Archive for the ‘galleries’ Category

401 Richmond is a renovated industrial building that is now an arts and culture hub; it includes many little galleries. The building was built in stages between 1899 and 1923 for the Macdonald Manufacturing Company who made lithographed tinware such as biscuit tins and containers for tea and  tobacco.

Many of the galleries are participating in the CONTACT Photography Festival and what follows is a selection of what is on display at the moment.  A few non-photography installations have snuck in as well.

One of the galleries is the Red Head Gallery. Their exhibit, titled ‘Pentimento’, is a collection of work by some of their members.    From their website: “The work presented is a diverse commentary on the idea of photography and the definition, role & relevance of the photograph, both directly & indirectly, in the act of image and object making.”

below: ‘Untitled’ by Tonia Di Risio. The photos have been printed on vinyl and then stuck to the gallery wall.

an artwork that is a collage of photos of cookies, tables, and bungalows, stacked on top of each other to make a large tower

below: “Still Life with Paper’ by Jim Bourke

image on a gallery wall, orange table cloth, an open newspaper with illustraion of a woman's head, two partially filled cups of tea, with saucers

below: ‘Process’ by Sally Thurlow is 6 photographs of a demolition and renovation of a house (prompted by a rotting roof) and the upheaval that that causes.   Each little frame is made from something from the job site including Tims cups and yellow caution tape.

Process, and artwork by Sally Thurlow, of photos in a wood frame and each photo is framed with found objects

The word pentimento means “a visible trace of earlier painting beneath a layer or layers of paint on a canvas.”  The last blog post dealt with palimpsest which is erased text that becomes visible and it seems to me that pentimento is very similar, but with pictures not words, paint not ink.

***

Urbanspace Gallery, “Further Along the Road”, an exhibit of photos taken on Dupont Street in Toronto, by Eliot Wright.

below: Left: 1220 Dundas St looking west.  Right: 1072 Dundas Street West.  Both photos were taken in July 2016

two photos taken on Dupont street, the one on the right is of 3 old cars parked in a driveway. The other is of signs for taxis and car repair shops

below: Left: CP railline, west of Shaw.  Right top: Creeds coffee bar, 390 Dupont St., taken from the CP tracks, July 2016.   Right bottom: CP rail line west of Dufferin, August 2016

Three photos of trains and train tracks on Dupont Street

***

below: Laura Shintani, Bodywashi! at Tangled Art Gallery

art installation that uses strips of plastic shower curtain. The squares in the plastic make the person on the other side appear many times - one each in every square

It’s like a car wash for people although no water is involved.  Strips of translucent plastic (shower curtain material?) hang from the ceiling.   After walking through the plastic you encounter the scene below.

an art installation that looks like the puffy pieces in a car wash

***

Gallery 44, “Developing Historical Narratives”

art gallery room with three large canvases on the floor, all wth bright yellow backgrounds

 

below: One of the images in ‘Petro Suburbs’, a series of black and white images by Hajra Waheed, also Gallery 44.   The subject matter is based on old aerial photos of Dhahran Saudi Arabia, a town that the artist grew up in.  It was also a gated town built for Saudi ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company).  Dhahran was protected by airbases, both US & Saudi, as well as by the CIA and such.  Access and privacy were strictly controlled and photography and filming were not allowed.

an aerial photo of a U shaped street of suburban houses, surroundings are blacnked out with translucent paper or something similar

 

below: Untitled cyanotypes by Sarah Comfort, part of a series called “More Than This”.

4 cyanotype prints (blue) on a gallery wall

***

below: An image by Shelley Wildeman, superimposed people in the hallway.

a photo of a large entrance way, lots of glass, and many people superimposed over each other.

***

below: Two pieces by Florence Yee, who introduces herself on her website as: “Florence Cing-Gaai Yee is a queer Cantonese visual artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Montreal.  These hang in the Space Gallery which are windows in the hallway on the ground floor at 401 Richmond.

