Ripley Whiteside: Aquariums of Toronto

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Opening Saturday December 3rd from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Artist in attendance

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present Aquariums of Toronto an exhibition of new works by Ripley Whiteside on display at Centre-Space from December 3 – 24, 2016.

At first glance, Whiteside’s suite of large and medium-sized drawings appear as menageries of colourful and exotic aquatic species. In Spadina (2016), for instance, a lithe and green-coloured American eel descends diagonally through the water towards its unsuspecting prey – one of several Siamese fighting fish that occupy the same glass enclosure.

Like all of the works in this exhibition however, Whiteside’s juxtaposition of rare, beautiful and foreign underwater species now found in the Greater Toronto Area is informed by a deeper investigation of the ecological consequences of both aquacultural development and our need for spectacle.

As a rapidly expanding global city, Toronto has experienced growth that has been costly to biodiversity. Loss of habitat, pollution, overfishing and other environmental problems that accompany development have significantly impacted ecosystems of Lake Ontario and other local waterways. Globalization also presents us with strange and accidental migrations of great consequence: the integration of the Great Lakes into global trade networks via the St. Lawrence Seaway inadvertently resulted in the introduction of invasive species—like the round goby and zebra mussel—into Toronto’s local underwater environment.

A stroll through downtown Toronto reveals a condensed form of the dislocation of aquatic life: the aquarium. This ubiquitous form of display appears in various guises – decorations for dentists’ offices or hotel lobbies, commodity presentations at pet stores of fishmongers, or entertainment and education at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. In the logic of the aquarium, the plants’ and animals’ state of displacement is overcome in their aestheticization. In this way, the aquarium’s fantastical and alluring arrangements efface the realities of ecological crisis. This disquieting effacement of globalization and climate change, and particularly of Lake Ontario, is an essential concern for Aquariums of Toronto. — Ripley Whiteside

Originally from North Carolina, Ripley Whiteside is a Montreal-based visual artist. He graduated with a BFA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2008, and earned a MFA from the State University of New York-Buffalo in 2012. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and Canada, and is the recipient of various grants and residencies.

The gallery thanks SODEC for its support

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To see all available works click here

Image (top):
Spadina, 2016, Aqua-dispersion pigment, watercolour, and ink
124 x 96.5 cm (49″ x 38″)

Image (bottom):
Bloor, Aqua-dispersion pigment, watercolour, and ink
124 x 96.5 cm (49″ x 38″)

Dil Hildebrand: It is a Complicated Business

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March 19 – April 16, 2016
Opening: Saturday March 19 from 3 pm to 6 pm | Artist in attendance

Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present the exhibition It is a Complicated Business featuring recent paintings and collages by Dil Hildebrand. In his most recent work, Hildebrand further explores the parallels between architecture and painted images.

This exhibition takes its title from a passage in The Nature of the Physical World by physicist Sir Arthur Eddington. In it, Eddington describes how the seemingly simple act of entering a room becomes a series of complex reflections as he considers the role that gravity, the rotation of the earth around the sun, and the fourth dimension all play in the movement of his body through a passageway, writing:

“I am standing on the threshold about to enter a room. It is a complicated business. In the first place I must shove against an atmosphere pressing with a force of fourteen pounds on every square inch of my body. I must make sure of landing on a plank travelling at twenty miles a second round the sun – a fraction of a second too early or too late, the plank would be miles away. I must do this whilst hanging from a round planet, head outward into space, and with a wind of aether blowing at no one knows how many miles a second through every interstice of my body. The plank has no solidity of substance. To step on it is like stepping on a swarm of flies. Shall I not slip through? No, if I make the venture one of the flies hits me and gives a boost up again; I fall again and am knocked upward by another fly; and so on. I may hope that the net result will be that I remain about steady; but if unfortunately I should slip through the floor or be boosted too violently up to the ceiling, the occurrence would not be a violation of the laws of Nature, but a rare coincidence. These are some of the minor difficulties. I ought really to look at the problem four-dimensionally as concerning the intersection of my world-line with that of the plank. Then again it is necessary to determine in which direction the entropy of the world is increasing in order to make sure that my passage over the threshold is an entrance, not an exit. Verily, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a scientist to pass through a door. And whether the door be barn door or church door it might be wiser that he should consent to be an ordinary man and walk in rather than wait till all the difficulties involved in a really scientific ingress are resolved.”

Hildebrand proposes that such paralyzing ambivalence can serve to describe “the act of making and perhaps even encountering paintings – a physical revulsion to the prospect of being transformed by the experience.” The sense of the body’s instability in motion described so eloquently by Eddington finds its parallel in the dizzying experience of entering the pictorial space of Hildebrand’s paintings and collages, where the illusion of varying planes of space is contradicted by punctuations of flat line and textured surfaces.

