Review: Jeff Dywelska at Communications Art.

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

"Deep Water Horizon" Jeff Dywelska

The Communications Art Gallery is displaying the work Jeff Dywelska in his new show, Final Frontiers. Comprised of no more than handful of acrylic paintings, the exhibit presents works dealing with the themes of excess and obsession in the context of the lifestyles of modern suburbanites. Hailing from the suburbia of the Toronto area himself, Dywelska juxtaposes the reality of his own experience with humorous and satirical images to make a powerful statement.

The small gallery was well utilized for Final Frontiers. Comprised of only one small room, the front window allows for the majority of the paintings to be seen from the sidewalk. Dywelska’s intense use of colour and graphic imagery draws the viewer in but it is only after taking a closer look that it is clear that the paintings are also full of hidden symbolism.

The works displayed on the three white walls, though dealing with the same subject matter of suburban culture and consumerism, seem to fall into three different stylistic categories. The first group is characterized by an illustrative quality and the use of black and white lines with selectively added bold colours. These paintings are incredibly complex and appear to be full of juxtapositions and ambiguities.

Jeff Dywelska

Though interesting these works are nothing compared to the two paintings on the outer edges of the main wall. The creatively titled “Hold Me Like You Used To” and “Sons of Champions” are an extremely compelling combination of food and grotesque surrealism on an old-fashioned wallpaper backdrop.

“Deep Water Horizon” stands alone in the third stylistic group and seems drastically separated from the other body of works. This image of a burning shipwreck is far less surreal and is the only horizontally oriented work in the show. Rather than continuing on the satirical and humorous thread that characterizes the rest of the show, this painting is a direct assault on the issues Dywelska addresses. Despite the discontinuity this work creates in the exhibit, Final Frontiers overall is an extremely successful, if small show.

– Sophia Farmer

On from January 6th until the 22nd.

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