Posts Tagged ‘contemporary art’

Presenting an eclectic compilation of images so

Have a seat!

below:  But maybe not here, even if they are two comfy sofas!  Comfy but wet.

two burgundy sofas on the sidewalk

Meandering on a day early in November

while the trees were still showing their last hurrah of colour.

colourful leaves, red and yellow leaves on trees in a residential neighbourhood, Neepawa Street

This mural is on Roncesvalles is partially obscured but is still a welcome splash of colour and vibrance.

a man walks by a mural on a fence, a peacock feather and a pink flower

   I love the raccoons!  Pink raccoons

test graffiti on a garage in an alley, also with a pink raccoon painted above the garage door

and blue raccoons on street art that I haven’t seen before.

street art on a garage door in an alley, large heart shaped face with big eyes and red lips, also raccoons,

Crooked lines,

garage doors and fences in an alley, autumn, trees with gold and yellow leaves, as well as leaves on the ground

tight spaces,

small walkway between two light purple buildings that leads to the entrance to another residence

and old glass.  All kinds of alterations.

sign on an old house, now a commercial property, that says Alteration Fast & Best All Kinds Of

old red brick building on Dundas West, sign that says Downtown Rental

 Peeling paint on diamonds  (once red?)

paint peeling on wood, three layers of wood with upper two layers cut in diamond shapes

and water drops on leaves (definitely red).

red leaves of a plant, wet from the rain, in front of a bright turquoise wall

One very pink car.  Whiskey for Whiskers.

pink car in parking lot

Uber 5000’s yellow birdies and friends are still on the side of Tommy’s Gift & Variety.

Uber5000 mural on the side of Tommys

And next door you Coffee and breakfast at Tina’s while your tax returns are prepared.

restaurant and store, rainy day, wet sidewalk and street in front of it, Tina Coffee and Breakfast restaurant, and Tommys Gift & Variety, pink door between the two, two storeys, lots of windows in the storey above Tina's.

 Semi neighbours

two attached houses in the Junction, one painted red brick with dark blue roof and the other light brown with dark red roof and bright red trim, small white picket fence in front of the red house, metal fence in front of the brown house (beige actually)

at the edges of gentrification.

building on the corner of Perth Ave and Bloor West, pale purple paint, a bright yellow happy face graffiti, a sign advertising Drake Commissary

Lights over the train tracks

looking across the train tracks to an old building with street art on the lower level, lights on metal posts over the tracks, tight mesh fence beside the railway as well

and graffiti beside.

graffiti on the concrete bridge supports, Dundas St West over the railway tracks, taken from the West Toronto Railpath

A fine and dandy tractor

a red toy tractor, old fashioned, in the window of fine and dandy on Dundas Street, white back drop behind the tractor, the building is dark grey

and a great idea

words painted on a garage door that say gratitude goes viral

She’s gone green but she’s got the blues.

a paper paste up of woman's face in green and blue (green skin and blue hair) on a very black wall and door

and Ontario’s now orange.

row of stores on Dundas Street, one on the end has a map of Canada painted on the exterior wall, with orange background.

A family outing

an adult bike locked to a ring, two kids bikes and a toddlers push car locked to a second ring, on a sidewalk on Dundas West, cars and buildings in the background.

below: The building with the giraffe pattern on top, at Bloor and Dundas West, is still there.

giraffe building at Bloor and Dundas West, with traffic and pedestrians in front
giraffe pattern brown and gold wall on top and brown below, movie posters and a bike

below: The murals painted by Wallnoize are still there. They were painted in the spring of 2015 and I posted a lot of photos of them shortly after that.

people walking on a sidewalk that passes by a long mural painted by wallnoize, many small murals joined together, apartment buildings with large trees with yellow autumn leaves in the background, Bloor West,

below: The murals run under the Bloor Street underpass (railway tracks overhead), on both sides of the street.

a woman walks along a wet sidewalk under a train bridge, railling on one side, street art on the wall on the other side.

below: The new MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is now open on Sterling Road. The renovations to the old Tower Automotive building aren’t totally complete; most of the area is a construction site. But the museum opened earlier this year. Access from the West Toronto Railpath is available.

chainlink fence along a path leading from West Toronto Railpath to Sterling Road, with new MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in the background, what used to be the Tower Automotive Building

But hey! Why stop here?…. more about the new MOCA follows ……

Late in 2015, or thereabouts, MOCCA (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art), as it was then known, moved out of its old location on Queen Street West.   It has taken a few years, but the new expanded MOCA has recently opened.  Its new home is the former Tower Automotive Building on Sterling Road.

below: As seen in 2013 before renovations started.

