SADKO HADZIHASANOVIC on view at Paul Petro Contemporary Art (265A Queen West) until April 7. 416-979-7874. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
three months in his native eur- ope (specifically, Paris) seem to have thrown savvy Toronto-based Bosnian painter Sadko Hadzihasanovi´c into a major nostalgia headspace, and the resulting images are as full of self-deprecating humour as they are of unabashed yearning.In works with titles like Hi My Name Is Van Gogh, Hadzihasanovi´c shows a series of boys doing something manly -- like shaving, putting on deodorant or even brushing their teeth -- while entertaining fantasies of their adult futures. There's a whiff of sexual tension, sure, but that's part of any adolescent's fantasy life.
Hadzihasanovi´c lays on the layers of irony by placing his images on mildly hideous French wallpaper, hence the show's title, Papier Peint. The bourgeois aesthetic exemplified by the wallpaper -- which includes huntin' and fishin' patterns and rustic rococo peasant scenes -- contradicts the avant-garde tendencies of the artists alluded to in the titles, an A-list of visual revolutionaries including Millet, Picasso and Seurat. The exhibit's title also pokes fun at style bible Wallpaper magazine.
The stuff is smart and funny as hell but also a little heartbreaking. And very, very stylish.
His work is also included in the group show Rock, Paper, Scissors... on view at Harbourfront Centre's Case Studies (235 Queen's Quay West) through April 22.