TEKKO 02 at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (5040 Yonge) to August 25. 416-395-7430. Rating: NNN
Tekko 02 is basically Tekko 01 on steroids.The upside of having moved the edgy graphic design show from a small warehouse space last year to a much larger institution this year, apart from the opportunity to roll the words "TEKKO at MOCCA" off our tongues, is the massive scale of the new work. This kind of stylized design is usually buried within the 8.5-by-11-inch pages of magazines like Vice, not splashed on walls in 10-by-10-foot mural glory.
The downside is that the vibrancy of the first poster show has been lost. And far from gaining credibility, the mural-sized work seems out of place in the large gallery space. It's not that it's a bad show, but it's not what it was. Sophomore jinx.
Of the eight design firms from Europe, Asia and North America whose work is on display, it's the Commonwealth countries that strut the best stuff.
Mud Pub from Canada does simple brilliantly. Four pinky-red and white runners course onto a bright yellow ground. Rinzen from Australia also uses repetition to great effect: three green-headed geese sweep across their mural in formation, passing in front of a wallpaper-patterned background.
The elements of Canadian firm Typo Therapy + Design's work emanate from a single point in the bottom right quadrant. Rainbow-coloured bolts shoot forth. Black dots spray out. A blob of yellow oozes across the work while a grey elephant charges straight at you. It's organized chaos, and the most elegant piece in the show.
Can graphic design succeed as art? The works here aren't conclusive evidence, but we can see the merit in TEKKO's positioning of Canadian designers among the best in the email@example.com