Geoff McFetridge ebbs and flows. I have found his paintings over the years to be powerful metaphoric representations of human interactions, anonymous but a collective working together, and yet not stripped of individualism. It's always a balance. We are alone but we are also in this together. We may need to rethink this thing we call humanity but that doesn't mean that humanity is all dried up. And Geoff sometimes breaks universality down to the simplest shapes and motions, and then will come back a few shows layer and be more figurative or then more abstract but it all seems to speak to a breaking point of harmony. As he always says, these are the closest you can get to a non-idea while still representing thought.

Nature Mart is McFetridge's fourth solo show at Toronto's Cooper Cole Gallery, a series of bold paintings that asks a bold question: Do we merely exploit nature for nourishment, wealth, and entertainment, or are we part of a larger, interdependent system? And the figures grapple with themselves in some works, and grapple with being part of something. In some works, like Person person, a group tries to balance and support each other in an impossible formation. Thruwall feels like a connection that just cannot be made, with the characters looking either as mirror images of themselves or two people longing to see the other. I've always found Geoff to be an optimist without philosophically over-explaining what we can be optimistic about. It's just an idea that he might have had to show us a way to get there. —Evan Pricco