Although it’s the common model, art galleries don’t need to be commercially-driven. In Toronto, many galleries have a hard time, since the market for contemporary work isn’t strong compared to cities like London and New York.
But that’s why alternative models present possibilities that are often more interesting. Goodwater Gallery in Toronto is one such space. Artists are invited to create projects in the space that aren’t tied to the need to sell work. You won’t find nice 40x 50” framed works on the walls at Goodwater.
The current show, by the excellent Canadian painter Elizabeth McIntosh, doesn’t use paint at all. Instead, the main wall is covered, floor to ceiling, in sheets of coloured paper, thumbtacked in patterns. The back wall is covered, similarly in black paper. It’s an unusual show, for a painter.
We walked in and sat down with gallery owner John Goodwin, who showed us some images on his iphone of the installation process. McIntosh made many experiments with various colours and arrangements of backdrop paper that was purchased from a photography shop down the street, and Goodwin documented them all. Seeing these images is important to the exhibition, so you’ve got to ask.
What makes Goodwater so interesting is that it shifts the awareness of art from the final product (the painting) to where the real value is – in the artistic process.
The real value of ALL art is in the process of creation, not in the final object. The one who gains most from art is the artist – this is where the focus should be. The focus on the market has corrupted contemporary visual art. This needs to change, and Goodwater is a place that supports that change.
Goodwater provides a theatre for artists, a place – like a temporary studio – where they can free themselves and create. And visitors are fortunate to witness the result.
Elizabeth McIntosh is represented by Diaz Contemporary. Click HERE to see more of her incredibly formed and balanced paintings.