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Exhibitions

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.

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.

Lanny Sherek Almost Human

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May 20 – June 11, 2017

Reception: May 21, 2 – 5 PM

 

 

We humans have from the beginning sought to project our humanity into the world around us. We have also been using inanimate materials to create images that represent us. We use stone, wood, metal, and paint to create images of ourselves. We have created powerful computers with which we try to make models of our minds and imagine new artificial beings.

For this exhibition, Almost Human, I have created over 30 different painted heads. They are arranged vertically in totems of three, on alternating backgrounds of blue and red. I try to animate them by giving each a distinct character or personality, yet they all share a mechanical-like construct.

Included in Almost Human are three constructed and painted wood heads. What is interesting to me is the notion of an individual character and the human instinct to read it as such. A group of forty University of Toronto psychology students have written profiles of the heads. The narratives that they weave reflect their own stories and their own individual characters.

For more information, visit www.lannyshereck.com , http://www.loopgallery.ca/portfolio/lanny-sherek/

 

 

Adrian Fish Deutsche Demokratische Republik: The Stasi Archives

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April 22 – May 14, 2017

Reception: Saturday, April 22 3-6PM

 

 

From 1946 to 1989, the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) was engaged in an extensive intra-civilian surveillance program seeking to expose and incarcerate suspected “class enemies.” The program was administered by over 90,000 employees and agents of the Ministry for State Security (colloquially knows as the Stasi), and over 170,000 ordinary East German citizens “volunteered” as unofficial collaborators—about 2.5 percent of the population. The archives were housed in the sprawling campus of the Ministry for State Security in the former city of East Berlin, which served as the processing centre and warehouse for the volumes of documentation related to Stasi activities. The archives are now searchable for citizens of the former GDR who believe their lives were impacted by this systematic surveillance. Over 2.75 million people (mostly former citizens of the GDR) have since made file requests. In this exhibition, Adrian Fish’s photographs document the extant repository of dossiers collected by Stasi officials, in addition to the meeting rooms, offices, and boardrooms preserved after the collapse of the GDR.

For more information, visit afish.ca.

 

Ava Roth Encaustic Sewings

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April 22 – May 14, 2017

Reception: Saturday April 22  3-6PM

 

Ava Roth’s current exhibition, Encaustic Sewings, explores two contrasting traditions of artistic practice.

Each ‘encaustic sewn painting’ in the series begins with aggressive tools: a blow-torch, razor, oil, and resin. Roth finishes her opaque and heavy paintings with a series of delicate—even domestic—tools and media: needle, thread, and delicate papers. Thread or copper is sewn into the wood panels, piercing the encaustic medium.

The ‘encaustic painted embroideries’ take the opposite approach. Roth begins working with embroidery hoops, sewing onto transparent papers with fine threads and decorative beads. Traditional encaustic techniques are invoked by waxing the delicate papers and then suturing their translucent surfaces.

In both series, monochromatic expanses of wax and/or paper are bisected, slashed, or divided. Sewn ligatures strain to hold the divided elements firmly in place as an otherworldly spectacle of colour and texture reveals itself through the fissure.

Roth is a Toronto-based artist whose practice explores encaustic painting, book-binding, embroidery, drawing, textiles, wax-carved jewelry, gouache painting, and installation.

For more information, visit avaroth.com.

 

Rochelle Rubinstein MY ONLY DRINK

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March 25  –  April 16,  2017

Reception: March 26,  2 – 5 PM

The first words got polluted 

Like river water in the morning 

Flowing with the dirt 

Of blurbs and the front pages. 

My only drink is meaning from the deep brain, 

What the birds and the grass and the stones drink. 

Let everything flow 

Up to the four elements, 

Up to water and earth and fire and air. 

—Seamus Heaney, “The First Words,” from the Romanian of Marin Sorescu

 

Rochelle Rubinstein’s exhibition, My Only Drink, consists of four works: Blood, Grass, Water, Wood.

The first two were originally part of a 24-panel installation, called Book of Job, which included hand-painted text and images of soldiers, birds, madonnas and horses. She printed, painted and carved red stripes over ten of the Job panels, and they became Blood. This piece is a celebration of womanhood in the context of present-day misogyny. It also connects to Rubinstein’s involvement in Blood, Milk and Tears, a collective of Muslim and Jewish women working with the subjects of menstruation, breastfeeding and mourning practices.

She transformed the remaining 14 panels into Grass, an aerial view of lush, green land. This piece emerges out of her advocacy work to protect natural grass fields and playgrounds from being replaced with toxic artificial turf.

Water consists of three layers. The first was a miscellaneous collection of block prints including bees, keening Irish women, and Rubinstein’s family in a refugee camp in Italy. Then she covered everything with the Hebrew text of the Orphan’s Kaddish, a mourning prayer. The final layer is an explosion of drops, representing tears, milk, and blood, as well as our precious Ontario aquifers that are being depleted by greedy corporations.

