Saturday, February 26, 2011

deMooy, Robinson and Langstroth: Opening March 5, 2011

We are pleased to present three exhibitions of new works by three contemporary artists, each working in a Modernist vein.

Lower Gallery
"Visible World": Caroline deMooy
With this new series of oil paintings, deMooy continues to explore abstractions which are layered and complex, and suggestive of urban architecture and street scapes. DeMooy says:"The work is not based on any specific idea, but rather a feeling or thought that I have about the essence of the world around me. Depending on time of day, climate and seasonal conditions, my experience and my perception, nature provides me with a symphony of information that becomes my palette- much like notes in music. The multi-layered world, with its endless possibilities and outcomes presents a vast riddle of visual, emotional, psychological and spiritual information. These paintings represent the architecture of this complex survey."

Mezzanine Gallery
"New Work": John Paul Robinson
Robinson's latest sculptural works in glass are elegant, arcing and streamlined forms, suspended from polished metal wall mounts. Robinson says: "Science and technology are revealing a universe that is completely counter intuitive. Solid mass turns out to be a lot of energy and a lot of space and what time it is depends on how fast you are going. My work is an attempt to build a set of symbols that describe this reality. The pieces combine aspects of natural phenomena we grasp intuitively, pebbles in a pond, with those we don’t particle – wave duality. I am attempting to build a functioning model/myth of my world."

Upper Gallery 
"Between Lines": Chris Langstroth 
According to Toronto based art writer and educator, Betty-Ann Jordan, "Chris Langstroth's semi abstracts ostensibly depict people in crowds, but really, the main attraction is his patchwork of streaky, thick-as-boiled-frosting acrylic paint. The artist works intensely and swiftly while his pigment is still wet, laying down his colour swatches with a small trowel-like palette knife and plasterer's scrapers. About his self-appointed challenge to blend abstraction and figure painting, Langstroth says: "I don't want my paintings to be still - I like them noisy."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Paul Dignan at Benedicta Arts Center, Minnesota

Paul Dignan has been invited to exhibit work created between 2004 to 2009 in a solo show at the Benedicta Arts Centre at Saint John's University in Minnesota. The exhibition runs from March 3 to April 8, 2011. These paintings, which differ from the work now showing at KWT Contemporary, use ambiguous imagery taken from sources such as monograms, wallpaper designs, sections of cartoons and other sampled imagery as well as self generated drawings.
"Untitled", 2006, acrylic on canvas, 48"x48"

Paul Dignan's latest paintings (on view at KWT Contempporary through Feb. 26, 2011) can be described as neo-op, hard-edged geometric abstraction. Dignan is a master of the unexpected when it comes to colour,. His work has literally been stopping traffic on Richmand St. W. for the past few weeks.  The sidewalks may be slushy and the skies grey, but it is spring on the other side of our 14' main floor windows. Given that Minnesota has even harsher weather conditions than we do here in Toronto, we know that Dignan's work will be well received.

"Untitled (pink)", 2010, acrylic on canvas, 54"x54"

Of his latest work, Dignan says: "I make hard edge abstract paintings that use a simple grid as a starting point.  The paintings produced for this show came about through a decision to re-examine the defined, schematic striped paintings I made in the UK in the 1990’s and also in relation to the paintings I made between 2004 – 2009, after I had relocated to Canada. I wanted to reintroduce the illusion of order into this new body of work by using a rigidly defined specific structure as a starting point - usually an 8 x 8 grid. This is then deconstructed, manipulated and altered through intuitive decision-making processes whilst at the same time making reference to the original grid format.... The colour choices have been influenced by my experience of living in Canada as I have become more and more aware of the effects of the extreme shifts in Canadian weather.  Objects and buildings become faded, bleached and weathered - for example, the faded orange of a rusting child's bicycle that has been left out all winter or the bleached yellowing green of a fence subjected to constant bouts of humidity and a scorching summer sun." 

