Punch 2 at Lee Ka-sing (993 Queen West) to February 29. 416-504-9387. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Young artists aren't as old as they used to be. Fading are the days of working diligently and hoping to make a break after several years. Nowadays, no sooner do the art schools pop out these grads than they land a decent show at a decent gallery. Some are in commercial group shows before they even graduate. Pretty soon it'll be like the NBA and they'll get drafted out of high school.
A lot of them probably aren't ready. A number will flame out. But some display an uncanny preparedness.
The current Punch 2 show at Lee Ka-sing is the follow-up to the Punch show of 2001 that highlighted the work of Ryerson photography students. As a whole, it's an impressive group. Each artist has found a unique voice, and they combine to form a powerful chorus.
Balint Zsako is the Beyoncé of the group - doing the art world equivalent of shaking his talented ass all over the place. His chaotic collages of old photos are magic and deserve the gallery attention they've received. The work on display in this show is again strong, particularly the haunting sci-fi image of one landscape hovering above another like a mother ship.
Chris Curreri and Tim Saltarelli are also photographers to watch. Both have had wall time at Gallery TPW because they're smart and focused.
Curreri makes simple, riveting works from archival photos. A man stands on a ladder staring up at a cloud made from tiny little lines. Similar puffs become the dust cloud behind a circus horse and a nebulous shape near a woman, casting a shadow on the ground that attracts her attention.
Saltarelli's work is elegant but also has something to say. Here, a triptych takes a look at a series of file folders, labelled and containing information about the entire art collection of an institution. The simple pattern of lines that emerges is engaging, as well as the idea of archiving art.
Lindsay Page cleverly plays with paper cut-outs, and Jennifer Long makes very personal visual wordplays. John Fiorucci 's world - in which fruit is tortured by archaic metal instruments - is oddly delightful. But where these three artists are buoyed by the strength of the group, the first three easily stand alone. You can download Punch's new bi-monthly publication for free at http://artpost.info. Artists are emerging fully formed