Tuesday, March 29, 2011

McCall and Britton: Exhibitions Opening Sat. April 2, 2011


  Kai McCall: "The Weightlessness"

"Like characters in a work of fiction, the figures in my paintings confront challenges and conflicts as they navigate a variety of enigmatic situations and settings. I think of them as semi-autonomous individuals whose poses evolve as I paint them, and who become defined by the eventual actions that they assume in a composition. However, despite the recognizable imagery and actions of the figures, the overall meaning of the work eludes us. The paintings read more like a work of fiction with the concluding chapters missing; we are conscious of a conflict developing yet the resolution remains suspended in time, the outcome ambiguous." McCall (2011) 
Kai McCall received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario. He is a three-time recipient of Canada Council Grants and  has works in numerous private and corporate collections across Canada, the United States, the UK and France. This is his second solo exhibition at KWT contemporary.  He is lives and works in Montreal.

Kelvin Britton : "That and This"

In his first solo exhibition at KWT contemporary, Britton plays with hi/lo references to icons of 50's visual culture. Vintage toys float, leer, gloat and giggle on gorgeously painted abstract expressionist backgrounds.  Britton states: "The act of painting takes the form of a conversation, a unique experience, a journey. A new dialogue is engaged in with each new approach to the work, new layers of discovery are revealed, realms of consciousness, otherwise inaccessible become apparent. The different stages/aspects/ layers of the painting represent a record of a dreamlike encounter. Looking at the evolution of the paintings feels like an archaeological expedition through time and space, through interior and exterior realms, through form and feeling."

Kelvin Britton was born at the Covered Wagon Trailer Park in Fort Garry, Manitoba. After studying Philosophy at University of Victoria, he attended Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he studied painting under Gerald Ferguson.  He lives and works in Toronto.

***Our new website is under construction, but we have posted images for McCall and Britton on our old  site, here ***

Caroline DeMooy Interviewed by Lori Starr

Lori Starr, art historian and Executive Director of the Koffler Arts Centre, interviewed Caroline deMooy at the gallery last Saturday morning. The interview was aired on ArtSync TV, and we are told that it will become part of a boxed set of interviews of contemporary Canadian artists (in production) which will be made available as a teaching tool for art educators at the secondary and post secondary levels. We are thrilled to know that such an initiative is underway, and we'll post more information about the project as it becomes available.  For now, you can watch deMooy's interview here.

JP Robinson: ArtSync Interview on Opening night march 5, 2011

John Paul Robinson has recently been interviewed by ArtSync about the exhibition "New Work" which will be on exhibit here at KWTcontemporary from March 5 - 26, 2011. You can watch the interview in which Robinson speaks about the themes in his work: time, space, nature, science and personal mythologies, here.

“The work in this new series explores the connections between the sublime nature of natural phenomena, the subconscious, and the fields of physics and biology.  The pieces themselves are part of a set of metaphorical symbols that I am building to describe my experience, my place, and my life, to myself.”

Born in 1954 in Toronto, Ontario, John grew up in cottage country 2 hours north of the city. He was first introduced to glass while studying Child Care at Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario. In 1980, after working with children and then alcoholics for 6 years, he built his first glass studio with a friend, who had studied glass at Georgian. In 1982 he was hired by the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, where he worked as a glass studio technician and instructor until 1998. His work has been exhibited internationally, and is represented in public collections such as the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Museum of American Glass. John is presently living, working and teaching in Montreal.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Publications for Marina Black

Marina Black's work is included in "Burn O1 Magazine" a collector's edition representing some of the best photographic essays from the Burn Magazine website, edited and published by David Alan Harvey. The publication includes 25 photo essays and various texts, and was printed in Italy (1000 copies). More information, including how to order, here.

Black was also among the 118 photographers from around the world personally invited by James Whitlow Delano to “share with me one photograph that says to 
you, ‘MERCY’” The result is a beautiful book, "The Mercy Project/Inochi".

"The Mercy Project Inochi" is a charity 
photo book project featuring the work 
of  photographers 
from Magnum, VII Photo, Noor, and National 
Geographic, coming 
together to create awareness and raise 
funds for hospice and palliative care.

The book has now been released and can be purchased through Amazon (Japan).

From Niko Koppel's recent  NY Times Lens Blog article:

"Mercy is commonly defined as compassion, forgiveness, kindness or an act of piety. But photographs of prisoners reaching through bars, a wrestler being contorted by masked men and an infant dressed for burial are among the many interpretations of the word in the book “The Mercy Project/Inochi,” created and curated by James Whitlow Delano.
Mr. Delano’s sister, Jeanne, had terminal renal cancer in 2007 and spent her last months in hospice care. “I felt she got merciful care,” he said “Humane care. She was treated like Jeanne.”

