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John Abrams Spring, French River

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October 7 – October 29, 2017

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7,  2 – 5 PM

 

Spring, French River — on view from October 7 to 29, 2017, at Loop Gallery — sees John Abrams return to his iconic Canadian History paintings, a series he began in the early 1990s and worked on off and on until 2002. Works from this series can be found in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Council (Ottawa), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto), the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Art Gallery of Guelph, McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton), the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (Kingston), the Art Gallery of Windsor, and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery (Owen Sound).

 

Spring, French River consists of a series of portraits of Group of Seven members and a few of their friends, as well as imagery from the Group’s most famous multi-hued landscapes — those iconic works that capture the land, water, seasons, and weather that have come to define the Canadian wilderness. Here, the colorful scenes are reduced to simple grisaille panels with text, each with one of group members’ names painted as if it belonged on a movie marquee, a presentation that gestures to the Group’s coalescence into a brand in contemporary Canadian culture.

Abrams’ deconstructed suite functions as a stepping-off point for larger paintings that consider the land not only as the subject matter for the Group of Seven’s art, but also as a reflection of the often-vexed relationship we as Canadians have with our natural environment. The landscape operates at once as a signifier of national identity, a backdrop against which contested histories play out, and a site for aggressive industrial expansion that affords some prosperity and others scarcity.

Installed together, Abrams’s painterly revisions have a semiotic function insofar as they interrogate the Canadian cultural imaginary as a coded language of signs. Even a beautiful and evocative image such as Tom Thomson’s Spring, French River, appropriated and reproduced in black and white by Abrams, appears tinged with dry wit as the painter’s reimagining quite literally denaturalizes it. Filtered through the artist’s deconstructionist reading of Canadian history, this scene and others become documents not just of the landscape, but also of the historical processes that bestow meaning upon it.

Mindy Yan Miller Two Cows and a Coke

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October 7 – 29, 2017

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 2 – 5 PM

 

 

Mindy Yan Miller loves her animal hides by cutting, shaving and penetrating. Loop Gallery is pleased to present the artist’s latest work in an exhibition entitled Two Cows and a Coke. Yan Miller uses potent and irreconcilable materials that are precisely woven and arranged to produce beautiful works that speak to the politics of food production and the ethical relations we have with materials.

Sliced hides are propped open with stiff window blinds. Other larger skins hang flaccidly from the ceiling over pools of shiny Plexiglas. A mass of spent coke cans is arranged on the floor in a circle.

Known for her massive installations of potent materials, Yan Miller has been working with animal hides for the last five years. What started as an experiment in Op-on-skin has become a deeper and more enduring investigation into the value of things. – MGM 

Mindy Yan Miller has taught Fibres and Material Practices at Concordia University since she graduated with an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 1990. She has been the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Saskatchewan Arts Board. Her work has been exhibited in Europe, Korea and across Canada and the United States in venues including: Artforum (Berlin), 12-14 contemporary (Vienna), W139 (Amsterdam), Mercer Union, YYZ, (Toronto), Optica, La Centrale, (Montreal), The Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge), Stride Gallery, Glenbow Museum (Calgary), Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), Art in General (NYC) and Hallwalls (Buffalo).

loop elsewhere FALL EDITION

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Yael, Brotman, Blackfriars, etching on Kurotani and Taiwanese papers, foamcore, acrylic, 2013

YAEL BROTMAN

Yael’s exhibition, Waterfront opened September 8th and runs until October 21st at the Martha St. Studio in Winnipeg.
 

MARIA GABANKOVA

Maria’s current exhibition Sculpture Time is on at the Rentz Museum, in Kuks, Czech Republic and runs through till April 2018.
Her paintings are interpretations of Baroque sculptures representing Virtues and Vices. Through visual interventions she poses questions about how relevant or redundant are issues of moral and ethical values in today’s world influenced by technology, human greed and consumerism. In August 2017 this show was part of a yearly baroque/ contemporary multimedia festival Theatrum Kuks featuring concerts, theatre, puppets and other on site performances and presentations.
For details about the festival:  http://theatrum-kuks.cz 
and for details about the exhibition: www.rentzovomuzeum.cz or http://paintinggallery.ca

LIBBY HAGUE

Libby’s work can be seen at the following:
Kyoto Hanga, International Print Exhibition, Japan and Canada, curated by Liz Ingram and April Dean, Art Gallery of Regina, September 1st – October 5th.
 
