It is with great pleasure that Diaz Contemporary presents its first solo exhibition of gallery artist Elizabeth McIntosh’s work. Young Night Thought features a selection of McIntosh’s new paintings; there has been an unequivocal excitement over the new directions Elizabeth McIntosh has taken over the past few years in her work, and these new tendencies are shown off to their best advantage in this selection of canvases.
As a founding member of the Toronto collective Painting Disorders in the early 1990s, McIntosh has been looking at the medium of painting through a backward glance at the tropes of Modernism and Geometric Abstraction for years. Repeating basic forms such as circles, squares, rectangles, stripes, and ovals were a medium for responding to these earlier painting tenets. With the recent introduction of the triangle to her canvases, the artist has been playing with the inherently two-dimensional form of this shape, that when multiplied forms the basis for three-dimensional structures such as the geodesic dome.
By using an intentional and studied irregularity in her references to Geometric Abstraction, and repetitions of geometric shapes, McIntosh opens up a new dialogue with the historical precedents for this type of work; where absolutes regarding a channeling of transcendental information was once the norm, McIntosh now forefronts flaws and formal slubs. These purposeful interruptions in the potential for perfection and regularity are partnered with McIntosh’s ebullient palette to create new narrative possibilities.
McIntosh’s well-thought out compositional awkwardness creates different zones of activity—triangles undulating off the edge of the canvas, girded by narrow horizontal bands at the bottom from which legs may sprout. Calling to mind the horizon of landscape painting, but now supported by spindly limbs, spatial depth is created, then has the ocular rug pulled out from underneath it. A resultant investigation of the potentially narrow gap between representation and abstraction is created.