Posts Tagged ‘Robert Kananaj Gallery’

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

A return to St. Helens Avenue and the galleries there.

A few galleries devoted to contemporary art can be found on St. Helens Ave.  I know that I have mentioned some of their past exhibits in previous blog posts.  Exhibits change and so back we go.   The three exhibits that I saw today have little in common with each other.  Three artists with different views; three men trying to turn their thoughts and ideas into something visual.  The first gallery that I visited today is the Clint Roenisch Gallery where the exhibit is “Hot Takes, No Sax”, by Torontonian Niall McClelland.   It will be there until 21st April.

From Wiktionary: “Noun[edit]. hot take (plural hot takes). A bold, broad, and subjective moral generalization on a situation, with little or no original analysis or insight, especially by a journalist.”   Something written quickly and without much thought put into it.   Although some people associate it with journalism, you could also apply it to a lot of things online – think about the comments section after a news article, or something on your facebook or twitter feed.   Sometimes I think that that expression applies well to contemporary art – thrown together to provoke but not much actually went into it.

below: Running diagonally across the room is a line of trunks and metal cases that are covered with bumper stickers.  On the wall are 4 images, each with a black and white background.  The frames are covered with more bumper stickers.  This is only part of the exhibit.

room in an art gallery, a line of trunks runs diagonally across the room, they are covered with bumper stickers.

below: These are the three images on the wall in the photo above.  The frame on one side of the image on the left has the names of four American politicians from the not so recent past – Nixon, Goldwater, McGovern, and Carter.  Some of the images may be familiar to you as well.

three pictures on a gallery wall, in black and white checkerboard backgrounds, blue images on that. Artist is Niall McClelland

below: More of the stickers.  Is there a theme to them?  How do these relate to hot takes?   Which side is the artist on?  “Urban farmer”, “When you sit down for dinner, thank a farmer”, “Impeach Trump”, “Give a hoot”, “The times they are a changin”, “Be green”, “Bio fuels: no war required”, “Who’s your farmer?”, “I’d rather be gardening”, “Nasty woman”, “Break the chains, shop at independent stores”,  “Saving seed is a basic human need”, “Localvore”,  “Whatever happens to the water, happens to the people”, “What is the proper way to fold an anarchist flag?”

sticker covered metal cases on the floor of an art gallery with a picture on the wall behind, the work of Niall McClelland at the Clint Roenisch gallery

Next is Douglas Coupland’s “Tsunami” at Daniel Faria Gallery, until 28th April.  Trashy in a certain way.  Coupland has collected, cleaned and painted various plastic containers and other disposable items he found along the shore in British Columbia.  A number of the items probably crossed the Pacific Ocean after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011. Trash on display?  We’ve all heard the expression “reduce, reuse, recycle” which may be facetious here?  Is it too pretty to be a statement about the environmental impact of plastics?

plastic containers and other items found washed up on the shore of British Columbia, cleaned up and painted and put in sealed clear plastic boxes, art gallery exhibit, artis is Douglas Coupland

below: The large gold piece is a collection of more debris that Coupland has amassed and painted.  Another one,  all in black, is on a different wall (not shown here).

plastic containers and other items found washed up on the shore of British Columbia, cleaned up and painted and put in sealed clear plastic boxes, art gallery exhibit, artis is Douglas Coupland, with large structure behind made of gold painted containers and other items

This spring, Coupland will transform the Vancouver Aquarium into a vision of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by filling aquarium tanks with some of the trash that Coupland has collected – by some I mean 20 tons of it.  Twenty tons of found rubbish.  Twenty tons of plastic and other debris.   Jet streams will simulate ocean currents and the garbage will “float, bounce, disperse and gather along the tank, fragments flowing into one another like an overwhelming and exhausted assemblage”.

below: Tucked away in the back room of the gallery are four paintings like this, also by Douglas Coupland.

part of a Douglas Coupland painting, with a black and white picture of a man's face in the center of swirls of colours. Apainting by Douglas Coupland

 

Part three is the exhibit “Raw War” by Bruce Eves that is on at the Robert Kananaj Gallery until 21st April. Eves was just given one of the 2018 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

“taps into a zeitgeist fraught with peril”

below: Part of Work #901 by Bruce Eves.  There are seven panels in total.  Every hour for a week in February 2014 he took his heart rate.  The numbers in the squares are his heart rate.  It’s difficult to see in this picture, but each square also has the date and time.  In addition, each panel is a day.   Something happened on Friday February 14th at 16:00 to elevate his heart rate to 123 beats/minute!

Part of a set of 7 paintings by Bruce Eves on a gallery wall, each painting is squares with numbers in them. The numbers are Eves' heart rate taken every hour for a week.

Eves has also painted a sequence of numbers that are actually nine blood pressure readings.  It was after he learned that he had a heart condition that Eves started using his health (and the monitoring thereof) as subject matter.   A self-portrait based on data about oneself, so to speak.  How his doctor sees him.

A few things to think about?

(P.S. My apologies for the title)

 

me a visitor, a looker, and and a skeptic.

I happened upon a gallery yesterday, the Robert Kananaj Gallery, on the second last day of a show by Oscar Figueroa called ‘me a talker’.    As I type this, the show should be wrapping up.  So you’ve missed it.  I’m not sure what you’ve missed.

below: The paper that is half on the floor and half propped up by the wall has the words “Think Less With Me” written on it.  This summarizes a lot of Figueroa’s work in that it is a rejection of the verbose and often jargon filled ‘artist statements’ found in contemporary art and especially conceptual art where the words on the wall are more important than the technical or visual aspects of the work.   The gallery website says this: “What if instead of a logical artist statement we decided to write thoughts, or sentences, that go through our heads when making art. This is not poetry per se, this is a form of idea communication, just as the conventional artist statement was intended.”  Does it make you wonder?

walls of a n art gallery with some of the work of Oscar Figueroa. A projection of a woman's chest in a bikini top, a piece of brown cardboard with the words 'Make me wonder' and a piece of paper, large white paper, half on the floor and half propped up on the wall that says

I want to cheer him on for trying to reject the overthought concept behind art these days.  I appreciate the fact that he does not confront me with an essay that bears no relationship to the artwork.  But all is not well.  He wants us to think that his art is special because he rejects the mainstream thinking. Too bad it also rejects all attempts at, well, everything.  The gallery looks like a space that someone has just moved out of but neglected to take their garbage with them.

a piece of paper with a happy face drawn on it, with ampersands for eyes, and a single red light bulb hangng from the ceiling and stopping just above the paper.

below: A yellow rubber glove taped to the wall, a happy rock on floor.  Does it talk to you?

a black happy face scrawled on a piece of paper, a yellow rubber gloved taped to the wall that is holding the paper. A small rock on the floor with a happy face painted on it.

I found it all rather depressing.   There could be more to it than this.  No, make that: there should be more to it.

blog_britney_spears_athiest

below:  him: “Be a sidewalk or be a balloon, there’s no fucking difference.”
me: Be a piece of art or a piece of garbage, there’s no fucking difference.

4 pieces of art in a gallery. a white happy face on black paper, a shiny piece of paper with a corner ripped off with the word picturesque written on it.