2017 Departures – Masterpieces of Canadian Printing, curated by Walter Jules, Ardell Gallery of Modern Art, Bankok, October 19th – November 26th, 2017
Open Studio’s booth at Editions, Art Toronto, October 27th – 30th.
The past is never over: A Libby Hague Retrospective, Art Gallery of Mississauga, curated by Kendra Ainsworth, Nov. 2, 2017
 

JENN LAW

Jenn has recently established a new publishing platform, Arts & Letters Press, with artist friend and colleague Penelope Stewart. The duo are looking forward to representing this initiative at the 2/edition Art Book Fair in Toronto, October 27-30, 2017, where they will be exhibiting artist’s books and multiples, as well as promoting the 2018 launch of the biannual publication Art + Reading.

For further information, please visit their website: www.artsandletterspress.com

JANE LOWBEER

Jane’s exhibit of drypoint mono prints and wall sculptures, Hills and Lines, has been extended until October 21st, 2017 at the AH Centre.

www.ahcentre.ca

LOOP GALLERY

presented Anxious Space an off-site temporary exhibition which considered how the threat of environmental destruction changes the way we experience everyday spaces.
Featuring Loop members: Yael Brotman, Sheryl Dudley, David Holt, Adrian Fish, Ester Pugliese, Sandra Gregson, Tanya Cunnington, Mary Catherine Newcomb, Rochelle Rubenstein.
The change in perception of everyday spaces brought about by environmental threat could be anything from premature nostalgia to zealous protection, in other words, the threat of destruction highlights the fragility and importance of spaces typically taken for granted, rendering them sacred. In exploring the tension between sacredness and destruction, two important questions must be asked: what amount of threat to a space makes it sacred?; what amount of damage to a space it eliminates that sacredness?
 Curated by: Salena Barry

Carolyn Dinsmore Rock Water Time

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September 9th – October 1st, 2017

Opening Reception: September 9th, 2 – 5 PM

 

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Carolyn Dinsmore entitled Rock Water Time.

 

In Carolyn Dinsmore’s new body of work she draws inspiration from the rock and water of Georgian Bay, zooming in on patterns that are evidence of gradual build-up and erosion layered over infinite time and the always changing water pushing against and flowing alongside.

Her paintings are close-ups, small sections of rock – hard, smooth, rough surfaces resulting from years in formation, surfaces carved, scarred, polished, and lichened. The water details are caught in motion, sometimes gentle and soothing, to powerful and aggressive.

Patterns, mutations from the unfathomably distant past, still indiscernibly reacting to the elements of nature, contrast with those of constant motion, unpredictable, shifting from surging violent force through gentle rhythmic rippling to mirror stillness.

By isolating and highlighting details from the larger landscape the artist is offering to viewers personal and immediate clues, links to the incomprehensible vastness of the environment and the rhythm of time and change.

Carolyn Dinsmore studied art history at Queen’s and the University of Toronto and taught high school art before opening a shop that specialized in textiles mostly from India and  Africa. She returned to school to study at The Art Centre at Central Tech in Toronto. This is her third show at Loop.

Sandra Gregson Troubling

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September 9th – October 1st, 2017

Opening Reception:September 9th, 2 – 5 PM

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Sandra Gregson entitled troubling.

During the summer of 2016 Gregson participated in a Parks Canada residency at Mount Revelstoke in British Columbia. The landscape is spectacular: immeasurable forests, dramatic mountain ranges, fertile river valleys. Awed by the landscape and wanting to reconcile what she was seeing with what she was noticing and researching about environmental concerns (the threatened loss of natural habitat for bears and caribou in Revelstoke to global climate change), Gregson began representing land from different viewpoints: observational, aerial, mapped, detail, perspective, fragments, and historical, to better understand our relationship with it.

