. What are you going to do? Enjoy a fine vacation two weeks of the year and live in a hovel for the next 50? Are you insane?

There! Most critics would insult your intelligence. I’ve only called you cheap. Come see!!! Closes too damned soon!!!