SYNTHETIC PSYCHOSIS at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (5040 Yonge), to April 28. 416-395-0067. Rating: NNNN
it had been raining steadily fora week, but only after seeing Synthetic Psychosis, a show of 10 painters brought together by David Liss, did I notice all the curly earthworms on the pavement in the parking lots, and a snail. It's a credit to the collective energy of these artists that the banal, commercially developed ugliness of North York struck me as having its own strange beauty.Kelly Palmer mimics the techniques of the old masters to produce dry landscapes with gloomy clouds and shrubs, while fluorescent pink forms looking like deconstructed lawn furniture weave through the scene as if in a dance. The pictures evoke a primal or futuristic dimension we've lost the eyes to see.
A large mural by Jay Isaac of a frothy, pastel fantasyscape at this scale delivers an achingly taunting promise of a world that can be physically entered more intensely than our own.
Mara Korkola's astonishing suite of tiny paintings of highways at night, as witnessed from the front seat of a car, are heart-stoppingly exquisite and fresh. Her blurry, impressionistic brush strokes achieve a photo-realist effect -- each area of paint shimmers, distinct -- and effects a strange alchemy, convincing us that in the realm of exhaust and concrete she's discovered the rich treasure of modern life.
These are highlights in a show that communicates that there's more to the world we ordinarily behold than the ordinary ways we have of beholding it suggest.