Summer of Love
When I first walked into the crowded opening on Allen Street I was instantly transported to a psychedelic sex-party; Summer of Love is a salon-style exhibition which includes the works of 108 artists. This show takes place in two locations simultaneously: Freight + Volume and at their sister gallery Arts + Leisure.
In Peter Schenks painting Ready to Go, 2018, a nude male and female engage in an exchange of brilliantly clashing harmonies and shapes intertwined in a delicate dance of flat and volumetric space. In the articulated line-work of J. Fibers drawing Fuzzy Math (courtesy of Pierogi), 2007, seemingly casual lines transform into narratives. After close inspection, a romantic scene of a couple walking along a city street in an embrace begins to emerge from the chaos. The cascading biomorphs express a shared consciousness in a display of multi-dimensional communion.
In Katharine Bradford's painting titled Summer of Fun for F&V (courtesy of Canada), 2018 mysterious colorful figures clad in bathing suits, carry on silent conversations beneath an ominous dark sky with a foreboding, horizonless landscape. The dark blues and purples threaten to engulf the figures as they confront their inevitable demise in a moment of existential reflection. Much like the dark undertones of Brafords painting, there is an ominous, roiling feeling in our current cultural climate that threatens to engulf us all. The 60s were a turbulent and revolutionary time marked by social unrest, war, and the threat of complete nuclear annihilation. This exhibition triggers a feeling of nostalgia for a tumultuous utopian past full of promise and love. Summer of Love is an exuberant display and meditation on collective consciousness, and the human condition both past and present. Just seeing the works of 108 artists harmoniously hanging together is a powerful, much needed, life-affirming experience.