You can see more of Dignan's work here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lauren Nurse: "you are my mirror": Feb 5 to 26, 2011

Lauren Nurse interviewed by Tali Dundin at KWT Contemporary on February 5th, 2011 (later aired on ArtSync)

Click here to watch the interview

"Cultural perceptions of nature have always held a certain amount of anxiety, and have spawned numerous myths, legends and fables.  These narratives expose culture’s uneasy relationship with the natural world.  For example, the figure of the werewolf is the ultimate symbol for the transgression between human and animal, and fears about being consumed are embodied in the figure of the vampire.  I believe that looking closely at these legends provides a key to understanding the culture that produced them. In viewing the monstrous body as a metaphor for the cultural body, I consider the mythic as a symbolic expression of the cultural unease that pervades a society and shapes its collective behavior. 
Previous works of mine have revolved around the idea of collisions between nature and culture - passing comment on some of the ways in which we see nature as existing outside of culture and society, yet simultaneously influencing the ways in which we live. 

The new body of work that I am exhibiting synthesizes my previous interest in the modern separation and opposition between culture and nature, and my current interest in locating the mythological/uncanny in evocations of the ‘wild’. 
I am interested in the dissolution of boundaries between categories, ideas, and objects, the tension between inside and outside, and the intersections that occur when borders of the body become fluid and porous." -Lauren Nurse (2011)
Pearls. Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle paper. edition of five, framed. 2009

Svava Thordis Juliusson: "Saman Safnast": Feb 5 to 26, 2011

Svava Thordis Juliusson interviewed by Tali Dundin at KWT Contemporary on February 5th, 2011. (later aired on ArtSync).

click here to watch the interview

Juliusson is interested in using and manipulating traditional sculpture techniques and various non-traditional sculpture materials to express her concerns and ideas. The studio investigations, which often commence at the kitchen table or the laundry room, tend to oscillate between curiosity and the desire to articulate a response to her surroundings.

Current investigations, such as Horizon Orange, are part of a recent shift in her art practice. While still wanting to respond to larger events and domestic situations, the works are executed with a more intuitive approach to material and are primarily composed of plastic such as the cable ties, or safety fencing. These materials are designed for a specific purpose, but once manipulated, or re-purposed, the elements as a new whole, have the potential to become something else, something perhaps found in a natural environment like a cloud or a landmass.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Accolades and International Exhibitions for Annie Tung

Above: Annie Tung, "Love Spoons, erotic poem in Braille to be read with one's tongue", edition 3/3, 2009: cast silver and brass.
(poem by Gwendolyn MacEwen (CAN, 1941-19870)

This work was most recently shown in Annie Tung's solo exhibition, "Strangely Familiar" which ran from Dec. 4 , 2010 through Jan. 26, 2011, KWT Contemporary (formerly XEXE Gallery)
Congratulations to Annie Tung for having been selected for the following honours and international exhibitions:

Best of 2010 Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Sculpture:
Annie Tung won Best of Show in the Sculpture Category at this past summer's Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. Her work was on exhibit through January 2011 in "
Best of 2010, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition Award Winners" at FCP Gallery, Toronto. (First Canadian Place,100 King Street West, Toronto) (more information here).

Silver Triennial, 16th Worldwide Competition:
"Love Spoons"  will be traveling until Jan 2012 to the following locations:  

German Goldsmith’ House inHanau; Fair Ambiente, Frankfurt; MuseumKunstgewerbesammlung Huelsmann, Bielefeld; Zilvermuseum Sterckshof, Antwerp, Belgium; Wasserschloss Klaffenbach, Chemnitz.  

