Violent Whimsy: Matt Crookshank

Violent Whimsy: Matt Crookshank

Sept. 9 – Oct. 8, 2016

Review by Terence Dick at Akimbo

General Hardware is pleased to present Violent Whimsy, Matt Crookshank’s second solo exhibition at GHC. 

Clearly violence transcends our consciousness and inhabits our core being.
There is a moment I’m searching for, the moment of perfect suspended animation.
The car crash moment. – Matt Crookshank

Matt Crookshank received his BFA in 1998 from Queens University. Crookshank has since developed several lines of simultaneous practice, bridging abstract painting, digital animation, and collaborative performance. In 2008, Matt attended Janice Kerbel’s Banff Center residency Cosmic Ray Research where he founded a six-artist collective called Unconstrained Growth Into The Void. The collective exhibited in Banff, Toronto and Mexico and included artists: Matt Crookshank, Rafael Rodriguez Cruz, Miruna Dragan, Jason De Haan, Erika Kiruff and Meghann Repenhoff. In 2012 Crookshank cofounded the collective Dark Triangle with Ulysses Castellanos and Zorica Vasic in an abandoned Toronto mansion. They exhibited in Oaxaca Mexico, Düsseldorf Germany and with Georgia Scherman Projects in Toronto in 2015. Matt is rumoured to be behind the experimental pop group Awesome Cheesecake which performed live at Nuit Blanche 2015, curated by Earl Miller. Crookshank has exhibited in London, Los Angeles, Switzerland, Mexico, Toronto and across Canada. His experimental digital and video work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Crookshank is currently the lead VFX artist on the Emmy winning television show Odd Squad being produced for PBS.

Crookshank has received recognition for his work by The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, Canadian Art Magazine and NOW Magazine. His paintings were featured in the 60 Painters exhibition in Canada and included in Carte Blanche Painting 2, a survey of new Canadian painting published and juried by The Magenta Foundation. 

“Not so much “eye candy” as “eye drugs”, they are psychedelic without the trappings of peace and love, false dicta that get in the way of pure expression. To quote Lester Bangs, “let it blurt” (and I mean that, as he did, in the best possible way).”
—Terence Dick, Art Critic, Akimbo, 2012

“Canadian painter Matt Crookshank isn’t afraid to fail. In fact, his no-holds-barred, confrontational approach is what results in the wild hits and misses that make his abstracts so bold and unusual.”
—David Jager, Art Critic, Now Magazine, 2012

“Matt Crookshank’s gleeful recklessness… utterly gonzo paint on paint on paint abstracts… revel in the accidental and the alchemical. Crookshank is a master of mixing different types of paint to create unholy crackling and bubbling effects.”
—RM Vaughan, Canadian art critic, The Globe and Mail, 2012

“Matt Crookshank’s work doesn’t look like anyone else. There’s a dynamism, a space in the work, so that there are actually areas of repose. You can both appreciate the vigour and … there’s [also] a contemplative quality to them that also relates to the idea of them being galactic.”
—Barbara Isherwood, host, ArtSync, 2012

“Matt Crookshank is one of the most important painters in contemporary Canadian art— he delves into paint fearlessly, paints with remarkable gusto and leaves the viewer thirsty for more.”
—Nadja Sayej, host, ArtStars* , 2010

“Matt Crookshank maps out a kaleidoscopic, jewel-toned virtual universe in his digital paintings.”
—Bryne McLaughlin, Canadian Art magazine, 2008


Hours: Wed. – Sat. 12 – 6 pm
416-821-3060 email:
1520 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON Canada M6R 1A4

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October 13 – November 5
Clint Neufeld: solo exhibition
main gallery space

October 13 – November 5
Group Exhibition, back gallery space

November 12 – December 23
Jordan Broadworth: solo exhibition

Jinny Yu will exhibit at Koffler Gallery in a group exhibition “Yonder” curated by Matthew Brower and Mona Filip opening: Wed. Sept. 21, 2016

Paul Collins: Phase 4/4 exhibition opens on Sept. 22 at Marseille 13001, France

Don’t miss in/future Sept. 15 – Sept. 25. A festival of Art & Music at Ontario Place. Artistic Directors, Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta. GHC artist Lyla Rye is among the participating artistsLyla will create a new site specific video work specially conceived for one of the unique silos. Canadian art Magazine review.

Alex Bierk awarded mural commission. Bierk’s striking image will be launched on Friday Sept. 23 at Simcoe and Queen Street in Peterborough at NOON. Bierk’s forthcoming solo exhibition FORERUNNERS opens on Oct. 14 at ARTSPACE in Peterborough. Bierk was recently listed as one of 10 most talked about painters in Toronto.

Scott Everingham receives Jon Imber Award for Painting – Full fellowship at the Vermont Studio Centre
reviews from GHC spring exhibition Mires:
NOW Magazine review by David Jager review by Alice Pelot
Toronto Star feature by Murray Whyte
Canadian Art Magazine Must-See-Shows

Kate Wilson exhibits at the Varley Art Gallery in Markham

Agathe de Bailliencourt receives the 2016 Jon Schueler Scholarship, three months residency on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, July 18th – October 7th 2016

GHC artists participating in fall benefit auctions:
Art With Heart, supporting Casey House, Oct. 18
Celia Neubauer, Lot:5
Caroline Larsen, Lot:32

Canadian Art Foundation, Sept. 22
Alex Bierk bid online or attend the auction

Members of AGAC


18 Oct 2010, Posted by General Hardware in Featuring, 2 Comments.

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  • Violent Whimsy: Matt Crookshank

    Sept. 9 - Oct. 8