TERESA CITO on view at the Italian Cultural Institute (496 Huron) until April 27. 416-921-3802. Rating: NN
sometimes where you go is a
matter of who you know.
The Italian Cultural Institute's tiny in-house gallery has housed more than its fair share of A-list exhibits, ranging from Venetian baroque giant Giovanni Battista Piazzetta to living arte povera luminaries like Sandro Chia.
So when an exhibit by a little-known Mexico City-based Libyan-born painter of Italian heritage comes to the ICI -- with the blessing not only of the official Italian agency but also of the Mexican consulate -- it's reasonable to hope that something big is brewing on Huron.
Sadly, that's not the case with Teresa Cito's Wings Of Colour, a coherent body of works created in 2000.
The colours are lovely and recall both Tuscany, where Cito spent her youth, and her adult home of Mexico. Yet if the artist's intention -- as stated in a catalogue essay -- is to create iridescent colours invoking a bird's (or angel's) wing feathers, I can't see why she chooses to work with relatively murky acrylic paints rather than the more naturally luminous medium of oil.
The best pieces -- notably Blue Map, Air In Grey and Sky, Sea And Land -- offer some rewarding conceptual twists. In them, Cito plays with the medieval Italian use of predelle running below the main panel, but twists the convention by extending the main image into these smaller frames.
Still, the overall impact is underwhelming. It's no surprise that Cito landed this well-connected touring show through consular connections in her hometown.