9th Helen Keller International Art Competition:
"Love Spoons" will be exhibited in Glasgow through May, 2011  (more information here).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Inaugural Show Reviewed in Globe and Mail

The re-launch and inaugural exhibitions which opened last Saturday saw over 350 in attendance, followed up this weekend by a complimentary review from R.M. Vaughan in the Globe and Mail: "... three excellent mini-shows: a suite of crisp neo-Op Art works by Paul Dignan, paintings wherein interconnecting, bent geometric shapes overlap in soothing, hazy colours, with the brighter tones jumping off the canvas like hurled blades in a 3-D movie; Svava Thordis Juliusson’s wacky, twitchy collection of sculptures made from Play-Doh-bright twist ties and packaging materials; and Lauren Nurse’s surreal set of photographs, including a face covered in white globules (pearls? fish eggs?) and a face with glued-on sticks for eyelashes." Read more here

Monday, February 7, 2011

Three Exhibitions and Gallery Re-launch

Reception: February 5, 6-8 p.m.

Lower Gallery
Paul Dignan: "Another After One"

Svava Thordis Juliusson: "Saman Safnast"

Upper Gallery
Lauren Nurse: "you are my mirror"

Exhibition runs from February 5 - 26, 2011
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, 12-6 p.m.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brad Copping: Reverse Osmosis

Brad Copping interviewed by Tali Dundin in the December 10th, 2010 airing of ArtSync on the occasion of the opening reception for "Reverse Osmosis". Click on picture to watch interview.
"When I am working on a piece, I will start with an initial idea, thought, or vision and the work is honed in the process of making. I will constantly ask questions regarding my next step, if I use this material or this technique, how will it affect the piece, will it clarify or confuse what I’m hoping to achieve. Or will it possibly take it somewhere I did not think of, and hopefully that is a place where the process enlightens me. The work in this exhibition is a retrospective of sorts, a filtered view of some of the larger scale work that I have made. It is an opportunity to apply a similar process to building the exhibition to the one I use when making the individual pieces. All of this work makes reference to water. Water not only roots us and links us to a place – intensifying our relationship to the land, it also conveys us to different places, connecting us to one another. It is a large portion of what we are, what all life is, and that too connects us to the natural world whether we want to admit it or not. These pieces reflect my continuing search for balance and connectedness between people, people and place, and finally within people themselves." - Brad Copping

Raindays (detail), hotworked and carved glass, glass tubing, wood, metal leaf, brass. 2001. 124 x 12 x 12 cm ;
Portage. hotworked and carved glass, wood. 1999. 46 x 148.5 x 48.5 cm;
Seep. hot worked glass, wood. 2007. 183 H x 173 W x 12 D cm.

Pearl Van Geest : But this is not a place of words

View Art Sync's interview with Pearl here.

Click on above link to view Pear Van Geest's interview with Micheal Hansen for Art Sync for the exhibition "But This Is Not a Place of Words" which ran from November 6 - 27, 2010.

Pearl Van Geest is interested in questions that arise about the nature of reality and the natural world, our connection to it, and the place of painting within this context. She is compelled by diverse sources: visual, literary philosophical and scientific. In her work, paint is used to explore these questions and ideas. Kiss marks are used as an abstract mark, for their mutable symbolic significance and also because they have a morphological similarity to other natural forms.

" She paints with the sort of id-soaked, primary process-driven intensity often associated with "intuitive" or "outsider" art. However, she and her paintings are far from naive: she is a broadly educated, well traveled person, and a highly skilled, technically adept painter."

Pool, 2007. Oil on canvas. 72″ × 72″;

Cherries in the Snow, 2002. Oil and lipstick on canvas. 72″ × 72″;

Pool, 2007. Oil on canvas. 72″ × 72.

Welcome to KWT contemporary

Kristyn Wong-Tam (owner) and Aurelie K. Collings, Director and Curator, are happy to announce that we are ringing in the New Year with a name change, a new look, and a new curatorial direction. We are now "KWT contemporary".  During the transition, the old XEXE site ( will remain active.

KWT contemporary (formerly known as XEXE Gallery) is located at 624 Richmond St West, Toronto, Canada. please send your inquiries to

KWT contempoary welcomes new staff:

Jessica Vallentin, our new Gallery Administrator,
Ebony Jansen, our Communications Intern, and
Emily Mahon, our Archives Intern.