The Gallery thanks SODEC for its support.

Dil Hildebrand is an artist living and working in Montreal. Hildebrand’s work has been shown internationally in such venues as the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2010); the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2012); Herron Galleries at University of Indiana, Indianapolis (2013); Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne (2013); Union Gallery, London UK (2012&13); University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery, Winnipeg (2013); YYZ, Toronto (2011); Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal (2013); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal (2014); AUT University Gallery, Auckland NZ (2007); and Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto (2006). Hildebrand is an MFA graduate of Concordia University, Montreal and has been awarded a number of distinguished grants and awards including the International Residency at Acme Studios, London UK (2013); the Banff Centre Thematic Residency (2009) and was winner of the RBC National Painting Competition (2006). His work has been collected by major public institutions throughout Canada, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Bank of the Canada Council.

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Image :
Long in the Tooth, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 125.5 x 122 cm (60″ x 48″)

 

Jutai Toonoo: Life

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A Retrospective Exhibition
March 5 – March 26

Jutai Toonoo belonged to the middle generation of Inuit artists who bridged the old and new worlds of the Arctic. Born in 1959, he grew up in Cape Dorset, a witness to the transformation of this small isolated settlement to a modern community. Ever curious, he took advantage of increased communications and global awareness to reach out for knowledge. The art mirrored the man; thoughtful, philosophical, and questioning.

Karilee Fuglem: What I see each moment I’ve never seen before

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February 6 – 27, 2016
Opening: Saturday February 6 from 3 pm to 6 pm | Artist in attendance

Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain is excited to present Karilee Fuglem‘s first solo exhibition at the Toronto gallery, What I see each moment I’ve never seen before.

Karilee Fuglem‘s work takes the form of installations, drawings, photographs and artist books, through which she explores visual subtlety as a key to embodied perception. Raised in Kamloops, British Columbia, she has lived in Montreal since 1989, and frequently travels back and forth between her two “homelands.” She has presented solo exhibitions across Canada, notably at the Darling Foundry (Montreal), the Koffler Gallery (Toronto), Oakville Galleries (Oakville, Ontario), Rodman Hall (St-Catharines, Ontario) and numerous group exhibitions, including the Biennale de Montréal in 1998 and 2011. Fuglem has also exhibited in group exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain, the Musée national des beaux arts du Québec and the National Gallery of Canada, who hold her work in their collections.

The artist states about the exhibition:

“A few months ago I made a sign for my studio, which still makes me burst out laughing. “NO IDEAS”* may seem like a declaration of defeat, but for me it’s a deadpan directive back to the here and now, clearing my head of projects, theories, explanations, metaphoric parallels. They’re all distractions from things like this little spot of light projected from who knows what, slowly coursing across my wall.

The work I’ll present at Centre Space is, like everything I see, made of reflective surfaces. They move when we move, giving back scraps of whatever is around them. The displaced air that sets them adrift is the same air that touches our skin. We feel what we see. Tellingly, some of this work began with photographs. One was of a place too personal to get across without betraying its intimacy, though I tried – shredding and reassembling it, blowing it up very large, slashing it into strips dangled with reflective materials, until, at last, the photographic image was unnecessary. Everything unsayable about that image is whispered by these simple wafting strips, alive in a way the photo couldn’t be. It reminds me how the past continues in us, never held still.

Maybe any meaning outside your/my experience of this work is irrelevant. There is this: material responding to the slightest shifts in light and air, returning me again and again to here, where I live.”

*My studio sign took root with poet Fernando Pessoa, his voice a tonic as Alberto Caeiro, in The Keeper of Sheep, which I read in translations (and my favourite, a transélation** by poet Erin Mouré as Eirin Moure). I paraphrased my title from the Edwin Honig/Susan M. Brown version.

**Eirin Moure, Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person, Toronto: Anansi Press, 2001 and Fernando Pessoa, The Keeper of Sheep (O Guardador de Rebanhos), Edwin Honig and Susan M. Brown, translators. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NewYork: The Sheep Meadow Press, 1971.

The Gallery thanks SODEC for its support.

Please visit the gallery website for more information, detailed images of the works presented and installation views.

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Universal Cobra – Book Release and Signing

Shary Boyle will be at Feheley Fine Arts to celebrate and sign a new book on February 6th, 2016. Universal Cobra is a limited edition, full-colour companion book to the collaborative exhibition between Shary Boyle and Shuvinai Ashoona. The exhibition, organized jointly by Feheley Fine Arts and Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain previewed in Toronto in October and was exhibited in Montreal in late 2015. A selection of the drawings by both artists will be on view during the month of February.

