A Humble Hum of Modern Equivalences: On the Work of Liz Magor and Elizabeth McIntosh

Elizabeth McIntosh, The Accordion Player, 2020, oil on canvas, 69 x 62 in. (175 x 158 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Elizabeth McIntosh, The Accordion Player, 2020, oil on canvas, 69 x 62 in. (175 x 158 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

 

Liz sculpts simple and base things
calls her arrangement “downer”

“Betty,” or Other Liz, addresses
simple and base things with paint

A simple sleep mask
the base word

H E
L P

Painted, à la Léger, in canary green, in lemon-lime
and in snappy, electric blue strokes

The letters squirming of
General Idea’s

A I
D S

 

Elizabeth McIntosh, Help, 2020, oil on canvas, 66 x 57 in. (168 x 145 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Elizabeth McIntosh, Help, 2020, oil on canvas, 66 x 57 in. (168 x 145 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

 

“Mom or Mother” seen as plague, the painter
wishing she’d taken a xenofeminist stance 

for the w-o-m-b

Instead has two
teen girls with pink cat ears

Reminders of the four-letter mantra
Robert Indiana said to

L O
V E

 

Liz Magor, Coiffed (detail), 2020, painted plywood, fabric skirting, silicone rubber, artificial hair, acrylic throw, woollen blankets, silver fabric, linen, jewellery boxes, costume jewellery, packaging materials, 27 x 132 x 96 in. (69 x 335 x 244 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Liz Magor, Coiffed (detail), 2020, painted plywood, fabric skirting, silicone rubber, artificial hair, acrylic throw, woollen blankets, silver fabric, linen, jewellery boxes, costume jewellery, packaging materials, 27 x 132 x 96 in. (69 x 335 x 244 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

 

The detail playing in the outlines of an accordion
and in that ghastly chub of a plush jewel kit where

Mom or Mother Liz 

Scatters zirconium treasure into the stoner’s abyss
where worn velveteen things become useful again

This Downer
chains 

Offering a cheap loud clasp
a golden rest

 

Elizabeth McIntosh, High, 2020, oil on canvas, 81 x 59 in. (206 x 149 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Elizabeth McIntosh, High, 2020, oil on canvas, 81 x 59 in. (206 x 149 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

 

Mom or Mother meaning also that other woman
The one clutching onto the unfinished ladder 

Painted right before a fall with gravity
her hands strangling her musing 

When she goes h-i-g-h

“Come here, kitty-kit-kit!
Here, Darling Lunatic!”

Our thoughts go l-o-w 

 

Liz Magor, Shaved (detail), 2020, painted plywood, fabric skirting, silicone rubber, faux fur, toy tail, packaging materials, 23 x 120 x 109 in. (58 x 305 x 277 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Liz Magor, Shaved (detail), 2020, painted plywood, fabric skirting, silicone rubber, faux fur, toy tail, packaging materials, 23 x 120 x 109 in. (58 x 305 x 277 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

 

I hear the dragon-voiced huffs
of the eyeless lion when she says—

“Winner takes all!”

and the excited monkey with small brains
climbing down the tangled jungles of yarn 

Gleaming hard, her plastic eyes
know she has won:

“Winner takes all”—the lion says again
this time more resigned

 

Liz Magor, Coiffed (detail), 2020, painted plywood, fabric skirting, silicone rubber, artificial hair, acrylic throw, woollen blankets, silver fabric, linen, jewellery boxes, costume jewellery, packaging materials, 27 x 132 x 96 in. (69 x 335 x 244 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Liz Magor, Coiffed (detail), 2020, painted plywood, fabric skirting, silicone rubber, artificial hair, acrylic throw, woollen blankets, silver fabric, linen, jewellery boxes, costume jewellery, packaging materials, 27 x 132 x 96 in. (69 x 335 x 244 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

 

She’s laying on her blankey, almost expired
but to each woman’s cheer she says—

H A
H A

in her fateful toast 

H E Y
H E Y

to
the mothers

H A
H A

to us
the eyeless lion says—

“Winner takes all!”

 

Liz Magor, Delivery (brown), 2018, silicone rubber, textiles, twine, 191 x 42 x 42 in. (485 x 107 x 107 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Liz Magor, Delivery (brown) (detail), 2018, silicone rubber, textiles, twine, 191 x 42 x 42 in. (485 x 107 x 107 cm). Photo: Rachel Topham Photography. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

 

 


 

Liz Magor: Downer was on view from December 5, 2020 to January 30, 2021 at Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver. Using traditional mould-making techniques, Liz Magor’s sculptures consider the relationship between inanimate materials and human emotions. 

Elizabeth McIntosh: Mom or Mother was on view from September 12 to October 10, 2020 at Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver. Using oils on large canvases, Elizabeth McIntosh’s paintings reflect on the multifold roles of motherhood.

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