4 rice clear rice bags with red handles, with embroidery on them, red words that say, she saw me at the grocery store and remembered to get rice

artwork by Florence Yee, a plastic dry cleaners bag hanging on a hanger on a wall with a white fringed piece of cloth inside, on the outside of the bag are the words, They said I was whitewashed by Chinese people only run dry cleaners

***

The last of the 401 Richmond galleries that I explored this past week is the Abbozzo Gallery where Patty Maher’s exhibit “The Sky as my Witness ” is now being shown.

below: “The Quiet Storm”

a large photo of a red headed woman, long hair, in a braid, standing on a snow covered road with her back to the camera, in the countryside

below: “Parallel Universe”.  Because we are all just dots in the universe.  The same but different.

close up of a Patty Maher photograph, Parallel Universe, the back of two red headed women, both with large dice on their head, one die per head,

below: “Land Line”.

A Patty Maher photo of a woman standing on a deserted country road with an old rotary phone at her feet, her head has been cropped out of the photo, foggy in the background

The above photo is from a series called ‘The Liminal Field’.  On her website, Maher describes the series thusly: “This staged self portrait series is an exploration of the state of liminality that occurs in midlife.  It is an attempt to symbolically describe the transformation that needs to take place when moving from youth to the second half of life.  The field depicted here is a construct and does not exist in real space.  It has been constructed to indicate a place that is both personal an intangible.  Each photo symbolically depicts an internal struggle that is necessarily part of this transition.”

 

As you can see, there is a a wide selection of images and ideas lurking in the galleries at 401 Richmond.   Most exhibits change over every month or so – so there is always something to see.

Palimpsest.  I had to look up the word too.  No, it’s not the superlative form of palimps.  As it turns out, palimsest has to do with surfaces that have been reused or altered while still retaining traces of its earlier form.

What does it have to do with this blog post?  It is the name of an exhibit of photos by a Poland-based collective, Sputnik Photos.  Between 2008 and 2016 this group compiled their ‘Lost Territories Archive‘; this is a project that documents the “physical, political, and sociocultural” aspects of the former Soviet republics.  Some of the thousands of images that they collected are on display in the Allan Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place as part of this year’s CONTACT Photography Festival. It is on view for the month of May.

people in Allan Lambert Galleria, a couple of large photos, a workman on a crane,

below: “A sculptural model in a student atelier, Spitak Armenia, 2014”.

large picture of an old white statue, Brookfield Place, 2 men looking at it. Photo's title is A sculptural model in a student atelier, Spitak Armenia

below: “Cafeteria at the Heydar Aliev Centre, Gobustan Azerbijan, 2016”.   In 2013, to mark the 10th anniversary of the former president of Azerbijan, Heydar Aliyev, his son and successor, Ilham Aliyev, ordered the country’s 70 district capitals to each build a monumental centre named after his father.

people walking past a large photo in Allan Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place. Photo by Sputnik Photos, title is Cafeteria at the Heydar Aliev Centre, Gobustan Azerbijan,

below: “Semipalatynsk Nuclear Test Site, Kazakhstan, 2016”.  The Soviet Union conducted over 400 nuclear tests at this site in northeast Kazakhstan between 1949 and 1989.  The impact of radiation exposure was hidden by Soviet authorities and didn’t become known until the site closed in 1991.

a couple walk past a large picture, small reddih mounds of dirt on a barren grassy field, flat land, no trees or other plants

 below: ‘Homemade construction for growing grapes, Yerevan Armenia, 2013’.  Urban farming was popular during the post-Soviet crisis in the 1990’s.  Today grapes are grown in every neighbourhood using homemade constructions for supporting the vines.

a large picture on display in Allan Lambert Galleria of a homemade structure to hold up grape vines in a back yard in Yerevan Armenia

below: “Anaklia Georgia, 2013”  Anaklia is a village on the Black Sea.  In 2011, Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, announced a program to transform the village into a luxury resort.  Construction began in 2012.  Saakashvili’s party lost the parliamentary elections in 2013 and he fled the country.  Work on this project was discontinued.

large photo of a oval shaped structure on the top of a tower, on the coast, surrounded by barren land, abandoned building, in Anaklia Georgia (former USSR republic)

below: “Slutsk Belarus, 2013”.  This image is of ‘Cultural Space’, an installation in the sugar factory Saharny Zavod.  The factory was given an award for best ideological work in a contest organized by a regional committee for ‘admiration structures’.

two large photos on exhibit, with a woman standing in front of one of them.