Photo taken 2013, The ten storey Tower Automotive bulding. In the foreground is the land left vacant after the demolition of the sheet casting machining buildings in 2010.

below: Today. Not much has changed on the exterior. There was graffiti and street art around the lower parts of the building that has all been removed….

chainlink fence along a path leading from West Toronto Railpath to Sterling Road, with new MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in the background, what used to be the Tower Automotive Building

below: Except for part of this mural by Jarus.  This photo was taken in November 2014 and is the back corner of the building.  Enough of the mural remains that it is recognizable.

graffiti on the back of the Tower Automotive building, a tall brick building - the backside of a naked woman who is lying on the ground. Much larger than lifesize, painted by Jarus.

The main exhibit at the moment is a group exhibition called ‘BELIEVE’

part of a life sized sculpture, or installation, of a figure dressed in a beaded hood and mask

below: Sitting Bull and the whale, part of ‘Columbus Suite’ by Carl Beam (1943 – 2005).  This work was produced in 1990 and was previously shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario.   Beam was

artwork by Carl Beam, called Columbus Suite, one picture from a series showing Indian chief on top and a black and white vintage photo on the bottom

The whole series consists of twelve etchings starting with ‘New World’ (a turtle, representing North America) on the far left.   Ten of the remaining etchings features a portrait of a well known person who was persecuted, assassinated, or similar including Jesus Christ, Louis Riel, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, John Kennedy and Sitting Bull at the far right.  The remaining image is composed of four pictures of the artist at various stages of his life; it’s title is: “Self-Portrait as John Wayne, Probably”.

all works in the Columbus Suite by Carl Beam

below: Against the far wall is a work by American artist Barbara Kruger.  Like a lot of her art, it consists of large letters/words.  In this case, doubt +belief =sanity.  In this rendition of the artwork, other small words appear as well between the main words (red background) and in both cases they say ‘forever feeling’.

Also in the photo, there is an installation on the floor.  The artist is Dineo Seshee Bopape from South Africa and she has called this work “And – in The Light of This. _________”

inside MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) which is an old industrial building, with original concrete columns, art installation on the floor and another on the far wall. On the wall are large words doubt, belief, and sanity.

below:  Another installation at the MOCA now is ‘Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape’ which is a video by Andy Holden (until 18th Nov).  The video is an hour long and the trailer can be seen on youtube.  There, the description of the video is: ” The world is now a cartoon and an exploration of cartoon physics might help us understand the world we now inhabit. “

people in silhouette sitting on a bench watching a video at MOCA

‘BELIEVE’  features the works of Can Altay, Matilda Aslizadeh, Carl Beam, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Awol Erizku, Meschac Gaba, Kendell Geers, Barbara Kruger, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Rajni Perera, Jeremy Shaw, Nep Sidhu, Maya Stovall,  and Tim Whiten.   It closes on 6 January 2019.

‘Room for Mystics’
An exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario by Sandra Meigs and Christopher Butterfield.

artwork by sandra Meigs at the Art Gallery of Ontario, paintings back to back, standing on the floor, bright colours, banners hanging on the walls of concentric yellow circles on white

Scattered around the room are bright coloured, simple paintings that are displayed back to back.  Banners with concentric yellow circles hang on the walls.  The solid colour boxes beside the paintings hide speakers.

artwork by sandra Meigs at the Art Gallery of Ontario, paintings back to back, standing on the floor, bright colours, banners hanging on the walls of concentric yellow circles on white

A large red mobile hangs from the ceiling, happiness with closed eyes.  Happiness and joy are two of the emotions that this room evokes.  Walking through the room is definitely a positive experience!  You can’t help but smile.

artwork by sandra Meigs at the Art Gallery of Ontario, paintings back to back, standing on the floor, bright colours, banners hanging on the walls of concentric yellow circles on white plus a large mobile of a red smile and two ele lashes from closed eyes

The paintings and mobile are the work of Sandra Meigs, a Canadian artist based in British Columbia.   Accompanying the exhibit is a ‘sound installation’ composed by Christopher Butterfield.

artwork by sandra Meigs at the Art Gallery of Ontario, paintings back to back, standing on the floor, bright colours, banners hanging on the walls of concentric yellow circles on white

artwork by sandra Meigs at the Art Gallery of Ontario, paintings back to back, standing on the floor, bright colours, banners hanging on the walls of concentric yellow circles on white

The exhibit continues until 14 January 2018

There are four exhibitions at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at the moment.

One of the exhibits is “A Wall is just a Wall” by Kapwani Kiwanga. Here, a hallway has been transformed with pink and blue lights. If you walk down this hall, you’ll find an entranceway to another section of the gallery with more of Kiwanga’s work. The gist of the thought behind her exhibit is the affect that architecture and design (such as colour) has on the behaviour of those exposed to it.   It’s a bit disconcerting to walk through the lights – they affect your perception of space and make you feel a bit dizzy.  Or at least that’s what happened to me!

a hallway is lit in pink and blue lighting, covers all walls and ceiling too

Another hall.  Another exhibit.  This time, an installation by Latifa Echakhch called “Cross Fade”.   You can see it in the Fleck Clerestory which is the long, high hallway that runs down the middle of the building.  For the installation, the walls were painted light blue with white cloud shapes.  Chunks of the outer layer of plaster were then removed and pieces left on the floor.    The sky is falling!  I can just see Chicken Little running around.  The sky is falling!  But in this case, he’d be right.

