Home » VoCA Recommends…4 women painters in Kingston, Ontario

VoCA Recommends…4 women painters in Kingston, Ontario

Soft Abs
November 08 – December 06, 2008
Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Kingston Ontario

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Sizzle Reel, Melanie Authier, 2008. Image: gibsongallery.com

VoCA contributor Catherine Toews reports on a painting show in Kingston:

The most surprising thing about Soft Abs, currently on display at Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre is the lack of large abstract paintings on canvas in the main room gallery. The show features works by four female artists (Miranda Aschenbrenner, Melanie Authier, Christine Baigent and Milly Ristvedt) and is described in Michael Davidge’s curatorial statement as an attempt to offer “an expansive definition of abstraction to Modern Fuel’s visitors.”

Hence the lack of paint on canvas and the presence of cobbled together wood shards, commercially printed paint chips, and interactive magnets. The end result is a unique, refreshing twist on abstraction that does not take itself too seriously, but deserves serious attention.

Christine Baigent’s interactive Conversations (2007) spans two grey strips of wall. Visitors are invited to reposition the brightly coloured magnetic shapes to create new compositions. During our visit on opening night, two children spent much of the evening side by side in front of the work, gleefully placing and re-placing each shape.

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A work by Miranda Aschenbrenner. Image: people.ok.ubc.ca

Milly Ristvedt contributes two large works to the show that both play on paint chips from the Ralph Lauren collection. Colour and Meaning: an Incomplete Palette (2008) is the stronger of the two works, featuring imagined paint swatches with politically poignant names such as “Darfur.”

Rest assured – there are paintings on canvas here, and they are the standouts of the show. Melanie Authier’s Sizzle Reel (2008) and Rockshot (2008) are lush, complex, and as beautifully feminine as they are deeply sinister.

During your visit, be sure to poke your head into Modern Fuel’s adjoining “State of Flux” gallery, where local screen-printing phenom Benjamin Nelson displays a “retrospective” of concert posters, art prints, and other Technicolor ephemera produced between the years of 2003-2008.

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Melanie Authier, Rockshot, 2008. Image: melanieauthier.com

Click HERE for Modern Fuel’s website

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