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Sybil Goldstein at the DeLong Gallery

The Globe and Mail, Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gary Michael Dault - Gallery Going

Until July 5, 965 College St., Toronto; 416-531-1744

I've known Sybil Goldstein's paintings for 30 years and never liked them as much as I like the paintings in this new exhibition, called Public Space.

They are resolute paintings, almost guileless. They are slow, glowering, sometimes even rather turgidly painted vignettes of the city full of recognizable sites (Dundas Square, the corner of Queen and Dufferin, Joe Shuster Way, King and Atlantic, etc.).

But whereas Goldstein's sometimes too-strenuous efforts to get it right (atmospheric light, evocations of time of day) used to seem laboured, now her painterly inexorability appears to work for her, generating an unrelieved overcast quality that speaks ever more eloquently to the city as the locus of anxiety, disturbance, discontent. Goldstein, by virtue of her unwavering course as an artist, is constantly looking more prophetic than phlegmatic.