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Denyse Thomasos: Just Beyond (AGO) – runs until February 20, 2023
One of the finest painters to emerge in the 1990s, the late Trinidadian-Canadian artist Denyse Thomasos (1964-2012)left an indelible, yet frequently overlooked, mark on contemporary painting. A career retrospective, Denyse Thomasos: just beyond, brings together more than 70 paintings and works on paper, many rarely seen, to show how she challenged the limits of abstraction, infusing personal and political content onto her canvases through the innovative use of formalist techniques. Organized chronologically, the exhibition features sections devoted to the artist’s primary areas of research, illustrated with major works on loan from museums and private collections in Toronto, Montreal and New York City.
On a final exhibition wall, “Babylon” presents a busy cityscape radiating with an energy and irreverence that takes its cues from graffiti art. Here, Thomasos’ lines and cross-hatching patterns are absent, but the painting’s dimensions and composition echo a continuity with the urban structures visible in other works. Titled in reference to the Biblical city, the painting usually hangs in a grand hall at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, where both her wedding and funeral requiem were held, and so projects a near-spiritual presence that brings the show to a close.
Babylon by Art Gallery of Ontario via #soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/agotoronto/1-babylon-audio-description