Friday, 30 September 2011

Douglas House

Richard Meier's timeless Douglas House from 1973 is one of my favourites from this great architect.  Its roof plan:

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Erik Satie's Vexations

There have been past Nuit Blanche projects here in Toronto with excellent ideas but only ruthlessly ruined by the deluge of crowds.  Martin Arnold and Micah Lexier's interpretation and visual representation of Erik Satie's legendary Vexation from NB last year is such a clever idea.  But the performance was rendered powerless by the noise and other distractions.  Obviously, I cannot find a video doing justice to Arnold and Lexier's work.  Here's an extract of Satie's great piece, piano by Alan Marks:

Video from 's youtube channel

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

White Line Light

Toronto's annual Nuit Blanche is coming this Saturday.  I still have mixed feelings about this increasingly popular art event.  While it's good to have a wider audience, the huge crowds make it almost impossible to appreciate the participating artists' site-specific works in most cases.  My most favourite project since I started going to NB four years ago is Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender's light and sound installation White Line Light at Strachan Avenue old police station in 2007:

Video from 's youtube channel

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Who's Afraid Of Pink, Blue And Yellow?

Curtis Amisich's latest show Scrambled; Who's Afraid Of Pink, Blue And Yellow at Peak Gallery has the idea of its name borrowed from Barnett Newman's late works.  Amisich's optically interesting works are just nearly as provocative as master Newman's.

Amisich at Peak, Toronto 2011:

Newman at MoMA, New York 2011:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Month Of Sundays

It's Sunday today.  I visited Toronto's O'Born Contemporary to see Liam Crockard's solo exhibition Month Of Sundays yesterday - his architecturally inclined collages and installations:

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Infinity Plus One

Mathematically speaking, it doesn't make sense to have "infinity plus one" (infinity is not a number).  But Adam David Brown's show Infinity Plus One at Toronto's MKG127 seems to make real sense when he plays with and references latent dimensions, Cantor's set theory, parallel universe and quantum mechanics.  Brown's endeavour reinforces my constant belief that art and mathematics are not mutually exclusive.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Antwerpen sketches

Near Grote Markt, 2010:

Near Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 2010:

Thursday, 22 September 2011


One of my haunts in Toronto - Frank Gehry's 2008 addition to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario):


Monday, 19 September 2011

Wallace's industrial textures

Toronto's Show & Tell Gallery has been showing and telling high quality works by American artists, especially from New York.  Their current group show features works on paper by Brooklyn based Ryan Wallace.  Drawing inspiration from science and technology, Wallace's geometric compositions are collages of beautiful cold-coloured industrial textures.

Wallace at Show & Tell, Toronto 2011:

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Vorticist drawings

Vorticism is the Brit's answer to modernism during World War I.  The show The Vorticists: Manifesto for a Modern World I saw at Tate Britain this past summer is both educational and inspirational.  Works by vorticist pioneers shown at the exhibition are full of futurist dynamism characteristic of this short-lived movement.  Since photography was not allowed at the exhibition, I had to do some quick sketches on site.

Edward Wadsworth:

Frederick Etchells:

Jessica Dismorr:

Friday, 16 September 2011

Colour field objects

Instantly lovable hard-edge colour field objects by two masters, Ellsworth Kelly and John McCracken ...

Kelly at K20, Düsseldorf 2011:

McCracken at MoMA, New York 2011:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mangold @ Hallen für Neue Kunst

Hallen für Neue Kunst in Schaffhausen Switzerland has been the highlight of my annual European trip this past summer.  I have been thinking of going there for a few years but have not been able to fit it into my previous itineraries until this year.  My anticipation was met with total satisfaction.  Owning and showing large-scale works by Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Robert Mangold, Mario Merz, Bruce Nauman, Robert Ryman and Lawrence Weiner, the Hallen's collection of minimalist/conceptual contemporary art is among the most prominent in the world.

Robert Mangold's paintings are what I found the most impressive at the Hallen.  His use of simple forms with mathematical clarity, though quiet and restrained on the surface, is articulate and powerful.  I rank Mangold as high as Max Bill among all favourite artists of mine.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Sun x2

Now that our brief Canadian summer is quickly receding, we certainly need more of this ...

Caribou's original from his 2010 album Swim:

Video from 's youtube channel

Altrice's Only What You Gave Me Remix:

Video from ' youtube channel

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Stiff As A Board, Light As A Feather

I am getting more and more disenchanted with the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) every year.  As it gets bigger commercially, it becomes less and less appealing to me.  This year I decided not to check out their program any more.  I did bump into Nicholas & Sheila Pye's contribution of short films to the TIFF, Stiff As A Board, Light As A Feather, at Birch Libralato Gallery this past weekend.  Like the Pyes' previous films, their latest works are equal doses of otherworldly beauty and melancholy.

Still image from their film The Bird Watcher:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Communications 2

I have posted my drawings of it before.  I am now posting these pictures of the constructivist outdoor sculpture Communications in downtown Toronto by Haydn Llewellyn Davies:

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Laliberté's floating lines and planes

I saw Colette Laliberté's eye-catching constructivist paintings of floating lines and planes at Toronto's Wynick/Tuck Gallery last week.  Her previous site specific installations, which I didn't get a chance to see, would have been even more brilliant.

Laliberté at Wynick/Tuck, Toronto 2011:

Saturday, 10 September 2011

She Sparkled + Let 1/2 Her Spirit Out*

Thrush Holmes is one of my favourite Toronto artists.  His provocative works, often in bold strokes of oil paint, spray paint and/or neon, are shown at his own studio/gallery Thrush Holmes Empire.

Holmes at Thrush Holmes Empire, Toronto 2011:

*She Sparkled + Let 1/2 Her Spirit Out is one of Holmes' neon works.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Strunz: crystallization of space, time and dream

I was first impressed by Katja Strunz's works more than a year ago at Camden Arts Centre in London.  So when I saw her works again unexpectedly at a group show in Berlin's Daimler Contemporary, I was totally excited.  Strunz's angular wall reliefs and paper collages effortlessly crystallized the constructivist space, time and dreams (Zeittraum*).

Strunz at Daimler, Berlin 2011:

*The German word Zeittraum has appeared in one of Strunz's earlier works: Zeit-Raum (German) = space-time (English), Traum (German) = dream (English).

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Morris over Deutschland

Sarah Morris is one of the few artists whose works have appeared in multiple locations I have visited this summer.  She is definitely among my favourite artists currently, not because she's a fellow alumna of mine though.

Morris at VitraHaus, Weil am Rhein 2011:

Morris at Capitain Petzel, Berlin 2011:

Morris at Deichtorhallen, Hamburg 2011: