Sunday, July 28, 2013

A visit to the Diaz Contemporary to see the Kim Adams exhibit

[The Diaz Contemporary]
I was in Toronto over the weekend and had the opportunity to see the Kim Adams exhibit at the Diaz Contemporary gallery. It opened on 18 July and runs until 17 August.  There is also a Kim Adams exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario running until 11 August, so if you’re in Toronto, you can catch the double bill for a couple more weeks.
The Diaz show is quite different from the one at the AGO. It consists of around 10 - this is an approximation, I should have counted - small, 12 inch x 12 inch, dioramas. Each features a caboose(s), usually accompanied with a crane or two, as an exploration - often a whimsical one -  into how to use a caboose for everyday living or business. All are built from readily available HO-scale model railroad components.  Thematically, they are calmer than either the Artist’s Colony (Garden) you can see at the AGO, or the Bruegel-Bosch Bus at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

The dioramas are displayed much better in this gallery than the Artist’s Colony (Garden) is at the AGO. They are spread out along the white walls of the display room with lots of space between each one so that they don’t impinge on their neighbours. The room lighting is clear and uniform, making it easy to see all the details. Focusing on display may seem unimportant, but care on this aspect helps to show the dioramas to their best advantage. The only display improvement I might suggest is to somehow show them on free-standing pedestals so viewers can walk around and see all sides, although I admit this would require even more gallery floor space than might be practical or readily available.

I like these builds. Although they all represent unusual uses for cabooses, they all seem plausible and could be possible in ‘real life.’ If there are any enterprising GTA real estate developers out there reading this, buy ‘em all, spend sometime looking at ‘em, maybe try ‘em in different arrangements like puzzle pieces, and maybe if you’ve got your eye on some land somewhere just laying around and not earning its keep, maybe this’ll all add up to a money maker. If not, they still look great, and you’ll have some good art to enjoy - and no doubt appreciate :-) If you’re a model builder, they’re great examples of ‘what-if’ modeling. If you’re an art collector, they’ll look good in your collection - again, after you buy one, try and display it on something free-standing if you’ve got the space. Well, regardless of your interest, go see them.



The Diaz Contemporary gallery is located on the corner of Tecumseth and Niagara, just a short walk from the intersection of King and Tecumseth - which is also a convenient streetcar stop. The AGO and Diaz are pretty close to each other - well, relatively speaking - and smack dab in the part of the city that’s criss-crossed with a dense network of streetcars, so you can ride the rails and check out the art. Although I must admit I usually walk everywhere when I’m downtown. The terrain’s dead flat so the walking is easy; there’s lots to see and do on the street: food of all kinds, gawking at buildings, as well as people and streetcar watching. 
[I clipped this ad from the weekend Globe & Mail. It was interesting to see the old TTC PCC streetcar still in use in popular media.]

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