eliza griffiths at Katharine
Mulherin Gallery (1086 Queen West) to
September 30. 416-537-8827. Rating:
NNNN Rating: NNNN
desire, dreams and disappointment. Eliza Griffiths tracks sexual and emotional tensions in stark, stilted and extremely powerful work.Taking her cues from the frozen forms of primitive art, the Ottawa-based painter’s imagery is anything but naive.
At just 18 inches square, her Family may be small, but it makes a big statement. Two women embrace, one naked and with too much eye makeup, the other wearing hair curlers, a blue face mask and a bathrobe. In Mouse (named for a tiny rodent in the background), a woman in curlers eats popcorn while watching TV — alone.
Neon hot spots break up an otherwise dirgy colour scheme, a trademark of Griffiths’ highly accomplished work.
“I need to be aroused, and not just sexually,” Griffiths declares, but there is nothing erotic about the bare breasts, copulating couples (human and animal, gay and straight) and fast cars that populate her world. Romance gives way to alienation in imagery that rings all too true.