March 14, 2009

Shelly Adler's romantic loneliness in Toronto

After spending the afternoon hosting a birthday party for a ten-year-old in a freezing ice rink, Canadian art seems appropriate, so here's a piece about Canadian artist Shelly Adler, who currently has a portrait show at Nicholas Metivier in Toronto. In the National Post Leah Sandals reports that Adler's earlier paintings may have seemed flat to the point of uninteresting, but now the flatness is better balanced by more rigorous use of colour and light. "Also more compelling now is Adler's perspective on gender. Her current riffs on this call to mind both the pointed portraits of Janet Werner and (when Adler dips into dreamlike Technicolour shades) the wild fantasies of Eliza Griffiths. Adler's newest works, opening today at Nicholas Metivier, include a shadowy, blue-on-blue androgyne who lingers in the mind long after one has left its presence. The more bubblegumand-wine flavoured 'Other Girl' also succeeds at instilling a romantic loneliness into everyday formats. Adler also does more conventional presentations, like a sideways-glancing square of a bikinied body and a close-up portrait of a steely-eyed face. These latter works offer a palette not unlike that of an overexposed colour shapshot, suggesting perhaps the resilience of female strength and beauty despite an occasional excess of surveilling light and lenses." Read more.

"Shelly Adler: Ambivalent Light," Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Through April 4.

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