Members of Sputnik Photos: Andrej Balco, Jan Brykczynski, Andrei Liankevich, Michal Luczak, Rafal Milach, Adam Panczuk, and Agnieszka Rayss.

***

More about the word palimpsest:

In Ancient Greek, it was παλίμψηστος (palímpsēstos) and in Latin it was palimpsestus meaning “scraped clean and ready to be used again”.  It was originally applied to wax covered tablets that the ancient Greeks and Romans used to “write” on by scratching out the letters with a stylus.  Smoothing the wax would erase the words.   Around the 6th century vellum, or parchment prepared from animal skins, became more commonly used.  It was expensive.  Early on, writing on parchment could be washed away using milk and oat bran but over time it would come back, but faintly.   In the later Middle Ages, writing was removed with powdered pumice which was more permanent.

Along with the historical definition, palimpsest has a more modern definition.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives this newer meaning as, “something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface”  while the Cambridge English Dictionary uses these words, “something such as work of art that has many levels of meaning, types of style, etc. that build on each other.”

Now showing at the Onsite Gallery, is an exhibit of photography by T.M. Glass called “The Audible Language of Flowers”.  Glass’s work is inspired by 17th and 18th century northern European still life flower paintings.

below: On the back wall is  “Clematis in a Chinese Teapot”, 2017 (The teapot is from the Gardiner Museum).   The photograph on the right (with the red flowers) uses a vase from the Royal Ontario Museum, “Tulips in a Persian Vessel”, 2017.

people sitting on a bench in a gallery, reading, large photos of flower bouquets on the walls around them

But they are not just large photographs.   They have been enhanced in a process that has become known as digital painting.  This technique involves enlarging the image to the pixel level.   Attributes such as sharpness, colour and vibrance are then manipulated  giving the finished image more of a painted look.

below: Part of “Anemone Canadensis in an Italian Pharmaceutical Vessel”, 2017 (The ‘vase’ is from the Royal Ontario Museum). 

white flowers and greenery in a vase with a picture of a young man on it, part of a larger photograph by T.M. Glass in a gallery

below: Close up of some of the flowers in one of the photographs where you can see the “brush strokes”.

close up of photo of a red flower and a white flower that has been manipulated using digital painting techniques

below: Glass has also been experimenting with 3D printing.  On display are some sandstone and resin sculptures that were created from digital files, including these two.

2 white 3 D printed sculptures of flowers in a vase, in a gallery, with large pictures, in colour, of bouquets of flowers in vases on tables

The exhibit continues until August 18th.
Onsite Gallery is part of OCADU and is at 199 Richmond St. West.
This exhibit is part of the CONTACT Photography Festival.

picture of a blue vase with red and white flowers, framed on a gallerywall, reflections of other pictures in the glass, black background

I happened to visit Artscape Youngplace this afternoon just after their latest hallway gallery exhibits were hung.   Showing on both the second and third floors are images produced by the graduating class from Etobicoke School of the Arts contemporary photography course.  I tried to find information about the exhibit online but nothing about it was mentioned on the Artscape Youngplace website or on the Etobicoke School of the Arts website.  If you know of something that has appeared online since this afternoon (29th April) or something that I missed, please let me know.

This is a selection of the pictures on display.  Not all of the labels were up yet and some I didn’t get a clear picture of so my apologies to the photographers whose images that I haven’t credited here.  Also, there was no criteria for selecting these images over the many others also being exhibited.

below: The finishing touches

part of the third floor hallway gallery space at Artscape Youngplace with large colour photos tacked to the wall, a man on a ladder adjusts the lighting

below: By Owen Herlin.  “The Last Week of Summer” on top and “Making Memories” on the bottom.

two photographers by student photographers, horizontal, one on top of the other. The top image is of a skateboarder doing a jump, in three sections, same man but in different stages of the jump

