MARY CATHERINE NEWCOMB
Product of Eden
October 19, 2007- November 14, 2008
Opening reception Friday, October 19, at 5:30 p.m.
Mary Catherine Newcomb is a Kitchener-based artist whose figurative work over the years has included both humans and animals. Her use of animals has been a consistent theme throughout her career and may be likened to the animals of aboriginal and classical myths. Mice, snakes, hyenas, fish, sheep, and alligators make appearances in Newcomb's narrative bestiary as symbols of a secret knowledge. Rabbits, as carriers and symbols of occult knowledge, frequently occur in her sculpture in papier mache, cast concrete and now as living and preserved vegetal material.
Product of Eden takes advantage of the large southwestern exposure to grow living works of art, where the artist in effect sculpts living plant material. She does this by introducing fruit and vegetable shoots into hand-crafted molds. As the plant grows, the vegetable takes on the shape of the mold. Eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, squash and other plants will be grown and take shape at
The installation and opening coincides with the Greenscapes conference to be held at Brock University from October 18-20, 2007. The conference explores social, cultural, and historical aspects of gardens in human societies.
Image: Mary Catherine Newcomb, Product of Eden (detail), eggplants, bronze, 2007.
TOBEY C. ANDERSON
Trinities: Thirty-Three Years of Painting
December 22, 2007 - February 24, 2008
Closing Reception Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m.
A regionalist, Tobey C. Anderson is a fastidious painter, unafraid of exploring real issues that create conflict and pose unanswered questions. His intrepid concern for the politics of our time has initiated the creation of powerful canvases; in many styles and themes, his controlled yet sensitive brushstroke is consistent and his perspective poignantly compelling. From his early roadkill series to recent portraits of dead terrorists, Anderson has examined major themes of pathos and loss. In contrast, he also painted idyllic, regenerative, meditative and symbolic work both representational and abstract. Dualities are often communicated in themes of life and death, joy and suffering, humour and seriousness. This dichotomy of energies is echoed in his dynamic lines and sophisticated use of colours that vibrate and hold light. Acutely aware of the impact of technology, Anderson echoes the media and executes intuitively, moving from series to series with vibrancy and life. His latest work, The New American Century Project, includes images of dead soldiers, civilian casualties, and terrorists, as well as babies who have been exposed to depleted uranium. Unflinchingly responsive to the issues that challenge our psyche, Anderson’s art avoids sentimentality and directlyexpresses his outrage over the loss of humanity.
Tobey C. Anderson has been exhibiting his work since 1969. In the late 1970’s he was Founding President of Kingston Artists’ Association/Modern Fuel Artist-run Centre and President of Artspace, when he worked closely with David Bierk, Dennis Tourbin and other notables in the provincial and national artist-run network. Most recently, Anderson was Director of Niagara Artists’ Centre from 1990-98 before retiring to work as an artist full-time. He is actively involved in cultural development in Niagara and served as the inaugural Chair of the Culture Committee following his involvement in the development and adoption of a new Cultural Policy for the City of St. Catharines. In 2005 Anderson was the recipient of the Mayor’s Trillium Award for Artistic Excellence and in 2006 he established gallerie CRAM collective, which features contemporary artists with strong ties to St. Catharines.
Image: Tobey C. Anderson, Shades of My Former Self, acrylic and oil stick on canvas, 1988-89. Collection of Lisa Smith and Sandy Fairbairn.
Sound Objects & Drawings
November 15 - December 30, 2007
Opening Thursday, November 15 at 7 p.m.
Toronto artist Marla Hlady produces kinetic installations and sound works that are contemplative, amusing, and disquieting. Although she is best known for the works that brought her a 2002 Sobey Art Award nomination, Hlady also makes innovative line drawings that render the emotional, physical and metaphorical properties of sound visible. Rodman Hall Arts Centre is pleased to present a selection of these drawingsalongside sound works Wah-wah Teapots (Landscape for Alvin Lucier), (2006) and Mixers (2005-2006).
Marla Hlady has shown in both group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including such places as Galerie René Blouin, Montreal (2006); Klink and Bank, Reykjavik, Iceland (2005); Owen's Art Gallery, Sackville, NB (2004); Zabriskie Gallery, New York (2003); Museo di San Domenico, Imola, Italy (2002); The Power Plant, Toronto (2001); Tracy Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver (2001); The Nunnery, London, UK (1999). She is a member of the Flywheel and Peregrine Collectives. Hlady has had sound works commissioned by Art Metropole, Charles Street Video and Arraymusic Ensemble (in collaboration with Eric Chenaux, 2005). In 2005 she completed an invitational residency in Iceland; a selection of work from this residency can be seen in the exhibition.
