June 17, 2015

Our current exhibition Road to Ruin was reviewed on Akimbo.


“The decentralization of the Toronto art scene continues apace with the inaugural exhibition at Cooper Cole’s new space on Dupont near Dufferin (a block down from Geary Avenue where the Toronto music scene is similarly in search of virgin turf according to some). The relocation to frontier lands north of Bloor has, it seems, as much to do with avoiding the city’s chronic traffic delays as it does with acquiring high ceilings. CC left a sizable room on Dundas West (currently temporarily occupied by Kunstverein Toronto and their crammed retrospective of senior Canadian artist Glenn Lewis) for a former bank – complete with vault still intact – across the street from LIFT and steps from Toronto’s second grimmest mall: the Galleria (first place goes to The Crossways). Cole’s opening gambit is a group show cheekily named Road to Ruin (after the Ramones album) featuring a selection of artists whose birthdays spread from the 1940s to the 1980s. (Is this a thing now? To include the artist’s age in the list of works?)

The oldest artist – Gee Vaucher, an associate of the anarcho-punk band Crass – sets the tone with her gritty visual collage of WWII newsreel footage. The youngsters follow suit with equally snotty (a good thing for contrarian aesthetes) retorts to late 20th Century artistic gestures. Brie Ruais’s boot stomped corner-crammed ceramic sculpture is minimalism pushed to the limit. Marlie Mul’s cigarette butt-stuffed wall panel makes for a similar degrading of purist form and function. JPW3 adds popcorn and hot wax to an otherwise placid ceiling-hung chain and Sarah Greenberger Rafferty attacks Michael Snow’s walking woman with a bunch of butcher knives.

The overall tone is one of creative antagonism within the bounds of conventional forms, which, given his move to the least fashionable corner of the west end to set up a white walled haven for artists transitioning into the halls of respectability, is an appropriate introduction to the gallerist himself.”

-Terence Dick

To see the full post please visit Akimbo.

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