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Images :
Karilee Fuglem, (work in progress)
Shuvinai Ashoona & Shary Boyle, Technicians, 2015, ink on paper and coloured crayon, 98 x 107 cm (38.5″ x 42″)

 

 

Naomi Cook : Allegory Algorithm

Form XXIV
August 8 – September 5, 2015

Opening: Saturday August 8th from 3 pm to 6 pm
Artist in attendance

Allegory Algorithm addresses different modes of data visualization used by the artist as allegories for current socio-politcal events. In turn, these works are complemented by more classical allegorical drawings that speak to the movement and fluctuation of data-driven environments.

This exhibition is comprised of three elements: The BATS stock exchange visualization, the Pianola Project, and the Forms drawing series. The BATS stock exchange visualization is a set of drawings accompanying a six minute hand-drawn video mapping the drop in value of a stock affected by high-frequency trading algorithms. Each second of the video shows three milliseconds of the original stock data. The Pianola Project is based on a player piano scroll of Pete Wendling’s song “Hesitation Blues”. This was used as a template to transfer the placement of notes onto a 4 x 18 ft roll of paper, embellishing the original in a fractal-inspired way influenced by Benoit Mandelbrot’s theory of noise and disturbance. The Forms series uses many of the stylistic similarities in Cook’s data processing and visualization to depict ambiguous human forms in bizarre yet classical poses, as if cast from a mould of manipulated data.

Pianola

Naomi Cook is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Montreal. Cook’s technique stems from interests in engravings, sound and visual representations of sound. In 2005, she founded Red Bird Gallery and Studios in Montreal, working as director and curator until 2010. She subsequently relocated to Berlin, collaborating on projects and proposals including an immersive architectural work. Her work was featured in several group exhibitions in Montreal and abroad, online as a frequent contributor to GIF LORDS, and in the 2014 edition of POP Montreal. Most recently her works were selected by Canadian Art Magazine as favourites of the 2015 edition of PAPIER Art Fair.

Contact: info@pfoac.com
PFOAC would like to thank SODEC for its support

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image credits:
Naomi Cook. Form XXIV. Ink, paper (26″ x 34″)
Naomi Cook. Pianola. Presentation table, ink on paper (4′ x 18′)

Installation views:

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Marie-Jeanne Musiol: Luminous Fields

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May 2 – 30, 2015

Luminous Fields presents images of light imprints from plants and metal circles captured by Marie-Jeanne Musiol with electromagnetic photography. The series is part of a more extensive energy herbarium assembled by the artist at the intersection of two imaginary visions embodied by Goethe, poet and scientist, and David Bohm, quantum physicist.

In the gallery, 30 small backlit positives mounted on wood modules create a space reminiscent of a study cabinet. Although not visible, the backlighting material, a phosphorus sheet activated by electricity, is not unlike other bioluminescent phenomena at work in the natural world. A short video translates in real time the activity of highly mobile fields around plants, with a soundtrack of live sap ascending a tree providing an added expression of plant states. While considering historical presentation of botanical specimens and philosophical debate on the status of plants, erroneously thought to have no nervous system, Musiol also uncovers the presence of cosmic configurations enfolded in minute details of photographed leaves. From nature to cosmos, she speculates on the transfer of information occurring between dimensions in a holographic universe.

Contact: info@pfoac.com

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image credit:
Marie-Jeanne Musiol, Bodies of Light (Configuration 4), 2015

Mark Clintberg: Vitrine

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March 28 – April 25, 2015

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present its first collaboration with Mark Clintberg: Vitrine, a solo exhibition of new works including sculptures, monoprints and video. Vitrine features a suite of works that address expressions of affection and protection in close, intimate relationships by drawing on the western museological tradition of glass display cases.

Mark Clintberg was born in Edmonton. He lives and works in Montreal. As an artist, critic, art historian and curator, he often reveals the fluidity between private and public, intellect and emotion, interior and exterior. He earned his Ph.D. in Art History at Concordia University in 2013, where he is an Assistant Professor, LTA. His work has recently been shown at the Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), the Illingworth Kerr Gallery (Calgary), AXE NÉO-7 (Gatineau), and Trapdoor Artist Run Centre (Lethbridge). Other exhibitions featuring his work have taken place at Locust Projects (Miami), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Banff Centre, Centre des arts actuels Skol (Montreal) and Eastern Edge (St. John’s). He was shortlisted for the 2013 Sobey Art Award for the region Prairies and the North. Public and private collections across Canada and in the United States including the National Gallery of Canada and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts have acquired his work.

Please visit the gallery website for more information.
Contact: info@pfoac.com

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image credit:
Marck Clintberg, Pudenda 1-2, 2014, monoprint on Somerset paper, 61 x 46 cm (24″ x 18″) ea.