panya clark espinal at Christopher Cutts Gallery (21 Morrow) to January 9. 416-532-5566. Rating: NNNN
taking her cues from the pagesof Martha Stewart Living, Panya Clark Espinal transforms beat-up old (as opposed to exquisite antique) armoires, hat boxes and vanities into shells housing non-functional but utterly lovely minimalist sculptures.The resulting sculptural objects made their debut at Oakville Galleries' Gairloch Gardens branch as The Visitor this spring, but Clark Espinal remounts them at her commercial dealer, Christopher Cutts Gallery, along with the excellent installation she created for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in 98.
That one -- The Silence And The Storm -- riffs off the actual-size reproductions of Tom Thompson's 8-by-10-inch oil sketches in the now-famous book by David Silcox and Harold Town, a book that has just been reprinted.
Clark Espinal repaints the central portion of each piece, and then hangs them as a group, each framed with the book's colour plate as a mat.
It's weirdly wonderful stuff, slyly brilliant, and in its downtown context proves that institutional installations can be both accessible on a popular level and conceptually compelling.