HOME/REPRESENTATION at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), to September 10. 416-973-4000. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Curated by oliver girling, Home/Representation explores the complex nature of home in Jewish culture. Part of the sixth biennial Ashkenaz Festival of new Yiddish culture, the show attempts to straddle traditional and contemporary artistic approaches, and there are hits and misses.
Strong and fascinating paintings by Shelley Adler merit a trip to Harbourfront. Her three works Rules Of The Game are deftly executed in beautiful, bold painterly strokes of dramatic monochromatic colours with smatterings of peach, electric pinks and blood red. The artist shows her sensitive hand in abstracted figures at a large family feast. On her largest canvas she paints an exquisite, ghostly table with half-drunk glasses of wine.
Howard Lonn's wonderfully strange and Queen West-hip painting Commercial Landscape is embedded with thick black paint into which he splices almost putrid lemon and lime citrus shapes to depict warehouse buildings. In Badanna Zack's thoughtful Ready For Hearth, a life-size cart with wood logs made entirely of papier maché represents the struggle for warmth and survival in the Old World.
Though Girling's concept of addressing the question of home within its makers' fictions is compelling, enticing and smart, some work gets lost in the translation.