Saturday, January 28, 2012

Globe and Mail: R.M. Vaughan's review of the Wilson and Genda exhibitions

R.M. Vaughan
Globe and Mail: Jan 28, 2012

Dagmara Genda and Jay Wilson at KWT Contemporary:

"Painter Dagmara Genda and sculptor Jay Wilson are an odd couple, or coupling.No sensible curator would put Genda’s mad, cacophonous paintings of worlds flooded in flesh-pink waves next to Wilson’s meticulous toothpick towers and laser-cut steel assemblages. But common sense is a bore.

Genda is a part of a burgeoning school of painting I am dubbing the New Neo-Expressionists (okay, yes, that tag needs work). In such paintings, the strategy is to draw the viewer in via a whirlwind (or whirlpool) of kineticism, with bold flourishes of blended colours, and then hold the viewer tight with feverish daub-and-swipe brushwork juxtaposed against clusters of maniacally detailed illustration.

Wilson, on the other hand, is about as open to accident as a heart surgeon. His works are so exquisitely crafted and make no gesture toward covering their labour-intensiveness, so that they make you a bit light-headed and cause the hands to tremble in a sympathetic attack of nerves.

The connection between the two artists is thus one of point-counterpoint. Genda masks her labours with decoying, bold strokes. Wilson practically sits you down and makes the work with you.

Pick your favourite style of high-wire act."

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