Gregson’s paintings depict landscape fraught with human intervention: land that is being divided, mapped, mined, gridded, cut, scraped, reshaped. At times the land appears fertile and resilient, at other times, depleted.

Since using painted images in her animated video, from land (2014), Gregson has worked with water-based oils. Prior to this she worked with sculpture, video, drawing and installation. She holds a BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and MFA from York University. Recent exhibitions include Para//el Room at DNA Artspace, London, ON, WIFF Toronto, and Parkdale Film and Video Showcase.

JJ Lee,Amy Swartz,Natalie Waldburger Back to the Drawing Board

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August 15 – September 3, 2017

Reception: Thursday, August 24, 5-7  PM

Artists will be drawing August 15 & 16, 12 -3 PM

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by JJ Lee, Amy Swartz and Natalie Majaba Waldburger entitled Back to the Drawing Board.

 

Back to the Drawing Board is an exhibition of the collaborative work of artists-educators at the intersection of process and labour.  The show will feature large-scale, mixed media and site-specific installation of collaborative drawings.

Drawing as a visual language can bypass societal classifications including cultural, social, economic and educational barriers. As both an organizational and a decolonization strategy, the show will feature the fluidity of the medium, using a variety of drawing materials (including carbon paper, ballpoint pen, charcoal, graph paper, tape and blood) and methods (collage, photocopying). Through the use of ongoing open-ended drawing processes, the fundamental building blocks of drawing point, perspective, line, value will be the basis for the finished installation, but will also question notions of hierarchy and perceptions of power.

Through the collaborative efforts of the involved artists, this project is a necessary and timely tool to address the ongoing conversation about the complexity, and reality of creative work. The exhibition will include collaborative work created both before the exhibition begins and an in-gallery collaborative drawing performance. The artists will be in attendance on Aug 15th and 16th using the process of drawing as a collaborative and performative activity.

“The Drawing Board” is a newly formed group of artist-educator collaborators JJ Lee, Amy Swartz and Natalie Majaba Waldburger.

 

Michael Pflug Paintings

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July 15th – August 6th, 2017

Reception: July 15th, 2 – 5 PM

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Michael Pflug entitled Paintings.

Since the 1940’s, Pflug has produced an incredible oeuvre of modernist and post-modern painting. Inspired to respond to the European movement of New Objectivity, Pflug continues to paint vitally personal and poetic scenes from everyday life to abstract expression. Taking notes from famous artists like Caspar David Friedrich and Saul Steinberg, Pflug decided to innovate into new painterly styles that were unseen at the time. Through his iconic body of work, Loop Gallery is ecstatic to present Pflug’s first ever Toronto retrospective.

Michael Pflug was born in Kassel Germany in 1929. He began painting landscape watercolours in Potsdam 1943. He was mentored by modern painters Viera da Silva and Arpad Scenès in Paris, France. From 1951-1952 he went to Art School in Hamburg. He married Christiane Schutt in 1957, another modern painter. Pflug moved to Toronto in 1960 , where he presently lives and works.

Martha Eleen Watershed

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June 17 – July 9, 2017

Reception: June 17th, 2 – 5 PM

Through representation of invisible spaces, Eleen’s new series Watershed attempts to allow meaning to be created via artistic process without reliance on subject matter. Watershed acts as a microcosm for the search of artistic and personal identity through the painterly practice. The exhibition’s works use abstract formalism, dynamic colour palettes, and generous spaces to provide a visceral experience. Created under pre-defined parameters, the 4’ by 4’ pieces employ a collection of interacting visual fields, assuaging the eye and mind into questioning how representation and abstract imagery can collide to create artifacts of personal and artistic histories.

Working after a moment of tragedy, the body of work signifies the artist’s new path into an unknown future. As carefully measured sections of intense hues and comforting tones blend together and disrupt each other, Watershed poses larger questions regarding the work’s creation and meaning. However, Eleen’s series defies any easy interpretation, instead working within ambiguity in order to exemplify the difficulty of art; art should not be easy, it must hold itself to a higher ideal. Each piece offers a different example of how space can be penetrated and transformed into representation. In doing so, the exhibition reifies internal experience onto the painted canvas, ripe with personal and collective meanings. What does the viewer understand through these works? Watershed showcases that the best answer for understanding results from a burrowing inward reflection of the self.