With his emotions still raw from that experience, Mr. Delano set out to draw attention and funding to hospice and palliative care. He reached out to other photographers, asking them to submit work for a book based on the concept of mercy. The response was overwhelming.

And it was frequently surprising, sometimes even a bit confounding. “Everyone’s interpretation is absolutely different,” Mr. Delano said. “I didn’t challenge. I didn’t ask. If you say that’s mercy, that’s all I need to know.”


See more of Marina Black's photography here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Liz Parkinson at Benedicta Art Centre, Minnesota

Above image from an installation of Liz Parkinson's "Popular Nature Project",  earlier last year at Visual Arts Centre, Clarington.

We recently posted about Paul Dignan's exhibition at the Benedicta Art Centre at the College of St. Benedict/University of St. John in Minnesota. By a strange co-incidence, Liz Parkinson, also a KWT artist is exhibiting there, at the same time, in the Gorecki Gallery. (Note to Paul, Liz and Pearl: try to find a warmer place next time...Minnesota, Banff...brrrr! It's cold enough here in Toronto! )

Liz Parkinson's "Popular Nature Project" is an ongoing accumulation of images that aspires to completion as a collection. Each twelve-inch unit, although an independent composition, is seen as a possible component of the larger taxonomic entity: Popular Nature. Overall the project explores relationships between "natura" and "nature inspired" objects and systems of understanding. The portable scale of individual panels enables them to be worked on while traveling, as such acquiring aspects of the souvenir. Often, added to in the studio and inserted into the logic of the growing collection, the gathered information changs as it is influenced by surrounding references. Each addition and reorganization of the collection presents a revised understanding of what is meant by "nature". And like most collections, it may never be complete nor, like nature, its meaning fully explored.

These small mixed media works are a painterly departure from Parkinson's more traditional printmaking practice, but incorporate familiar techniques and media, including Japanese Paper, Rag Paper with litho, drypoint, relief, gold leaf, flocking, encaustic, plaster, and acrylic painting. Parkinson is widely respected as a master printmaker, but we love this new direction too, and we understand she plans to continue with it in a much larger format in the near future.

You can see images of Parkinson's earlier work (from the "Morphology" series at KWT) here.

Banff Residency for Pearl Van Geest

Pearl Van Geest is currently Artist-In Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts. In a recent e-mail, she writes:

"I will be setting up two collaborative Kiss Paintings, one here at the Banff Centre as indicated by the invitation above and one this weekend in Golden BC. For both I will project a topographical map of the surrounding landscape and people are invited to put on lipstick and kiss the places that hold meaning for them. The paintings will be 6' x 9'. I will then make photo emulsion silkscreens from photographs of the kiss marks and use these to make a further series of paintings based the places identified and from sketches and photographs done while visiting the places that are accessible.

In addition - for the installation in Other Gallery here at the Centre I will be adding a large scale grid of "pronto plates" (they act like a litho stone) on which I will have digitally printed the topographical map. When the kiss marks are added I will print these plates much a like litho so for these the contour lines, the tones of the landscape features and the lip marks will all be in tones of black and grey so that the lip marks will be another shape integral to the map.

My  project draws upon and extends my ongoing exploration of our connection to and perception of the natural world and the environment, our place in it and our desire to be part of it. The work draws upon the theory of biophilia, the idea that humans have an innate love of nature, as proposed by Edward O. Wilson.

Other ideas are alluded to: for example, in Erick Fromm’s allegorical explanation of the exile from the Garden of Eden story he proposes that humans became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being part of it and that this existential dichotomy can be solved by the human powers of love and reason. In Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky, the mystic Father Zossima, says that we should "“Kiss the earth and love it with an unceasing, consuming love.”"

Kiss marks are used for their mutable symbolic significance and also for their remarkable morphological similarity to other natural forms -- suggesting by implication, an essential corporality and an evolutionary connection with the natural world.

Conceptual/process painting and performance art is combined with the language of abstraction, pop art and landscape painting."

Before leaving for Banff,  Van Geest  began working on a new series of paintings: they are very different from the "kiss" painting, but it is evident that she continues to explore themes of biophilia, exile and connection, and our place in the natural world. We'll post images of her new work in the near future.

See work from Van Geest's recent exhibition at KWT here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Art Fair Week in New York: Lauren Nurse at Armory Show

Two of Lauren Nurse's provocative  self-portraits have been chosen by the Art Dealer's Association of Canada for at their pavilion at the Armory Show  (March 2-6, 2011, Pier 94, # 1511)

"Twigs" and "Horns" were most recently exhibited at KWT  in Nurse's solo show, "you are my mirror", which closed this past weekend. These archival pigment prints were produced in an edition of 5 on Hahnemuhle paper. We have one set, available for viewing by appointment at the gallery.