MIDDLE: Why’d you bring me here and then leave. Friends that aren’t mine. Contacts I don’t have.  It’s all good but my time is too valuable right now and a lot of these interactions aren’t ( a lot not all). // writing with words in my head, overlaying over crowded memories that aren’t mine.  “I want more out of life than this”!
LEFT: “Summer. It’s the start of this again, songs that will remind me of these moments above all others again. :

 

below: In the middle, a photograph by Tomoka Taki.  It is flanked by two images by Julia Kerrigan called “Unnatural 1” and “Unnatural 2”.   The opening sentence in the description of Taki’s work is: “I attempt to bridge a gap in communication between myself and older generations within my family.”

three photographs hanging on a wall. On either side is a picture of a woman in a pose, on green grass outside by Julia Kerrigan. In the middle is a black statue, Asian lion, in front of a light pastel coloured circular pattern

below: By Meredith Tudor-Doonan

six images. On the bottom is one large black and white photo of a woman (no head shown) in a long white dress that looks like she's washed up on the beach, lying on her back, arms out streteched. upper level has 5 photos, on the sides are large brown and white images of men's head and shoulders, with eyes looking downward. In the middle of the top part are three snapshots of a person coming out of the lake after swimming

two photographers by student photographers, horizontal, one on top of the other. The top image is of a skateboarder doing a jump, in three sections, same man but in different stages of the jump

below: by Kaya Joubert Johnson

large white wall hanging with long black fringe on top and bottom. words on the wall hanging say Do Not Touch the art, a work by Kaya Joubert

a triptych, three photos, of a woman in an orange long sleeved top, long brown hair, black pants, in three different poses,

below: by Ethan Wilder, “Why complicate the physical world when I can do so in an imaginary one?”

black and white photos by Ethan Wilder

closest to the viewer is a portrait of a young woman sitting on a chair, leaning forward, very orange patterned wallpaper wall behind her

red circular sticker on a window, marking a gallery that is participating in contact photography festival

It’s almost May and that means that the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is just around the corner. Some of the participating galleries are already showing their CONTACT exhibits so I paid them a visit. Along the way, there were a couple of other galleries so I checked them out too.

below: Some artwork created by Chris Curreri is being exhibited at the Daniel Faria Gallery.    This ‘man’ stands alone in the corner, in fact he stands alone in the room.   It is called ‘Christopher’ and it is hand puppet, hollow and lifeless, and waiting for its ventriloquist.  ‘Ventriloquist’ is the name of the whole exhibit.

a mannequin top, of a bald man, on a frame with black loose fitting clothes, stands on a red carpets facing the corner, nothing else is in the room

below: There are some Curreri photographs on the walls and they are all of animal entrails….  a bit gruesome (and on the gallery website).  Exhibits lasts until the 1st of June.

three people stand in a large open gallery space, looking at a large red piece on the floor, two hands, and two feet, fill the four corners, and a black harness connects them through the center, a photo is on the wall beside them - it is of entrails. It is the work of Chris Curreri

below:  At the Clint Roenisch Gallery there are some paintings by Dorian Fitzgerald, some large and some very small.   I thought that I had more photos than these but, sorry, they will have to do.  The large one at the back is of fish swimming among coral.  The seven small pictures on the side wall are very detailed paintings in black and white.  Exhibit lasts until 18th May.

a large horizontal painting on a beige wall, of fish and coral in an aquarium, also some smaller paintings in black and white along the side wall

below: The wonderful work of Emmanuel Monzon hangs on the walls of the Robert Kananaj Gallery (but only until the 4th of May).

three paintings by Emmanuel Monzon on a wall in gallery, pictures of empty places, or where urban sprawl seems to take over deserted places

below: The quality of his photographs is much better than this!  The graininess of this photo is my fault.

a large frames photo on a wall of rock formation in Monument Valley USA with a stop sign in the foreground

below:  In a room at the Arsenal Contemporary Gallery is a display of Caroline Monnet’s work titled ‘A Whole Made of Many Parts’.  One wall is covered with this intricate black and white pattern.  In the middle is a video monitor showing kaleidoscope-like movements of more black and white patterns.