— Matthew Kyba

“Bliss lives in life’s interstices, in its crevices and tributaries. Sometimes you have to look to one side to see it, like looking at a star.”

~ (Gary Michael Dault, Quotation and Bliss: Negotiating Martha Eleen’s History of the Future, exhibition brochure 2016)

Linda Heffernan Connectivity

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June 17 – July 9, 2017

Reception: June 17, 2-5 p.m.

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Linda Heffernan entitled Connectivity.

Through painterly interventions, Heffernan creates immersive abstracted landscapes that are as aesthetic as they are critical. As Canada’s geography shifts and molds under human influence, Connectivity is concerned with humanity’s continual expansion into our natural landscapes. Her textured works point to the tactility of organic matter, and the ebb and flow of human intervention. Many of her sites of inspiration for the series come from the Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern listed on the Government of Canada website, and satellite imagery from Google Earth.

After the recent announcement of the gutting of the American Environmental Protection Agency, and the withdrawal of the U.S from the Paris Climate Accord, Heffernan strives to put the focus back on our ability to interact with our land in a sustainable relationship. As many of the Great lakes run through the US and Canada, there is a shared concern for action that each work proposes. Heffernan’s lines and implied infrastructure, both local and global, suggest a nuanced and detailed network of connections. This patchwork formalises into larger connecting themes of environmentalism, culture, and painterly practice.

Philip Woolf The Edge of the Woods

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May 20 – June 11, 2017

Opening Reception: May 21, 2 – 5 PM

What do we experience as we look out the side window driving along a ribbon of highway that cuts through a heavily wooded landscape? What do we remember? The woods might seem undifferentiated, one thicket resembling the next. These investigations represent a closer look, and yield differentiations.

In my previous body of work, thousands of pictures taken of the ocean yielded a few dozen paintings. Looking at the edge of the woods while driving through the Ontario countryside, I began to discern the possibility of a parallel discourse between landscape compositions and my seascapes. I began taking pictures. Again, hundreds of pictures taken at the side of the road have yielded a handful of paintings so far. I am drawn to photographing thickets. I then examine the captures of gestural entanglements of branches and foliage looking for reveals that resonate with my aesthetic. “Remnants” was produced from a capture taken in the Muskokas; “Overgrowth” is from Magnetawan. While I was parked on the edge of the road when I took these photos, “The Melaleuca Tree” was from a lucky capture taken on my iPhone while I was a passenger speeding along Alligator Alley through the Everglades.

While most of the images in this show are from investigations along the side of the road, as this discourse unfolded, I began to glimpse offerings to the discourse while watching Netflix. As a result, some of the images are worked up from screen captures taken with my iPhone. “An Event in Autumn” was produced from a scene from “Wallander”, and the title of the painting is from title of the episode. Likewise, “11.22.63” was produced after the TV miniseries bearing the same name. The main character, played by James Franco, is about to enter the house and confront a murderous and jealous husband. However, if the viewer does not know any of this, then what do the images signify?

When we see an unoccupied vehicle parked on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, what does that signify? What if the vehicle happens to be an old and rusted 4X4 pick-up? What if it’s a late model Mini Cooper?

Overarching everything, the woods are habitats for animals. Driving through Ontario, we might be lucky enough to see a deer, or a moose, or a bear. The woods are also scenes of recreational activity. We see points of ingress for hunters and hikers and nature lovers. But the woods are also sometimes scenes of trauma. Bad things happen there. Searches are organized for missing persons, missing women, lost children. The woods are a place to hide. Crime scenes are found. There are bear attacks. And anyone who has ever experienced trauma in the woods, or who has ever been lost in the woods, knows just how quickly the idyllic can quake and shift, and all that was beautiful and light and colour just a moment before, suddenly becomes sinister and menacing and dark.

While remnants, markers, titles, and other associations and evidences signify events in these landscape paintings, it is also the case that they represent nothing of any singular significance at all, and that they are only that which they seem to be – differentiated locations along the side of the road.

For more information, visit www.phillipwoolf.com.