When I first saw the installation, I only saw the lower portion and I assumed that it was a neglected wall.  It looks like many of the walls you find in lanes and alleys.  To me it represented the cycle of building and decay that plays out all around us.   I struggle with the idea that painting it to look like the sky changes how the piece should be perceived.  Are we supposed to be upset that the sky is broken and lying on the ground?  Is the use of the normal (plaster falling off a neglected wall) to try to show the abnormal (the sky falling apart) on purpose?  If so, to what purpose?

high walls in a narrow room, walls covered with plaster and painted light blue with clouds, some of the plaster is peeling away and it's supposed to look like the sky is falling . a large window is at the end of the room

below: Looking up towards the skylights.   It is more apparent from this angle that the walls are painted to look like the sky.   By the way, cross fade is the technique in sound or movie editing  where a picture or sound gradually appears at the same time as another disappears.

looking upwards to a skylight two storeys above, the walls of the narrow room (hall) are covered with plaster and painted light blue with clouds, some of the plaster is peeling away and it's supposed to look like the sky is falling

From the online description of the exhibit:  “…. Cross Fade evokes the remains of an action that has already taken place. Echakhch’s wall painting of the sky appears to be falling apart. Fragments of the sky still exist intact on the upper sections of the walls, out of reach, reminding us of its beauty. However, large parts of the sky lie on the ground, creating a peculiar feeling that something beyond our control is either happening or has just happened. The technique employed here references the classical fresco, a second skin that usually leads the viewer into a painted world, a trompe-l’œil, rendering the two-dimensionality of the wall invisible. On the contrary, Echakhch’s work shatters this illusion, rooting us in the present, which like a cross fade, is caught between the past and the future.”

 

Leaving the hall theme behind, the last two exhibits are:

below:  Part of “On Fishes, Horses and Man”  by Jonathas de Andrade

a room in an art gallery filled with posters of men hanging from the ceiling at various levels. All have the words museu do homem do noreste

below:  And “The One Who Keeps on Giving” by Maria Hupfield

art installation on a gallery ceiling of many light bulbs of different shapes and sizes hanging from a piece of wood on cords of different, but short, lengths.

All exhibits continue until mid May.

If By Dull Rhymes
an exhibit by David Armstrong Six and Kristan Horton
Clint Roenisch Gallery, St. Helens Ave

 Dull rhymes may not be the best title as there was nothing dull about the exhibit.

This exhibit  features two Canadian-born artists.  The sculptures that you see are by David Armstrong Six.  They are playful mashups of broken and cast off pieces and many resemble the human form in one way or another.  You can imagine them dancing around the room when the lights are off and everyone’s gone home.   For now, their dance is frozen in time as they await tonight’s revelry.  The two works on the wall are by Kristan Horton.

artwork by David Armstrong Six (sculpture) and Kristan Horton (prints on the wall) at the Clint Roenisch gallery - three sculptures and two pieces on board on the wall

below: Close up of one of the panels.   Details.  Eye catching.  Mesmerizing. Geometric Patterns.  Each section is made with a single part of a piece of packaging that has been manipulated (rotated, flipped, etc) to make a repeating pattern.

eight different patterns made with labels that are displayed side by side.

below: Here you can see the barcode from a box of something.  The number 2729 appears with the barcode – sometimes it in the ‘correct’ orientation and sometimes it’s the mirror image.

close up of the patterns made with different labels and barcodes by Kristan Horton

artwork by David Armstrong Six (sculpture) and Kristan Horton (prints on the wall) at the Clint Roenisch gallery - close up of one of the sculptures, it looks like a face, head, body and outstretched arm, patterned artwork on the wall in the background.

This is only a sample of the works on display.   There is a lot more information on by Kristan Horton‘s website.  I haven’t found a website for David Armstrong Six, but there are images of some of his other work online if you are interested.

artwork by David Armstrong Six (sculpture) and Kristan Horton (prints on the wall) at the Clint Roenisch gallery - one sculpture on the floor and one panel on the wall. The panel is a 10 sections, each section is a different pattern made of labels from packaging.

The exhibit is only on until the 17th of December.

Wisdom of the Poor: Communal Courtyard,
an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong,
Art Gallery of Ontario

This installation is made from parts of 100 old wardrobes collected from traditional Beijing neighbourhoods, or hutongs, like the one in which Song Dong grew up in.  These neighbourhoods, and their communal way of life, are disappearing.