a wall covered with black and white pattern, a video monitor in the middle of a wall playing a video of more black and white patterns

below:  From the gallery website, “In a new series of ‘Fragment’ portraits, Monnet has developed individualized masks that overlay the faces of chosen subjects. Mixing facial features with geometric shapes, new identities are forged through abstraction and interference.” 

portrait of a man wearing a clear cube over his face. cube has black geometric drawings all over it so part of man's face is obscured

part of a monitor on a papered wall with a reflection in the monitor as well as an intricate pattern in blue

below: Sharing space with Arsenal, is the Division Gallery. At the moment, and until 8th June, they are featuring the work of Alex McLeod.  Division is aligned with Galerie Division in Montreal and they share the same website.

two pictures on a gallery wall by Alex McLeod. One is white shapes on turquoise and the other is pinks, oranges and yellows on blue like a landscape from above

below: McLeod’s work is colourful and playful.

two little lumpy statues, one blue and the other green, on a white podium, in the background are two photographs, one in reds and the other in brownish orange shades

below: This is from a video (which can be seen on McLeod’s website).  In my opinion, it was the highlight of the show.

ornate circular shapes like beads and flowers in shades of blue and purple on a black background, a video playing on a wall

below: “Deux Soeurs Qui Ne Sont Pas Soeurs” is one of the videos by Beatrice Gibson now playing at Mercer Union. A photograph doesn’t do it justice.

picture from a video, a woman's reflection in the side mirror of a car, long hair, long dangly ear rings

below: On display outside Mercer Union is, Joi T. Arcand’s “i was born with butter in my mouth” (2019). Arcand is from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan.

a poster on display on an exterior wall. Mercer Union Contemporary Art Gallery

Locations:
1. The following galleries are on St. Helens Ave – Daniel Faria, Clint Roenisch, and Robert Kananaj.    There is another gallery there, TPW, but it was closed because they are setting up their next exhibit (opening 4th May).
2. Mercer Union is on Bloor, just east of Lansdowne station
3. Arsenal Contemporary Gallery and Division Gallery share space on Ernest Avenue (close to West Toronto Railpath)

***

below: Playing with reflections.  ‘Christopher’ by Chris Curreri reflected by an interior window at Daniel Faria Gallery.

reflections in a window, vague shape of a man, blue background on top and orangey brown on the bottom

a red exit sign lights up a dark doorway, all red

Mickalene Thomas was born in 1971 in Camden NJ.  She’s a contemporary African American artist now based in Brooklyn New York who likes to examine how Western art has treated women and beauty.   She celebrates black femininity and sexuality with her artwork – something that has been overlooked (or neglected).

below: Close examination of ‘I Learned the Hard Way’, 2010.  Embellished with rhinestones.

a man is looking at a large painting by Mickalene Thomas of a black woman sitting on a sofa. Two women in the foreground
close up of an artwork by Mickalene Thomas at the AGO, a black woman's legs, seated, crossed at the knee, embellished with rhinestones

below: Part of ‘Qusuquzah Une Tres Belle Negresse’, 2012 showing detail in the blue veil that runs diagonally across her face.

close up of a woman's face from a Mickalene Thomas painting, blue eye shadow, and a blue mesh veil diagonally across her face

below: ‘Living Room Tableaux’ (the seats and carpets) with ‘Los Angelitos Negros’ 2016 in the background.  The latter consists of videos playing on four monitors arranged horizontally.

a mother and young daughter sit on seats in a room at the Art Gallery of Ontario, watching videos by Mickalene THomas as part of her Femmes Noires exhibit

below: Also part of ‘Living Room Tableaux’ but from a different angle.  The painting on the wall is ‘Blues’, 2016 which was influenced by the movie “The Color Purple”.  Whoopi Goldberg (in the painting) was one of the characters in this movie which was based on the novel of the same name written by Alice Walker.   Based in rural Georgia in the early 1900’s,  it is the story of Celie Harris, a young black woman and the struggles that she faces.

furnishings, comfy armchairs and a carpet on the floor, turing a room at the AGO into a livingroom. On a wall in the background is a piece by Mickalene Thomas as a tribute to the Colour Purple

below: ‘Living Room Installation’.  This one is different from the one above – in a different room at the AGO.

