News   Oct 22, 2019
 1.1K     4 
News   Oct 22, 2019
 350     5 
News   Oct 22, 2019
 439     0 

Are we being extorted by art?

thedeepend

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
2,527
Reaction score
9
Carmen Lamanna For Beginners:

http://ccca.finearts.yorku.ca/c/writing/g/garnet/gar002t.html

Av Issacs and the Toronto art scene - 1950s to the mid-1980s:

http://www.ccca.ca/c/writing/r/reid/reid001t.html
The man himself, at an opening in New York with ever-present cigarette (lung cancer would eventually kill him).



The fabled block: Av Isaacs, with Carmen further to the north, and ground zero for the tiny queer art and fashion scene in the pre-punk days, the Fiesta Restaurant, sandwiched between the two.



There aren't that many photos of the gallery floating around webwise, but these two shots from 1969 give a good sense of the space. The art is ‘of its time’, and long forgotten. You can see Carmen standing on left.




An installation shot of General Idea’s “Going Thru the Motions” at Carmen Lamanna, 1975



Also the original installation of the “Boutique from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion”, 1980. Anya Varda manning the desk.



General Idea "Reconstructing Futures" 1977

 
Last edited:

thedeepend

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
2,527
Reaction score
9
I fell madly in love with a huge grey Richard Gorman painting when Christopher Cutts Gallery had an exhibition of his early work about five years ago. At $40,000 it was a steal but my place is far too small to hang it ... and I ain't movin' house no time soon. If I recall, there were some Hodgson's in the show too. Whenever I think of the work done by that group of Toronto painters in the '50s and '60s I get hot flashes and have to lie down and take a pill.

Our little Gang of Four saw a couple of nice Ewen paintings at the AGH last weekend.
i had to check...almost $500,000 for a good 70's Ewen--wow!

Lot # 034

William Paterson Ewen
AANFM RCA 1925 - 2002 Canadian

Full Circle Flag Effect
acrylic on gouged plywood 1974
96 x 132 1/4 in 243.8 x 335.9 cm

Sold For: $468,000.00 CDN
Estimate: $400,000 ~ $600,000 CDN






 

Urban Shocker

Doyenne
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
8,465
Reaction score
5
aa looks like he's having a Klaus Nomi moment in that group photo, deepend.

http://aabronson.com/

Decades before Damien Hirst chopped sharks in half and pickled them, Mark Prent's show at the Isaacs was one of the gallery highlights of our first year at OCA.
This is a photo-silkscreen of Prent's Thawing Out - the original sculpture came up for auction in 1996:

http://www.markprent.com/m/images/Thawing Out PrintSmall.jpg
 

adHominem

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
1,088
Reaction score
749
Location
Bloordale
deepend, those shots are lovely. I went to the reconstructed Miss General Idea Pavilion at the AGYU not long ago - did you catch it? I quite enjoyed it, as I was too young to have seen the original.
 

thedeepend

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
2,527
Reaction score
9
deepend, those shots are lovely. I went to the reconstructed Miss General Idea Pavilion at the AGYU not long ago - did you catch it? I quite enjoyed it, as I was too young to have seen the original.
Regrettably I missed it, but I did see a lot of their work in its original context. The canonical work related to 'Miss General Idea' proper is before my time, as the majority of it was done in the late 70’s, but i saw the later ‘archeologically themed’ works relating to the 'Miss General Idea Pavilion' at Carmen's and other venues.

By the time I was out and about in the art world it was the mid 80’s, and they had moved on to the poodle work, and the beginnings of the AIDS themed work that defined their later career. All in, it’s just such fantastic work. They are easily the most significant Toronto artists ever--no one else comes close….









 

Urban Shocker

Doyenne
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
8,465
Reaction score
5
I used to devour ( well, not literally - my hunger for art didn't go that far ... ) copies of FILE Magazine in the OCA library in the early '70s, and dropped by Art Metropole on Yonge Street now and then for their library. I now have one copy of FILE left, that's all. G.I. used to have audience "rehearsals" for the much-anticipated future event called the 1984 Miss General Idea Pageant at the AGO, though I didn't go. This site gives a nice idea of Toronto's art/music/gay scene in the early to mid-'70s:

http://www.rbebout.com/divas/dcarole.htm

We interviewed faculty for the student magazine and asked them to define art. From Graham Coughtry: "Art is my brother."
 

Lenser

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
2,538
Reaction score
2,013
Location
Leslieville
i took classes with Coughtry when i was at OCA, because i really liked his work. he was probably the most significant painter Toronto produced in that era. i remember Carmen Lamanna used to always say "Coughtry really knows how to push that paint around!" its sad that his work has been largely forgotten.
I took classes with Graham Coughtry as well. I loved his "Figurative Departures" class, which was a lively free-for-all. He also played the best jazz during the model sessions. About all he did was encourage people to explore - paint, and paint a great deal. I remember as a very young man agonizing at one point over the future of painting - what with the rise of video, laser holography and performance art - and asking Graham if he thought "painting was dead." He snorted and replied that it may be "when I die but until then it ain't." And that was that. He was a real character but I appreciated his candour and his bonafide love for figurative art and painting in general. I came away from his classes seeing him as an important ally in my own resolve to keep on painting, regardless of what my fellow citizens might think of the arts in this country.

I also remember attending a crowded opening of his in '80 or '81 at the Isaacs Gallery in Yorkville. Lots of 6' square and larger figurative paintings, rendered in that deliciously juicy way of his. I was with a friend, extolling the virtues of Graham's robust impasto technique - and made the mistake of thrusting my index finger a little too close to the canvas. Suddenly the tip of my finger sported a creamy dollop of flesh-coloured paint. I looked quickly around, alarmed, and very carefully and quietly grabbed a serviette and wiped the still fresh oil off of my finger. Graham really rushed that one to exhibit.

As a painter I've become accustomed to the odd layman's brutish dismissal that paintings like mine are crap, that "my kid could do that." You have to have a thick skin or you're toast. It's also amusing to consider that the Painters Eleven were at one time at odds with the legacy of the Group of Seven. Nowadays I see far more striking parallels and similarities in the two periods than I see profound differences. I guess every era has its champions and that part of celebrating the new often involves the compulsion to trash the old. Some things never change.
 

Top