Gallery Hours at Robert Birch Gallery (241 King East) to February 23. 416-955-9410. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
the group show at robert birch Gallery features intriguing new works loosely connected by the fact that they're all more thoughtful than visceral. Mounting a rectangular piece of wood painted with enamel on the wall, Richard Storms comments on the fine line between painting and sculpture by creating an object that from a distance reads as a minimally worked canvas.
Euan Macdonald contributes two side-by-side illustrative paintings of the Earth, one apparently devised from a great distance, the other at closer range, in a work intended to examine our shared assumptions of what the planet looks like.
The spare manoeuvres Macdonald makes with paint epitomize an ambivalence -- a simultaneous affection and boredom -- toward craft that is present in much of his work. The diptych also brings to mind NASA's often-reproduced photos of the planet.
Daniel Olson's bookshelf piece Entitlement lines up over 20 books on various subjects, all authored by someone named Olson. The cheeky spoof on authorship sardonically derides narcissism and the academic compulsion for citations and end notes.
A low note is struck by Micah Lexier's gimmicky images, including a glass piggy bank featuring deposited gold coins bearing his surname. Whether seen as clever or contrived, it's not very charming either way.