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September 18 – September 18, 2020
The title of this exhibition is Re: Arrange but it could have also been called Re: Purpose or Re: Think or even Re: Start, as all of these descriptors aptly portray the creative process of the artist in their studio. Artists spend a lot of time playing around. Not “playing,” playing, but being creatively playful. Trying new materials, switching things up, moving things around, all in search of inspiration and resolve in the artistic process. What happens when something is removed or added could be the answer to making something work. The artistic process is all about experimentation; trying new approaches. This exhibition brings eight artists together who are playful in their artistic practice.
My recent work explores aspects of geometry as encountered in both natural and architectural forms. Offering the possibility of working with both colour and form simultaneously, synthetic polymers have been a primary means by which I undertake this exploration. Ten Sided Form is part of a series created with scraps of material leftover from other projects, collected and accumulated over a period of months before realizing their potential in these sculptures. Disparate pieces came together in an intuitive process of cutting and bonding, adding and taking away, until structure begins to appear and distinct planes converge into a single spontaneous object.
– Michael Abraham
Michael Abraham is a mixed-media artist and fabricator. Born 1985 in Toronto, Ontario, he studied sculpture and installation at OCAD University, as well as drawing and painting at Toronto School of Art. He currently lives and works in Toronto.
Scale Models for Entertaining Modernism comprises two, one third in size, reproductions of sculptures the artist exhibited earlier this year at Loop Gallery which derive from the artist’s ongoing interest in concepts of the modern found in film, sculpture and painting. Experimenting with narrative disjuncture Abrams juxtaposes abstract forms originating from modern art’s take on the natural world that have over time taken on recognizable modernist symbolism.
John Abrams holds an MFA from York University and AOCA from the Ontario College of Art. His work is represented by Boltax Gallery, Shelter Island, New York. His paintings can be found in major public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, as well as numerous private collections in the United States. This year Abrams work is in featured in artMRKT San Francisco, Hamptons, Houston and Miami.
I am currently working with the notions of longing, human interaction, acclimation, and how the environment begins to inform each of these. This current body of work furthers my interests with how relationships in space and structure can be re-purposed to create new narratives, modified by their own characteristics and surroundings.
I have been interested in human interaction and the adjustment by an organism to environmental and physical change. The areas of entomology, botany and broken fragments of organic elements, remind me of familial sites and surroundings, both past and present. I continue to document and display details of growth. These elements are drawn through the imagination, producing new oddities of growth, objects of curiosity and hybridized forms of nature.
This work furthers my investigations into the transitional place, and the various stages that surround the transformations and adaptations of an object, along with the rooted structures that have formed its environment.
Elizabeth D’Agostino received her BFA from the University of Windsor and her MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL. She has exhibited in Canada and internationally, including Iziko: Museum of Cape Town, South Africa; Manhattan Graphics Center, New York; and The Print Center, Philadelphia. Her work can also be found in many private and public collections including the University of Changchun Jilin, China; Frans Masareel Centrum, Belgium; and Ernst and Young, Canada. She was selected as the 2008 Visiting Artist by the Fine Arts Department at the University of South Dakota. D’Agostino lives and works in Toronto and is a member of Loop Gallery and Open Studio.
Vanessa Maltese’s studio practice articulates contemporary notions surrounding the process of painting, its history and its relationship to the sculptural world by evaluating the pictorial, the frame, and the architectural space in which the work is presented. By meticulously employing traditional elements such as line, colour, and primary form through optical illusions and tonal play, the work suggests three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional plane. Making direct reference to the frame as both physical and metaphorical constraint, Maltese’s work recognizes and plays within the traditional painting apparatus, actively embracing and in turn, subverting the confines of the frame and the picture plane.
Vanessa Maltese was born in 1988. Currently based in Toronto, she holds a BFA from OCAD University. She is the recipient of the Drawing and Painting Medal from OCAD U in 2010 and has been shortlisted for the 2012 RBC Painting Competition. Maltese is represented in Toronto by ESP.
