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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Admission always free

Today's hours
12 pm - 6 pm
22 Jan 94until26 Feb 94

Mina Totino


555 Hamilton St

A close view of a painting of overlapping flowers. The flowers are red, yellow, blue and pink.

Mina Totino is a Vancouver-based painter who has been exhibiting for the past decade. Throughout this period, she has drawn upon seminal moments from the "official" history of painting such as the heroics of Abstract Expressionism, the genres of still life and the finality of the monochrome. But she has inserted elements commonly considered feminine — images of women, fashion accessories and decorative patterns. Through this strategy, she asserts a place for women within what has traditionally been a male dominated practice.

In this exhibition, Totino presents a diversity of imagery that is both representational and abstract. The paintings are sensual in their colour and surface but unsettling in their range of associations — from the rich colours of makeup to the inscription of a tattoo to renderings of body innards. Together, this construct of associations disrupts the pleasure of looking and the clarity of representation to create a sense of doubt about how we look at paintings. Each of these paintings stand as a unified structure, but in combination they function as an installation that can be rearranged according to the space of presentation. The installation tends to read like an extended phrase; the paintings are spaced to create an armature of assertions and pauses.


Mina Totino has exhibited widely in Vancouver. She was included in Young Romantics at the Vancouver Art Gallery and has shown at the Or Gallery, Artspeak Gallery and the Front Gallery. In 1991, she was part of an exhibition of four Canadian women artists, Other Frontiers, which was presented in Glasgow, London and Paris. Most recently she exhibited in Corpus which was organized by the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon for a national tour.