Hlady is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto.
Image: Marla Hlady, Wah-wah Teapots (Landscape for Alvin Lucier) (detail), 2006, porcelain teapots, audio electronics and electrical motors, custom cabinet.Photo courtesy of Jessica Bradley Art + Projects.
OBJECTS OF AFFECTION
October 5 - December 2, 2007
Panel discussion with the artists: Friday, October 5 at 2 p.m.
Opening reception: Friday, October 5 at 7 p.m.
Opening performance by Maria Legault: Friday, October, 5 at 8 p.m.
Music by the band Ethel and the Mermen at 9 p.m.
Curated by Gordon Hatt
featuring work by Susan Bozic, Meesoo Lee, Jillian McDonald, Maria Legault, Warren Quigley & Tanya Read
Objects of Affection is an exhibition about misplaced love. Desire – that intoxicating stirring of affection for someone or something – is a constant throughout our lives. The objects of our affection, however, are constantly changing. What do we desire? Why do we desire, and how do we express this desire?
Desire is of course shaped and channeled by religion, tradition, education, class and culture. We are educated in wants and needs – taught what to hope and wish for and what to disdain. But lurking beneath our educated restraint are subconscious desires – desires motivated by needs other than those determined by culture and society. Our needs may be a striving for personal completion and fulfillment, something which may be little more than a projection of our own narcissism. Never quite satisfied, we are driven to confront a gnawing existential unhappiness, constantly desiring, in an endless search to somehow fill the feeling of an emptiness within.
The six artists in Objects of Affection address this existential longing through their work. Popular culture – that great vehicle for the creation and imaging of desire in the service of the consumer society – is referenced by all of the artists in the exhibition. Romance novels and advertising, Hollywood movies and fan magazines, soap operas and comics are the direct or indirect subjects of these artists. The artifacts of popular culture reflect back to us both our ideal and our comically pathetic selves. We attempt to measure ourselves against these representations but they never seem to fit. Engaging popular culture by appropriating its means – in effect talking back to it – these six artists create spaces for the desiring subject in a culture of publicity and celebrity. They address the inadequacies of popular culture’s representations of who we are and what we feel, and confront the feelings of emptiness that these images of popular culture do much to create.
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Vancouver artist Susan Bozic has created the Dating Portfolio, a series of staged photographs depicting a young woman’s romantic fantasies. Her fantasy date in these photographs is a store window mannequin. Together they enact images that recall romance novels, billboard advertising, television commercials and Hollywood films portraying the blissful co-existence of happy couples. Her matinée idol mannequin is a pliant clothes hanger, providing an amenable but insensate partner in the illustration of the young woman’s impossible desire.
Meesoo Lee, also of Vancouver, has produced a series of videos he calls Pop Songs. Working within the genre of music video, Lee samples television and video, selectively editing and adding soundtracks. His resulting modifications tease out the structural relationships of the media and its content, focussing our voyeuristic gaze on televisual images of figure skaters, rodeo riders, actors and the other shooting stars of our media environment. Lee’s Pop Songs reveal video and film as a virtual peep show that feeds false intimacy to an atomized and insatiably desiring public.
New York-based artist Jillian McDonald 's video Me and Billy-Bob is a projection and examination of the obsessional fantasy that fuels our now pervasive celebrity culture. Me and Billy-Bob is a collage of clips from movies starring the actor Billy-Bob Thornton. McDonald digitally inserts herself into existing film clips as the recurring object of actor Billy-Bob Thornton’s affection. They exchange looks of longing, pleasure, and pain, yet the desire remains unconsummated, looping infinitely. McDonald’s intervention is part of a larger body of work that includes other videos, a website, a photo series, music, and a participatory tattoo project for fans.
Toronto-based performance artist Maria Legault’s work is based around a life-sized puppet she calls “Plus One.” As the name implies, “Plus One” is Legault’s imaginary partner – a foil and a projection of her desires and anxieties in being part of a couple. Their marriage and its disintegration is the subject of a performance where intimacy and communication are doomed from the start.