 

 

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections
The pieces of the wardrobes are arranged with the backside towards the viewer.  The arrangement is such that you can not see the front side of most of the wardrobes.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections
There are two circles of wardrobes that you can enter – where you can now stand in the courtyard so to speak.   The wardrobes become stand-ins for the fronts of houses that once faced onto courtyards in the old hutongs of Beijing.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections of a foot in one of the mirrors
A wardrobe was one of the items that the Chinese government provide to all families.  They are all similar yet different.  All have mirrors.  Most are made of the same colour wood and most have green curtains.  They all have little legs and they are all about the same height.
part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections
Wardrobes are personal articles and former owners have left their marks on many of them…. a different fabric in the window or a picture glued onto the wood.
part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, door handles, key holes and a curtain that is a blue and white plaid and has musical notes on it.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, wardrobes arranged in a curved shape
part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections

This installation also appeared in the Venice biennale in 2011 although the wardrobes were arranged differently.  For the exhibit at the AGO, there are a number of items that appear within the ‘courtyards’ created by the wardrobes.  For the viewer, these items can only be viewed through the windows of the wardrobes.  One of the items, below, is a series of three paintings of the Canadian ballerina Karen Kain.

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections. through one of the windows there is a painting of Karen Kain on the wall

In another, bikes

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, through two of the windows there is a bike

part of an art installation by Chinese artist Song Dong using vintage wooden wardrobe doors with mirrors and curtains, reflections, door knobs and frosted glass and a white curtain

This installation remains at the AGO until 17 July 2016

Invention, an installation at The Power Plant gallery, by Mark Lewis.

The main part of the exhibit consists of 3 short films shot in Toronto.
When I first saw it, I thought that the films were older, perhaps from the 60s or 70s.

below:  A short film begins with a pan over part of downtown Toronto.  It circles back to the Robarts Library and focuses on a woman standing in the window of one of the upper floors.  After zooming in on the woman, the film “enters” the room she’s in and turns back to focus on what her view out the window looks like.

Two women are standing in the semi darkness in a room in an art gallery, watching a black and white film that is showing on a large screen in front of them. The image on the screen is the back of the upper part of a woman as she stands in front of a window in the Robarts Library in Toronto. The scene outside the window is clearly visible, winter time, University of Torotno campus. She is holding a book in her hands.

below:  Another exhibit is a film comprised of segments filmed at a number of locations around City Hall this past winter.   The image below is shot from the upper ramp at Nathan Phillips Square, looking south.   Old City hall is on the left.   There are no people in the picture.  There are also no commercial images such as billboards or signs on the buildings.  Slow moving, quiet.

An older couple are sitting on a bench at an art gallery. They are watching a black and white film that is showing on a large screen in front of them. The image on the screen is a shot of the upper ramp at Nathan Phillips Square, looking south, in the winter with snow on the ground. There are no people in the picture on the screen.

It wasn’t until I looked more closely at the images that I realized that the films had to have been made recently… for example, the recently built stage area in Nathan Phillips Square.  So I watched the films again looking for details.

One of the images shown in an art installation on a large wall screen, a black and white picture overlooking Nathan Phillips Square in the winter.

A little perplexed, I tried to find out why Lewis made these films, and why they were considered to be “art”. It wasn’t easy; it was probably made more difficult by my love/hate relationship with contemporary art.  The title of this post comes from a paragraph I found on The Power Plant website description of this installation: “Together, the elements that make up Mark Lewis’ films culminate in a body of work that is as astute as it is elegiac in its contemplation of the quotidian, offering an experience of the flux of time that is as elating in its duration as it is haunting for its sense of passing.”  Well, um, okay.

It also wasn’t easy because of the scope of the questions that Lewis seems to be tackling.  One of his interest lies in discovering what it might have felt like when film revolutionized they way we looked at ourselves and at the world around us.   That’s a tough one.  We are a society that is immersed in moving images of all kinds. Movies and TV have been part of our lives for many generations.  Can anyone truly imagine what it might have been like to see a film for the first time?

As we all know, digital technology has put video production into the hands of anyone with a cellphone.   Even my three year old granddaughter asks me to make videos of her and I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s producing them.  And that leads to another question that Lewis is interested in examining – what are the implications of these technological changes?  Not only can see video, we can be in control of making our own whenever we want.

But that’s not all.  Lewis is also interested in architectural surfaces so walls, windows, pavements and reflective glass amongst others play a role in his films.   Urban architecture; urban landscapes.  Cinema made of the ordinary everyday life of living in the city and everyday life in the city is cinema.  24/7 movie making.  You are part of the cast; you are the camera.

What I have presented here are just three pictures and I’m not sure the pictures do the films justice.   If you want to see these films, they are at The Power Plant gallery until 3 Jan 2016.

#PPInvention