Renzo Martens Screenings And Artist Talk At Justina M. Barnicke Gallery.

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery will be screening the controversial work of Renzo Martens on two nights before hosting the artist’s talk.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Gallery Openings for the Week of December 12-16.

December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Jeannie Thib "Column." (QueenSpecific)

Here is a list of some of the new shows on display in Toronto this week.

Vancouver artist Stan Douglas is showing some of his new photographic work at The Power Plant. The show runs from December 10, 2011-March 4, 2012.

On Thursday, December 15, Martha Rosler will be giving a talk of Richard Florida’s idea of the Creative Class in Studio Theatre at Harbourfront Centre at 7:00 PM.

Steve Driscoll is showing his colourful landscapes while Michael Adamson is showing a series of c-prints examining paranoia in the Cold War and after at the Angell Gallery. Both exhibits run from December 8, 2011–January 14, 2012.

“Heroes” is showing at the MJG Gallery located at 555 Parliament St. « Read the rest of this entry »

Three Takes on Art Toronto 2011.

November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

From October 27th -31st over a hundred fine art galleries and Canada’s foremost art organizations were assembled at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the 12th annual Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF). Ranging from 13 different countries, the participating galleries exhibited the work of some of the world’s leading contemporary artists. However, the fair was dominated by an intense concentration of Canadian artists allowing for an extensive viewing of the country’s art market. « Read the rest of this entry »

REVIEW: Andrew Wright’s ‘Coronae’ – Winner of CONTACT’s BMW Exhibition Prize

June 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Andrew Wright’s Coronae exhibit is no slap in the face.  The new series of work at Peak Gallery, winner of CONTACT’s BMW Exhibition Prize, does not flatten the viewer with colour and movement, or a plethora of cultural references.  Instead, Coronae slowly sucks you into its visual vortex, gently persuading of a truth that transcends all the chatter.  The more one experiences these works (in person, as is absolutely essential), the more one absorbs them like a towel soaks up wine. They are truly innovative, complex and beautiful works – a fitting winner for this year’s CONTACT prize.

The six 60” x 60” digital chromogenic prints were crafted by boring holes, using an electric drill, into slide film canisters with spools of 35mm film wound within them.  You know, the little cylinders of film we used to buy for our 90s cameras?  With only a small hole drilled through all the layers of film, they were left to sit and collect whatever light that trickled through the opening.  Once the film was developed, Wright re-photographed the chromogenic prints into digital format, resulting in the final work displayed at Peak Gallery.

Large swathes of inky blackness envelop the central image – the ‘corona’ – so that, one is unsure as to whether one is pushed away from a hard, black, table-top surface, or falling into the plush depths of an untouched universe.  This becomes a central theme in Andrew Wright’s new work.  “I’m particularly interested in the idea that black can be both surface and space, so that as surface, you relate to it as a body, not just a set of eyes,” stated Wright in an interview with ArtSync.  “The body relates to the world that you’re in.”  He then commented on photography’s tendency to portray other spaces, and how he hopes this series of new work will successfully fall between the physical “here” and fictive “there”.  Indeed, Coronae explores photography’s inherent voyeurism by complicating the traditional gaze:  one is not sure if the photograph, as a physical object, is imposing on the viewer’s space, or the viewer is imposing on the photograph by entering its visual wormhole.  This ambiguity gives Coronae the heavy presence of an object whilst retaining photography’s ability to serve as a private window into a different landscape.

The close visual similarities between a mere pin-prick of light through a film canister, and photographs of the larger cosmos, is remarkable.  Appropriately, “corona” is defined as a circle of halo around a luminous body, such as the sun or moon during an eclipse, but can be applied to anything crown-like (corona being latin for crown).  The macroscopic and microscopic, so interchangeable in such a body of work, seems to link the whole spectrum of life in-between – with an intensely spiritual effect.  One cannot help but be reminded, whether religious or no, of the biblical phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”.  Very large to very small; beginnings to endings; birth to death: there is a familiarity between the outermost reaches of any one thing, which draws it all together like a neat package.  Andrew Wright’s work touches on these “deathbed” questions – questions which, although most certainly timeless, may seem on the heavy side for some viewers.  However, those who relish the visual arts for those kick-in-the-pants moments – aka art that really makes you think – will not be fazed.  Coronae will be an undeniable pleasure.

‘Coronae’ is exhibiting in Toronto at Peak Gallery until June 11th. 

Review by Donia Almassi

The Gospel of ArtStars*

March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Nadja Sayej of ArtStars* fame gave a talk last Friday about her experiences in Berlin, and how you too could stay in Berlin for a year.

Lessons learned:
1. Should probably learn at least some German before going. (alternate: acquire German lover while there.)
2. London is one of the top cities selling art, Berlin is one of the top cities producing art.
3. As an English speaker, it will probably be easier to get an unpaid internship in Berlin, than it will/would be to get a job in the arts.
3a. Artists are working as janitors, english teachers, etc. to pay for their supplies/materials/living expenses.
4. Berlin is a relatively cheap place to live, rest of Germany: not so much.
5. Berlin studios/apartments = large for what they cost.
6. You should really probably learn German before you go.
7. If you’re smart about it, you can get to Berlin for about $300 (ArtStars* got a cheap plane ticket to Munich, then took the train up to Berlin).
8. For the youth: many bars/clubs are open late (like many places in Europe, closing is around 5am).
9. It’s really easy to find other Canadians/English speakers, don’t fall into that trap, or you’ll never learn German!
10. If you decide to move to Berlin, there will be tough times, but there will also be wonderful moments. Be prepared to talk to those around you if you’re feeling you want to leave, don’t. It’s all about sticking it out, making the best of it, and having an amazing experience.
« Read the rest of this entry »

ArtStars* at UTAC

February 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Art Talk category at a.centric.