Whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The dirty warehouse experience -- akin to an art fair with mice -- adds a lot to this spotty large group show. A huge pile of fabulous junk loiters near a garage door bearing the show's moniker. Passing into the massive industrial space rented by organizer A.W.O.L. Gallery, you might expect similarly large art. Instead, the first impression is of a great emptiness where hundreds of artworks by 42 artists are subsumed by space.
Then comes the audio bombardment of Tasman Richardson's remixed film shootouts duelling with the repetitive voiced instructions for DAC Collective's interactive installation experience.
Elizabeth Fearon's lengthy video, Marcus, featuring a sleeping person, is mercifully silent.
Barbara Rehus reveals the bloody working innards of a man and woman, carving a surprisingly delicate encaustic piece. Ross Bonfanti's baby heads nailed to boards possess a strange charm, as do the tender etchings of Astrid Ho. Kyu Shim's delicate patterns, built in layers, create magic out of graphic repetition. Sandra Tarantino's small figures slip between the cracks in her extra-thick canvases.
This is a show in which young figurative painters show talent. Matthew Schofield's five-panel work displays a strong sense of composition. The top panel offers an aerial view of a series of buildings in a suburban landscape. Each subsequent panel zooms in, with the last showing the expressions of children waiting not so patiently for their class photograph to be taken next to a wall of their school.
Gillian Iles reveals the continuing development of her rich style in four panels. A woman drinks tea in the first, enjoys her warm beverage naked in the second, is invisible in the third and non-existent in the last.
But the WhOLE thing averages out to an average show in a great space.
Whole at A.W.O.L. Gallery (376 Dufferin, rear unit), to December 8. 416-535-5637. Rating: NN