Juggernaut Cocktail: Matt Bahen, Steve Driscoll, Charlene Connelly and Aleks Rdest at Angell Gallery (890 Queen West) to August 3. 416-530-0444. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
If you want a taste of what they're doing at the Ontario College of Art and Design, head over to Angell Gallery for Juggernaut Cocktail. This show by four recent OCAD grads won't knock you over with its weight, but it will leave you feeling pleasantly tipsy.The most beautiful works are by Charlene Connelly. She paints sheets of mylar with autumnal oranges, yellows and browns, then dribbles a mixture of cement and asphalt onto them. The sensitivity to colour and surface pattern makes her works are strikingly reminiscent of Tom Thomson's tree-lined shores, with a feeling that is simultaneously fresh and timeless.
Steve Driscoll creates innovative "canvases" by stretching wire mesh over an iron frame, then dipping it into polyurethane. While it's still hot, he shoots coloured resin through plastic tubes into the space between the mesh and the polyurethane "skin." The result is a kind of funky-junky play on traditional notions of surface, line and colour.
The softly stratified layers of Aleks Rdest's paintings have an ethereal quality that's interrupted by what look like bullet holes or puncture wounds. Although she's dealing with two diametrically opposed energies, Rdest is able to make them peacefully, if perhaps only temporarily, co-exist.
Matt Bahen's paintings are the most overtly message-oriented. In Warrior/Hostage, a great ape shares the canvas with a large pink stealth bomber. Bahen seems to be saying that when it comes to understanding, let alone influencing, the technology in our lives, most of us might as well be monkeys.