Ridgeway, Ontario artist Warren Quigley creates an installation environment through the arrangement of aspects of a motel room. His Love Motel makes reference to bordellos from New Orleans from the turn of the previous century, to the Love Motels of Asia in the 60s and 70s, to the North American roadside motels spawned by car culture. While other artists attempt to describe the illusiveness of desire through surrogate love objects, Quigley describes desire as a vacant shell of anticipation and regret.
Toronto-based artist Tanya Read created Mr. Nobody in 1998, a black-and-white anthropomorphic animal resembling a cross between a panda bear and a cat. Mr. Nobody is not the ideal integrated self, but the self as fragmented, aimless, confused and desiring. Like his popular television counterpart Homer Simpson, Mr. Nobody is a bottomless well of omnidirectional need and comic pathos.
Image: Susan Bozic, He let me pick the movie, 2005,
C-Print, 30 x 40 inches.
FORTY-FIVE YEARS OF COLLECTING
Selections from the Permanent Collection
September 28, 2006 - October 28, 2007
One hundred and six of the finest works in the collection of Rodman Hall Arts Centre – from the most iconic and best-loved, to new pieces on view in the gallery for the first time – are now on view in the parlour of the historic home and on the second floor.
Since the earliest donations and purchases, Rodman Hall’s permanent collection has grown to include more than 850 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. Curated by Assistant Curator Marcie Bronson, this exhibition features historical and modern works from Rodman Hall's permanent collection.
Dramatically installed from floor to ceiling in the tradition of the French Salon, Forty-Five Years of Collecting: Selections from the Permanent Collection shows the breadth and the depth of collecting at Rodman Hall over the last half century.
October 20, 2006 - October 7, 2007
Toronto-based artist Katharine Harvey has had two significant themes running through her work in recent years: Water and the Store Window. More than any other painter Harvey has sought and achieved a material presence in the representation of water through her unusual application of acrylic medium. Her Store Window series of paintings were initially inspired by her interest in the quirky and sometimes bizarre displays of kitsch merchandise in small store windows. But the Store Window paintings also recall an underwater world of reflections and floating objects. A painting by the artist, Underwater Storefront (2001), brought together in her work the two seemingly disparate themes, conjuring a surreal image of objects shimmering back and forth as if reflected through rippling water.
For an exhibition of her paintings in Calgary in 2001, Harvey created a storefront display. After searching the city’s second-hand and dollar-stores, she assembled a site-specific installation for the gallery window, filling the shelves with a stream-of-consciousness assortment of wares selected for their bright and sparkling surfaces. Later that year she constructed To the Depths Part I, for Solo Exhibition in Toronto and arranged items of similar colour on six successive shelves in a manner that evoked different layers of water. And at YYZ Artists Outlet in Toronto she created Seasick – a collection of transparent blue, green and marine related objects jumbled together on floating glass shelves suggesting a topsy turvy seascape – the reflective surfaces dissolving into spatial and psychological fragments and revealed moments of exotic transport.
Harvey’s Rodman Hall installation Waterfall fills the spaces of the house’s former rear bay windows with an assemblage of blue, green and transparent dollar-store objects that appear to tumble down like waterfalls. During the process of making the piece, the objects are glued together with industrial strength glue but they invariably fall down and smash as they are piled up. The complex interconnection of the commodities and their sculptural construction and de-construction becomes an integral part of the piece. Waterfall brings together the two major themes in Harvey’s work, recalling the local natural and unnatural phenomenon that is Niagara Falls – famous for its spectacular cascade, as well as for its iconic souvenirs.
Image: Katherine Harvey, Waterfall, mixed media, 2006.
DEATH IS IN TROUBLE NOW
The Sculpture of Mark Adair
July 8 - September 16, 2007
Exhibition Tour with curator Patrick Jenkins and artist Mark Adair: Friday, September 14 at 2 p.m.
Curated by Patrick Jenkins
Death Is In Trouble Now is an exhibition that has grown out of a video documentary. The documentary, directed and produced by Patrick Jenkins, is a portrait of Canadian artist Mark Adair. An environmentalist, Adair’s figurative sculpture, painting and graphic work comment on our contemporary relationship to the natural environment and the stress of urban life. His work explores such diverse subjects such as violence, sexual politics, pollution, spirituality, consumerism and the devastating force of nature. This exhibition and the documentary, which will be featured alongside the exhibition, explore the artwork Adair has created over the past 25 years and traces the themes in his work to his childhood experiences of growing up in the country, his observation during his lifetime of environmental degradation and the social changes he has observed in the world around him.