people sitting, furnishings, comfy armchairs and a carpet on the floor, turing a room at the AGO into a livingroom, one wall has video (or videos) playing over its entire surface

below: Part of “Portrait of Kalena”, 2017.   The geometric face is a direct reference to the style used by Picasso in some of his work.  Picasso was inspired by the work of African artists so here Thomas is re-appropriating Picasso’s geometric and mask-like shapes.

a portrait of a black woman by Micklene Thomas where the face has been done in a Picasso-like style

Thomas’s website

The exhibit at the AGO ends on 24th March

I’ve decided to put together two exhibits that are on at the moment in one blog post.  The first is ‘Same Dream’ by Omar Ba at the Power Plant Gallery and the second is ‘Reflections of Love’ by a group of photographers next door at one of the  Harbourfront galleries   The two exhibits don’t have a lot in common except the close proximity of the two galleries and the fact that I saw them on the same afternoon last week.

First, Omar Ba was born in 1977 in Dakar Senegal.   He studied art in Dakar and then in Geneva where he now spends part of his time.

below: The large work in the middle of the gallery was painted in place.  That is Jesus on the cross.  The center figure has the word”Horus” painted beside it.  Horus was an Egyptian God who was usually depicted with a falcon’s head on a human body.   The painting depicts “a recurrent motif of birth, death and reincarnation across different cultures today” according to the description of the exhibit on Power Plant’s website .

gallery at Power Plant Contemporary, show of works by Omar Ba, large painting of Jesus and Horus in the middle of the room, a man sitting on a wood bench looking at some of the paintings on the wall

below: ‘Naufrage’ 2014.  Dictators, despots, and authority figures can be seen in many of his paintings, often mixed in with scenes of plants and/or animals.

Naufrage, a painting by African artist Omar Ba on display at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, a black man in uniform peaking out from behind a lot of plants and their stems

below: Similar to the one above, except hear the plants are based on fairly realistic human hearts with black aortas and yellow blood vessels.

Omar Ba painting of a man behind plants with human hearts on top of them

below: Ba’s paintings are full of small details as can be seen in this close-up of part of ‘Autopsie de nos consciences 2’, 2018.   Name the flags?

detail from an Omar Ba pinting, a black man holding an automatic rifle. The butt of the gun is covered with small flags from different countries

below: More details but from a different painting.

close up of a painting by Omar Ba of a boy's face in grey dots, wearing a patterned shirt

***

‘Reflections of Love’ is a photography exhibit on at Harbourfront for the month of February that features the work of five artists.

As you enter the gallery, the words on the wall say, “In honor of Black History Month, this thoughtful photography exhibit explores the many forms of love found within our black communities through reflections of self, identity and acceptance. Power within vulnerability and healing can only come through togetherness and conversation. This is a true celebration of exemplified strength in people with deep roots and heritage.”

below: On the back wall, a series of images by Stella Fakiyesi.  Fakiyesi was born in Nigeria and raised in Toronto.

part of art gallery at Harbourfront, wood floors, black bench in the middle, some photos on the two side walls, four large photos on the back wall, a series of four photos by Stella of the same black woman in a number of poses.

part of a photo by Stella Fakiyesi of a black woman, two images superimposed on one another

below: Photo by Sean Brown

photo by Sean Brown of a black woman wearing a green turban, a number of hands are tugging at her ears.

below: Photo by Jah Grey

black and white photo by Jah Grey of a black man holding a large round mirror over his head and in front of his face

below: Two photographs by Quil Lemons

two portraits by Quil Lemons, on the left is a black woman and on the right, three black girls

below: A closer look at the one on the right shows a wonderful tangle of three girls.

a close up of portrait of three girls by Quil Lemons

 

below: Three portraits by Yannick Anton

three photos by Yannick Anton hanging on a gallery wall. All three are portraits of black people with bright yellow backgrounds, one is a father and young son, one is a young girls and one is a young child with parents.

***

Happy Valentines Day!

smiley heart on pink wall with red spray paint lines around