SCULPTURE SUPERNOVA at Artcore/Fabrice Marcolini (55 Mill, bldg 62), to August 31. 416-?920-?3820. Rating: NNN
It’s rare that Fabrice Marcolini’s soaring Distillery District gallery space feels cramped. But Sculpture Supernova, a show of work by 18 artists, manages to make it so. Sure, summer group shows are a hodgepodge. But these pieces really do need more space to breathe.
That said, Sculpture Supernova excels where Marcolini’s shows so often do – in the presentation of strong, dramatic works by international artists we rarely see. Not all of them fit the bill, but there are enough to make a visit worthwhile.
I was most drawn to a piece by Calcutta-?born, Brooklyn-?based Rina Banerjee. Her stainless steel armature hangs from the wall adorned by nets of shells and neon-?coloured feather fans.
It could easily border on clichéd in someone else’s hands but ends up really beautiful and compelling here.
Also terrific, albeit on a different aesthetic plane, is former Winnipegger and Royal Art Lodger Jon Pylypchuk’s scene of a fun-?fur creature riding a shiny pleather walrus. The artist also crafts some bizarre little fabric figures who look on at the imaginary spectacle (some with cameras). It’s high-low absurdity, art that makes you snort with laughter – a good thing in my books.
Berliner Iris Kettner’s sculpture of a young couple in rapt embrace is another highlight. Her use of old clothing as material is very effective and evocative. Check out her website for even stronger work.
Sadly, another installation choice drags even these great works down. The chest-?level string boundaries around many works are awkward and obtrusive. What’s more, they prevent the experience of physical closeness that makes sculpture so exciting in an image-crazy age.
Though there are many bright spots, both viewers and works are too hemmed in to make Sculpture Supernova a truly stellar art explosion.