Inaugural Triennial at the Art Gallery of Peterborough

The last slabs of ice are breaking up along the river’s edge and most of the people of Peterborough are out enjoying the first really springlike day of March. So I didn’t expect to see a crowd at the opening of the Art Gallery of Peterborough’s Innaugural Triennial, but it was a full house.

This is Peterborough’s first Triennial of artists from 8 surrounding counties, juried by Linda Jansma (Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa), Fynn Leitch (Artspace, Peterborough) and Olexander Wlasenko (Station Gallery, Whitby), and I was revved to see mature work by a range of local artists I was unaware of.

Paolo Fortin‘s Wires dominated the main space, a large, airy oil on paper that walks the delicate line between abstract and urban landscape, reminding me a little of Luc Tuyman’s work.

I enjoyed the way Jane LowBeer’s monotypes reduce ordinary objects to an alphabet of curiosity.

I was not the only viewer drawn in by Brion Wagner’s Cornered, which always seemed to have a crowd intent on reading the entirety of its text.  The power of this piece, which examines the point of making art both personally and politically, is its unflinching honesty.

Gordon Murray’s bronze Wolf  has a strong presence of dignity, humour, awkwardness and gesture in a nicely-chosen scale.

Susan Scott’s small pastel landscapes are full of graphic clarity and energy.

Absorbing too is the photographic storytelling of Phillip Chee and Sylvat Aziz.

Never underestimate the freshness of young artists – it’s worth viewing the work by the graduating class of PCVS on display along the gallery’s upper ramp.

The show continues to April 29th, 2012. The full catalogue is available here »

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