XXX at Christopher Cutts Gallery (21 Morrow), to August 31. 416-532-5566. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Summer is a quiet time for art sales. Understandably, galleries tend to gear down with group shows featuring a show-and-tell of artists from the past year of programming. Take the XXX show at Christopher Cutts Gallery, where much of the work is superb but has been shown before. (If you're looking for porn, keep looking - the name is simply a stand-in working title that stuck.)
The exhibition features one or two pieces by 10 of the artists in Cutts's stable. In the north gallery, there's the work of Gordon Anderson , Max Johnston , Richard Gorman , Panya Clark Espinal and a perplexing text-based work pinned to a corkboard by Ron Martin .
It all looks fairly demure next to the mostly younger crop of hot artists in the south gallery. Catching your eye from the door is a photo-realistic painting of a camera by William Fisk and a large print of Janieta Eyre 's colourful diptych, March 27th, Quarter Moon, that was featured on the cover of Hive Magazine earlier this year.
Carlos and Jason Sanchez make an impact with Descent. The huge 4-by-5-foot colour photo features a girl sinking in the dark expanse of a Montreal Olympic pool. The beautifully lit shot faces two images from 1980 by Eldon Garnet that also feature fully clothed subjects underwater.
Richard Stipl 's Secret Weapon II demands the most attention. Installed on a pink wall are 19 naked, identical polished aluminum cherubs. Each floats in a unique pose and expresses a distinct emotion. In their midst are two realistic-looking ravens with talons outstretched, obviously attracted to these shiny babies. The epic battle scene plays the frozen moment against a sense of motion created in the shadows behind it.