Mark Adair is a graduate of York University, Toronto (BFA) and the University of Victoria (MFA). He was a founding member of the Torontoniensis collective of artists with whom he has exhibited since the mid 1990s. He has had solo exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto; Optica Gallery, Montreal and is represented by Loop Gallery, Toronto. He has received support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council and his work is represented in the collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.
Patrick Jenkins is a Toronto-based artist, animator, and film maker. He received his BFA (Honours) and MFA at York University, Toronto. Jenkins has 24 video and film productions to his credit and his recent work includes the documentary Of Lines and Men, The Animation of Jonathan Amitay (2006), Jonathan Amitay: A Portrait (2002) and Ralph: Coffee, Jazz and Poetry; The Poetry of Ralph Alfonso (2001). His recent animated films include The Skateboarder (2005), Man Versus Geometry (2004) and Dancing Street (2003). Patrick is active in the animation, documentary film and visual arts communities as a curator, juror, administrator, exhibitor and critic. He has received production grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council and he has works in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; York University, Toronto and Canada House, London, England.
Image: Mark Adair, Toronto Bank Robbery, (detail) 1983-84, Collection of the Canada Council Art Bank. #86/7-0097.
May 4 - July 1, 2007
Opening Reception: Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m.
Curated by Ihor Holubizky
Organized and Circulated by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
“We have no time to reflect. No time to be silent. In my painting I try to listen to the music of silence.”
Don Jean-Louis’s career presents a journey of individual discovery and visual exploration. In broad terms, his practice shifted from a “mark-making of being” – a mapping of nature through organic, precisionist drawings (and paintings) or seed pods and grass in the early 1960s – to orchestrating perceptual situations with new materials such as vacuum-formed uvex (plastic) and neon in the mid-1960s.
The focus of this exhibition is Jean-Louis’s Silver Works done in 1985 and 1986. Using paint and pigment mediums, he generated a visual language by the very process of making and in his own words “to discover the ‘nature of nature’ by supplying the materials that would allow for an observable . . . condition to take place. That is, not observable now [during the making], but observable later.” In this way the artist makes his own science and chemistry, but one in which the results are always different, and always observable. The Silver Works are more than a moment in time, as if plucked from a career that stretches more than 45 years. They represent a key moment for an artist at mid-career. The exhibition brings together works that were both exhibited in their time, and unseen works, and some were altered over the past 20 years.
Image: Don Jean-Louis, As Death Approaches Love Becomes More Willing, white China marker on black board, 1985.
Brock University Department of Visual Arts Honours Exhibition
March 29 - April 28, 2007
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m.
Four Flights, the 2007 edition of the Brock University Visual Arts Honours Exhibition features the work of seven graduating honours students from Brock University’s Visual Arts Program: Alicia Bedesky, Lisa Borin, Meegan Bradley, Rena Burns, Alex Chomyshyn, Marlie Huisman and Mark Neufeld.
For the past eight months this select group of exceptional young artists have been hard at work in the studios on the third floor of Rodman Hall. Individually, they have developed their own artistic approaches and directions. Together, they have created an exhibition that will engage viewers on all levels, from the sensory to the intellectual.
Four Flights is the culmination of four years of study for these talented artists. Working in the areas of sculpture, drawing, video, mixed-media, sound and painting, the strength and variety of work included in the exhibition reflects the diversity of their interests and experience.
LIFE TAKES VISA
Brock University Student Juried Exhibition 2007
March 1 - 25, 2007
Opening Reception and awards presentation: Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m.
Juried by Tobey Anderson and Carolyn Wren.
Featuring work by Josh Bellingham, Kyle Bishop, Rena Burns, Gustavo Cerquera, Candace Couse, Katlyn German, Caleb Goodaker-Craig, Erika Hughes, Kristina Jessame, Clayton Letourneau, Fei Li, Tyler Manzon, Cara Maulucci, Mark Neufeld, Will Postma, Ryan Rivando.
This annual juried art exhibition gives the Brock University Visual Arts Department an opportunity to showcase it's wide range of talent. The juried exhibition is open to VISA student whose work has been made within the academic year. It is a great opportunity to illustrate to Brock and surrounding Niagara communities the breadth and scope of talent in our community.