Last is Wood. As is her method, Rubinstein had every intention of adding layers and textures to the striped grid, but something kept stopping her. Finally, she realized there was already a completeness and an expression of solidarity in its simple lines.

—Alisha Kaplan

Mark Adair

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March 25 – April 15, 2017

Reception: March 26 – 3 – 5 PM

 

The two artists in the current Loop exhibition work in a similar way; not content to leave well enough alone, they work and re-work their pieces time and time again, even to the extent that they exhibit pieces as evolving iterations, unbothered by notions of a thing being ‘done’ or ‘undone’. This process is analogous to our cultural habit of telling stories, re-working them, then re-telling them, thus reviewing and renewing our myths and cultural narratives to provide our lives with hope and meaning.  Both are keenly aware that truth and narrative can be deadly adversaries.

Adairs pieces are often years in the making. He chooses diverse materials, methods and styles to make projects intended to engage the viewer with both the practice of production and the image or thing itself. As he leaves one project and moves on to the next there is often a steep learning curve and the labour intensive works are always exercises in redemption.

The piece Glass House Doors (2017, 63″ x 80″) began life in 2007 as a large charcoal drawing of the Tree of Knowledge. The doors invoke memories of stained glass but Adair has replaced the painted glass with hand cut lead patterning and the design of the steel support frame was suggested by the studying of necropolis street plans.

The carved wooden Head for a Fountain (2017, 14″ x 14″) and the small figure carved from elk antler are both meditations on the enigmatic Green Man figure, so brilliantly described by Russell Hoban in his 1980 futuristic, dystopian novel Riddley Walker. Head for a Fountain will be used in an installation collaboration with Patti Muratori at Rubinstein‘s Bela farm project.

Included in Adair‘s show is Catherine Daigle’s ( 2005, 40″x28″) backlit When Daddy Comes Home All The Fun Stops. Daigle died in 2006 but she would be grimly satisfied to know that her work is still relevant.

Yael Brotman Time. Story. Tree

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February 25th  – March 19th, 2017

Reception: March 4th,  3 – 6 PM

Yael Brotman presents a new installation of work that contemplates raw material, process and universal stories that infuse our constructions and artifacts with poetry and truth.

In this exhibition, Brotman brings together various stages of creating, from the textural rubbings of bark of ancient trees on Haida Gwaii, to notation, documentation, translation from drawing to silkscreen, and transformation into three-dimensional structures.

In summer 2016, Brotman participated in a residency on Haida Gwaii, sponsored by Parks Canada and the Haida Gwaii Museum. She was struck by the legends she heard and read about Foamwoman and about eagles, ravens and turtles. There were marked parallels to the use of animals and birds in Western European tales; and the iconography of Foamwoman was remarkably similar to the multi-breasted Diana of Ephesus.

Brotman’s process is simplicity magnified into complexity. Basically she uses scissors and tape. Her drawings also embody the simplest of approaches—direct rubbings. But there is a point of departure into contemporary technology, like the GPS used to find the culturally modified trees deep in the Haida forest, the use of the silkscreen printmaking process, and the use of Mylar as the substrate. In this way Brotman’smaterial and process meld time and tales.

Yael Brotman lives and works in Toronto. She has exhibited nationally at public galleries and artist-run centres, and internationally at museums, private galleries and university galleries. She has been awarded grants and attended artist residencies in numerous countries including China, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, and Haida Gwaii. Brotman has recently been chosen as an RCA elect, to be inducted in May 2017. She is a Lecturer at the University of Toronto Scarborough and is president of the board of CARFAC Ontario.

Kim Stanford You knocked my teeth out

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February 25th – March 19th, 2017

Reception:  March 4th, 3 – 6 PM

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition by member artist Kim Stanford.

In the domestic realm, performance can feel like everything for those tasked with manufacturing and maintaining a cohesive, comfortable, and happy home and family.  We play the part through careful self censorship, sharing our meticulously constructed narratives over unedited truths.  But what happens when it all starts to fall apart?

In You knocked my teeth outStanford explores the weight of keeping a family together amid dysfunction.  Frustrated by the idyllic imperative of decorating porn, Stanford creates collage and sculpture which lay bare the psychic interiors of those impossibly tasked with the domestic fantasy. The emotional strain seeps through. Something is not quite right in the pieces’ appearance even as they suggest objects that make up the spaces in which we play out our lives.  Created to unsettle rather than placate, the pieces on display in You knocked my teeth out illustrate the psychological milieu of home and all those who inhabit it.

Stanford studied visual art at The Toronto School of Art (TSA) and OCADU, as well as critical social theory in her graduate degree at the University of Toronto.  Using common, often domestic items, she constructs absurd assemblages in order to open a conversation about the universal dialectic between the taken-for-granted and a search for meaning.