Sixth Annual Emerging Sculptors Exhibition at Canadian Sculpture Centre (64 Merton), to August 21, reception/awards presentation Saturday (August 7), 1 to 3 pm. 416-214-0389. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
The emerging artists showing at the Canadian Sculpture Centre know there's more to sculpture than marble statues. Each of these nine artists uses a different medium, resulting in a dynamic use of limestone, plaster, steel and aluminum as well as porcelain, copper, wood and electronics. This diversity makes for an attention-grabbing exhibit.
As often happens when so many artists present in the same room, the work ranges from really inviting to, well, pretty obtuse.
Some of the most intriguing pieces are those that speak for themselves, like Sophie DeFrancesca 's chicken wire sculptures. One piece, Siphon, communicates the struggles of life after childbirth: one arm of a suspended female frame snakes down in the shape of a vacuum cleaner, while the other becomes a baby feeding from a giant red nipple. Her point is clear, and it works.
Also clear, blatantly so, is Mr. Big, a giant 4-foot basswood phallus by Bud Fujikawa . You stare, hoping it's something more than a gargantuan woody. In fact, Fujikawa made it after he was - according to his artist's statement - "mistakenly believed to be possessed by the soul of Kunimitsu Siaki," an artist who sculpted a huge wooden phallus every year for 74 years.
The emerging artists express their experimental natures with originality and skill. Jennifer Files 's Dishware consists of nine bronze plates with imprinted fingerprints. The work subtly pulls you closer. Her artist's statement explaining that she wants to explore the relationship of people to objects helps to complete the experience.
While not exactly a guarantee of exciting things to come, the show introduces us to some promising ideas and creativity.