The VISA Juried Exhibition is a student run event that is part of the larger Arts Festival which has been running at Brock University for more than 25 years featuring student works in visual art, music and drama.
Image: Right to left Mark Neufeld, Gustavo Cerquera and Brock Department of Visual Arts Chair Jean Bridge at the opening reception.
Iain Baxter& Photographs, 1958-1983
January 21 - March 24, 2007
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 21 at 2 p.m.
Curated by James Patten
Organized and Circulated by the Art Gallery of Windsor
This exhibition has been made possible in part with the support of the Alice Gooch Fund.
Throughout his career, Iain Baxter& has challenged ideas about what art is and what it does. Using everyday objects and processes, Baxter& creates works that engage audiences in contemporary social, political, and environmental issues. One of Canada’s most recognized conceptual artists, Baxter& has been taking photographs since the 1950s. While many aspects of his practice have been well documented, especially his N.E. Thing projects with Ingrid Baxter, his straight photographs remain largely unknown. Passing Through includes colour prints, Polaroids, and duratrans taken between 1958 and 1983, most of which have never been exhibited.
Informed by the notion of driving a car as a manifestation of consciousness in North American culture, most of these photographs were taken as Baxter& traveled across Canada. His photographic oeuvre, seen in its entirety, functions as a fragmented narrative punctuated by digressions and distractions. Strangers and friends, forbidding industrial sites and backyard parties, expansive natural landscapes, and smalltime road attractions reveal the breadth of the Canadian experience during this critical period.
From the early 1960s to the mid-1980s, Baxter& lived in Vancouver. This exhibition will situate his practice in relation to the development of photography on the West Coast, where he worked concurrently to artists such as Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall, and Christos Dikeakos.
The recipient of many awards, Baxter& received the Order of Canada in 2003, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Order of Ontario in 2004, and the Molson Prize in 2005. He is the 2006 winner of the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation Prize. His work is included in most major collections of Canadian art, as well as the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Gemeentemuseum (The Hague).
Image: Esso Station, North Vancouver, British Columbia, 1967, Chromira print, 148.0 x 106.7 cm.
October 8, 2006 - December 30, 2007
Artist Talk: Friday, October 20 at 1 p.m.
Opening Reception: Friday, October 20 at 8 p.m.
Tracing Night is a veil of suspended glassine paper 45 feet wide by 12 feet high that cuts across the gallery in a gentle curve. Pien's large-scale ink drawings on the glassine depict a girl asleep, accompanied by images that appear from her dream. A fan causes the entire veil to undulate gently. Beyond this suspended work, a large-scale installation in the form of an elongated figure-eight is laid out on a slight diagonal along the length of the gallery. The outer layer of this work progresses from light to dark blue, evoking the passage of day into night. Pien has overlaid silhouetted images of winged, part-human creatures on the blue-tinted surfaces. Their numbers multiply in a dense swarm as they gather towards the darkened end of the structure. Sound is used to enhance the spatial quality of the installation by activating the entire gallery space.
Ed Pien draws on sources both Eastern and Western to create his fantastic figures, including Asian ghost stories, hell scrolls and calligraphic traditions. The work, says Pien, “is initiated by the childhood wonder and fear of night. In darkness, details are lost and solid forms seem to give way to ephemeral, hard-to-define shapes. In this state, the senses appear to sharpen; yet physical perceptions succumb to wild imagination.”
Ed Pien was born in Taiwan and grew up in London, Ontario. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from York University, Toronto, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, in venues that include The Drawing Centre, New York; The New Paradise, Taipei; La Biennale de Montréal; W139, Amsterdam; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris; Middlesbrough Art Gallery, UK; Parkhaus, Berlin; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague; Pruss and Oches, Berlin; and Ex-Concento del Carman, Guadalahara. Ed Pien will also be participating in a national touring drawing exhibition curated by Kim Moodie, David Merritt and Sheila Butler. Ed Pien's work is in the collections of the Musée des Beaux Arts, Montréal; The Canada Council Art Bank; McIntosh Gallery, London; Hamilton Art Gallery; Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston and the University of Toronto. Ed Pien is represented by Galerie Pierre-François Ouelette in Montreal and by the Birch Libralato Gallery in Toronto.
Image: Ed Pien, Tracing Night (details), ink on glassine paper, 2004.
Photography by Isaac Applebaum.