LEE HENDERSON AT GALLERYWEST/ EVAN TYLER
July 15, 2014
Bob Dylan sang “Death is not the end” on Down in the Groove, one of his least popular LPs, but Evan Tyler wasn’t listening. The soon-to-be-former proprietor of the four-year-old gallerywest –which was originally on Queen West West West but fought the tide of gentrification and actually moved east in 2012 to sit in the shadow ofloftominiums on Queen West West – marks his last exhibition with Lee Henderson’s mortality-themed The Museum of One Thing After Another. The artist-run gallery (Tyler being the artist here), as opposed to the artist-run centre, has become something of a rarity (Andrew Harwood, whose Zsa Zsa space was part of the pre-history of this strip, recently shut down Zsa Zsa West in Winnipeg), and it’s easy to finger harsh urban economics as the culprit, but I’d argue that these creatures have naturally short lifespans. The idea is resilient and will manifest itself with different hosts in different locations as long as there are ambitious, community-minded artists willing to sacrifice sleep, cash, and space in the name of art.