8TH FLOOR at the Red Head (96 Spadina) to September 1. 416-504-5654. Rating: NNN
august is the month of summer group shows. It's a great chance to see recent work by a gallery's full roster of artists, but it doesn't always make for a coherent viewing experience.Unless the gallery tries to do something a little different.
Instead of a typical members-up-for-the-month show, artist-run co-op Red Head has filled its dog days slot with works by the artists who share the Toronto Artscape-run floor the gallery occupies in the Darling Building.
The results are remarkably coherent for an exhibit whose entire mandate is a common real estate experience. It's also -- and this may be painter, curator and sometime commercial gallery proprietor Michael Adamson's taste creeping in -- surprisingly sweet.
The works range from a treasured childhood drawing by Diane Lingenfelter to a pair of Peter McCallum's trademark deadpan black-and-white photos of Toronto interiors, and from a stark ink drawing by Gail Geltner to the precise realism of Jorgen Lauritzen's Hearn Generating Plant oil.
Adamson has hung the work to draw out certain parallels -- Lisa Petrocco's grey-on-puce Net II hangs just inches from Max Streicher's black-embroidery-on-puce-Tyvek Lamentation; Michael Myers's Dead Hare With Turkey Vulture hangs beside Jane Steenberg's lifeless Newfoundland Gull #2 -- but others come through without curatorial help.
The baroque, almost rococo, sensibility behind Lori Kerim's larger-than-life drawing of a pair of crossed hands reflects the painterly concerns Sybil Goldstein shows in her three tiny Shop Angel oils.
Other artists on view include Marie Becker-Pos, Emily Cartwright, Moira Clark, Maureen Law, Violet Rosengarten, Sylvia Singer, Kate Weich and Ted Zoyrntos.