Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kristine Moran's Airstream Road Trip at Daniel Faria

Kristine Moran, Spiteful Geyser, 2018, oil on linen, 10" x 8"

One positive arising from skyrocketing housing prices in North American urban centres is a revival of romantic nomadism. Last year, for instance, Kristine Moran, a Canadian-born artist who resided in Brooklyn, sold her home and studio in the borough to purchase a 30-foot Airstream trailer. Then she and her family embarked on an extended road trip across North America. 

The result is this exhibition titled Confusion Hill that comprises small oils on linen like Spiteful Geyser that abstract the landscape Moran witnessed on the way. 

These are tight, compact paintings that use the underlying linen texture to great effect. And they show an art historic awareness, especially of Arthur Dove's paintings, that is both rare and welcome.

The Canadian Arts Grant System Needs Simplification

The Canadian arts grant system from civic to federal level has become a complex bureaucracy that is increasingly unnavigable. Simply getting an answer is much more complicated than it was even several years ago. For instance, yesterday, after a twelve-day wait, I finally received a response from a grant officer who told me I was calling the wrong person and that I should be applying for another grant. Thank you for the clarification.

I am not a neophyte. I received my first grant (Ontario Arts Council, Visual Arts Critics) in 1986, but I now feel like I am trying to cross the Atlantic (to go to one of the conferences I have been invited to but could not attend because of late grant results) without a map each time that I apply. Moreover, grant result target dates have been pushed much farther ahead than they were even a year ago, making it nearly impossible to depend on arts funding to travel without very long-term notice.

A good solution is to maintain a much smaller granting system strictly as an awards model ( the Sobey, for example) and to initiate a universal basic income (UBI) for independent arts professionals. It will save bureaucracy and allow artists, writers, and other cultural workers to spend money as they - not a grant officer - see fit.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Progressive Conservative: the 2018 Finalists for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition

The finalists for the 2018 RBC Canadian Painting Competition are out, and the list is progressive and conservative simultaneously. That pairing is not inappropriately oxymoronical like the moniker of Ontario's reigning party that shares those same words. The list is progressive since of the jury's fifteen picks, twelve are women. It is equally conservative in that almost all the work is formalist with an emphasis on the nationally ruling but elsewhere waning trend of figuration. Much work is academic and derivative. Several artists stand out though, notably Ally MacIntyre, who presents jarring images such as Pink Moon, 2016, which quickly and adroitly moves from eighties throwback kitsch, with its neon pinks and cliché palm trees, to a delicate, brooding portrait.

The 2018 Finalists

 Amanda Boulos

 Keiran Brennan Hinton

Krystle Coughlin

Sarah Davidson

Angela Fermor

Karine Fréchette

Stephanie Hier

Ally MacIntyre

Emmanuel Osahor

Lauren Pelc-McArthur

geetha thurairajah

Kizi Spielmann Rose

Joani Tremblay

 Tristan Unrau

Joy Wong

Ally MacIntyre
Pink Moon, 2016
acrylic and spray paint on canvas
61" x 55"