Since moving to Hamilton I’ve been going to the art crawls and visiting galleries trying to get a sense of the visual arts scene – and I have two places in particular so far that have captured my fancy for being “authentic” avant-garde, independant artist-run galleries. One is the artist co-op Hamilton Artists Inc., and the other is you me gallery.
What I appreciate about you me gallery is the direct and interesting exhibits – never too crowded or too insecure about being experimental, non-commercial works. As with any area that becomes gentrified with art galleries, the boutique crowd creeps in and more and more you are confronted with trite and shallow work that is framed and polished for you to buy – the intrusion of sunday painters who have a buck to pay for space and a fantasy about being famous in middle-class living rooms.
You me gallery defies this trend, and perhaps inspires it by being the real deal. The current show of paintings on fabric by Sadko Hadzihasanovic is further proof of my assessment – once again Bryce’s modest white cube possibly has the best show of the art crawl, with a packed gallery at the far end of James North on this foggy night. Wonderful painted figures that jar and comment on the victorian / vintage culture woven into the textile as canvas – this is a goldmine of artistic possibilities and social commentary.
I will comment however, without knowing an awful lot about Sadko, that the cluttered, neo-salon arrangement of works up and down the walls did not work and was a detriment to the already complex and delicate imagery of each work. This is not work that I want to look up and sideways at.
I wonder how young Sadko is… some choices were obnoxious pop-references while others seem to hint at historical references to classic literature. There almost seems to be an unresolved painterly anxiousness about being free with the brush or more precise – to blend with or contrast the quaint and precise patterns.
Anyone notice I’ve avoided gender references when talking about the artist? I don’t have an intern to fact-check these things. The press release is below.
MADE IN PARIS
new paintings on fabric
November 12 – December 5
Opening reception: Friday, November 12, 7-10pm (James North art Crawl)
appetizers by Wild Orchid
Gallery hours: Wed-Sun/12-5
Sadko Hadzihasanovic is represented by PPetro Gallery, Toronto
you me gallery 330 James Street North, Hamilton ON
tel.(905)523 7754 www.youmegallery.ca