A big part of my on-line practise is making found gif collages, extracting dynamic pieces that are sexy, violent, poignant and hilarious, and repurposing them for my own mysterious needs. It’s a sort of art of participation that illuminates to me how I define myself as an artist.
– Lorna Mills
Lorna Mills has actively exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions since the early 1990s, both in Canada and internationally. Her practice has included obsessive Ilfochrome printing, obsessive painting, obsessive super 8 film and video, and obsessive animated GIFs incorporated into restrained installation work. She has also worked as a game programmer since 1994, starting off in children’s CD-Roms, before moving to web based programs, iPad and iPhone video as well as IPTV.
Luke Painter’s highly detailed work in ink on paper reveals a laborious process of drawing that results in a refreshing and unique collision of elements from different historical periods. Through the drawings we observe a process of searching and exploration for a definition of what constitutes the broad range of contemporary ornament, intersecting with popular culture, science fiction and the world of fashion. Known for his background in drawing, printmaking and digital processes, Painter uses 3D software to plan these intricate works while also adopting the surreal colour palette and tone of early chromolithography prints.
Luke Painter is an artist and educator living and working in Toronto. Recent exhibitions of his work include: Anterior at LE Gallery in Toronto (solo 2012); Par Nature at Bonneau-Samames Art Contemporain in Marseille, France (solo 2009); and Drawing Now Contemporary Art Fair in Paris, France (2011). Painter has received numerous research and artist grants from Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. His work has been reviewed by many notable publications including: Canadian Art, Border Crossings, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Now Magazine, and was included in Carte Blanche Vol 2 – Painting, a national survey of Canadian painters. Painter is Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting and Chair of the Printmaking department at OCAD University.
This piece, entitled Archeron’s Bed, references the mythological river of Archeron, the dark and swampy “river of pain”. This mythic river was believed to flow from the living world to Hades, the world of the dead. The duality of this river, with its important connection to both the worlds of the living and the dead, is the starting point for this work.
Archeron’s Bed, revisits and rearranges elements of Porter’s previous work. It seeks to play with and further blur the classical conceptual lines and struggle between the worlds of Humans and of Nature. The installation is simultaneously a vignette of an encroaching industrial and historical scourge, and yet embodies oceanic elements, like coral reefs, mollusks and hydrothermal vents.
Through constructs and reinterpretations of objects, drawn from his own growing and ever changing cabinet of curiosities that he has been building since childhood, Porter’s work explores loss on personal, global and mythic levels, while continuing to investigate the evolution, transgression and dissolution inherent in these themes.
Craig Porter has been practicing and exhibiting since the early 1990s. He holds a BFA – Honours (1991) from York University and an AOCAD (1996) from OCAD, where he is currently employed as the Manager, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Porter has been represented by LE Gallery, Toronto, since 2004.
Porter’s work over the last decade has explored loss and the entropy of things and meaning through the retelling and recontextualization of myth, literature, popular culture references, the canons of Western European art and the minutiae of his personal experience and collected objects.
In the series One Empire Wide, discarded Canadiana is reinterpreted by the artist as architectural models of ice fishing huts. Akin to their full sized counterparts, these scaled down versions engage the vernacular of reclamation, but in lieu of scrap building materials they reuse the detritus of recent Canadian history for their designs. From disposable fast food containers, failed companies, defunct government commissions, abandoned corporate branding to outdated military technology and emigrant sports franchises, these discarded cultural and social fragments are thoughtfully crafted into ingenious, inhabitable structures.
David Trautrimas’ work has appeared in both group and solo exhibitions around the world, including The Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (Toronto), LE Gallery (Toronto), The Korean Arts Centre (Seoul), KlompChing Gallery (Brooklyn), the Photo Eye Gallery (Santa Fe), Johannson Projects (Oakland), Queensland Centre for Photography (Australia), and Eckhart Gallery (The Hague, Netherlands). He has received international acclaim from publications such as ArtNews, The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, Immobilien Zeitung (Germany), Can Magazine (China), and the New York Times. He is represented by LE Gallery in Toronto, Photoeye Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and dnj Gallery in Los Angeles, California.