Art Review – Mba Fabrications at Meta Gallery
From the anonymous blog “ART from the HEART” (June 9, 2011)
This past week I saw what has to be the worst exhibition of the season in Toronto, perhaps the worst I’ve ever seen anywhere. As my regular readers know I am loath to “go negative” on any artist bold enough to put themselves out there. However, the bizarre combination of incompetence and arrogance on display in the Mba Fabrications show at Meta Gallery left me confused and, dare I say it, angry.
The show looked pleasant enough as I entered the gallery. However, on close inspection the brightly coloured paintings revealed finishes that can only be described as disinterested. Sloppy edges and comatose fields of poorly applied pigment blocked my every effort to engage with the work.
Now, I’m not talking here about the ambitious kind of “bad painting” that scandalised New York at the eponymous New Museum show in 1978. Nor am I talking about the sophisticated critique of good taste implicit in the work of artists as diverse as Richard Tuttle, Phillip Guston and Jean Dubuffet. No, what I’m talking about is callous disregard for the craft of painting.
The source of the problem is there for all to see in the written material that accompanies the exhibition. Mba Fabrications, so it seems, is not an artist in any traditional sense, but a company looking to cash in on the lucrative fine art market. Started by businessman Donald Ian McCaw in 2010, the company uses market research to design its paintings and unskilled labourers to perform the work. The results are just about as terrible as you’d expect.
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