richard storms at Robert Birch Gallery (241 King East) to December 15. 416-955-9410. Rating: NNN
whether he's appropriating map fragments as the basis of high-concept landscapes or riffing off the familiar menu screens of an old-style Mac, Richard Storms is in his element when he finds ways to abstract pop culture.If the non-figurative, low-res grids look to be more purely abstract than Storms' past bodies of work, that's simply because the references have become more internalized. Top -- a horizontal white canvas painted with bands of beige, brown and baby blue -- was inspired by the tube top Courteney Cox wore on an episode of Friends, while the monochromatic black-and-white Noise pieces all take their cues from TV and computer monitors.
Still, these pop references are so deeply buried as to be invisible. The untitled window installation, which pairs a small enamel-on-steel painting with a large-scale photo work, reaches out to passersby and is the best piece in the show.