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Exhibitions

Loop Gallery & Wellington Water Watchers Water Advisory!

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March 3 – 25, 2018

Exhibition Launch:  Sunday, March 4th – 1 PM

 

 

 

Just in time for Water Week (March 20 – 27) and World Water Day (March 22), Loop Gallery and Wellington Water Watchers are proud to announce WATER ADVISORY! Featuring work by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, WATER ADVISORY! combines art and activism to explore the disconnect between society and the water that sustains it.

WATER ADVISORY! is an intersectional call to action that urges viewers to interrogate their own relationship to the natural world through banners, print, and mixed media installations. Exhibiting artists include Beehive Collective, Crystal Sinclair, Tannis Nielson, Claudia Wong, Sally Pang, Erika James, Carol Cheong, Paul Morin, Sarit Cantor, and more

WATER ADVISORY! launches on Sunday March 4 at 1 pm with a conversation with the artists, followed by a performance by hip-hop group Test Their Logik. The exhibition will be open to the public from 12-5 pm Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12-6 pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 1-4 pm on Sundays, until March 25. Educators wishing to arrange a classroom visit should contact Tim Welsh at tim@loopgallery.ca, or call the gallery directly at 416 516-2581.

WATER ADVISORY! is curated by Crystal Sinclair and Loop artist Rochelle Rubinstein. A co-founder of Idle No More and recipient of the OPSEU 2016 Human Rights and Equity award, Crystal Sinclair has a long history of art and activism around clean water campaigns for Indigenous communities. Rochelle Rubinstein is a printmaker, painter, fabric and book artist, environmental activist, and community arts facilitator.

 

 

Kristen Fahrig Body Imprints

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February 3 – 25th, 2018

Opening Reception: February 3rd, 2 – 5 PM

 

 

Loop Gallery is honoured to present Body Imprints, a retrospective of work by Kristen Fahrig.

Kristen Fahrig was a sculptor, educator and cultural animator who lived and worked in Toronto’s West End. Until her death last fall, she was best known for the numerous community art projects she initiated in her neighbourhood, as well as the public performances she created for the BIG on Bloor Festival, the Luminato Festival and the WinterCity Festival at Toronto City Hall.

Nowhere was Kristen’s community presence more keenly felt than at MacGregor Playground, a once-deserted park on Lansdowne Avenue. First as the playground’s artist-in-residence, and later as artistic director of the non-profit Botanicus Art Ensemble, Kristen’s tireless presence over a decade-and-a-half transformed MacGregor Playground into a family-friendly community hub. Over a shared love of art, theatre, craft and gardening, Kristen brought her neighbours together.

Body Imprints is a posthumous presentation of Kristen’s late sculptures. It shows the most personal side of her artistic practice, for which she struggled to gain recognition in her lifetime. Here, Kristen’s energy is turned inwards — to the self, the body and the natural world — to produce a diaristic sequence of sculptural reflections. “It’s about the imprints that the body makes,” Kristen wrote of these works. “The body is the negative space into which we can project ourselves and feel our connection with the earth.”

About the Curator 

Rupert Nuttle is a writer and painter based in Toronto. He received a BFA from NSCAD in 2013 and a Masters of Journalism from Carleton University in 2017. He has exhibited his paintings widely in Canada and abroad, and his art writing has appeared in C Magazine and Canadian Art, among other publications.

Eunha Kim Joy of Life

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February 3 – 25th, 2018

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 3rd 2 – 5 PM

 

Eunha Kim’s Joy of Life is inspired by Nong-Ak, a traditional Korean music/dance form. Now showcased in formal performances, Nong-Ak originally celebrated rural holidays and the wish for a good harvest.

A highly expressive art form, Nong-Ak combines singing, dancing, and drumming. Dancers wear a traditional hat, known as a Sangmo – as they spin, the Sangmo’s long ribbons form whirling patterns that accompany the dancers’ celebratory, acrobatic motions.

Kim’s work is an attempt to visualize the sound and movement of Nong-Ak, and the joy of life expressed by the dancing farmers’ dynamic, head-spinning motions. Utilizing dripping paint and mixed media, she communicates her own joy in working outside of representative form, and invites her audience to feel the uplift and excitement of the Nong-Ak dancers.

Kim’s process mirrors the energy of motion inherent to Nong-Ak. As she sprinkles and drops paint and ink, highly kinetic lines emerge on the canvas. Her careful use of color creates a harmonic effect, similar to that of the well-coordinated instruments in a Nong-Ak performance.

By reimagining rural tradition, Joy of Life draws a connection from the past to the present. In her own words:

The “joy of life” that I focus is not simply what the farmers had in the past. In our daily lives nowadays, we sometimes suffer from depression, pessimism, heavy burden of life, and feelings of loneliness. Under the circumstances, however, I hope that the aesthetics and the approach I take on my work will offer people in the world comfort, and excitement to live. 

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Eunha Kim is a Toronto-based artist. This is her first exhibition as a Loop member.

P. Roch Smith got’em, got ’em, need ’em

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January 6th – 28th, 2018

Opening Reception: January 13th, 2-5 PM

Q & A: Sunday, January 28th, 2 PM

P. Roch Smith’s got ’em, got ’em, need ’em recreates and reimagines the entire set of 1975 – 76 O-Pee-Chee NHL hockey cards. Each of the 395 individually framed cards in the set has been digitally altered in terms of colour, scale, and legibility.

The title refers to the verbal cues associated with sorting through another person’s collection — a mantra that would signal a potential trade. Growing up in the 1970s, collecting a complete set of hockey cards was the Everest of childhood ambitions. In his choice of the 1975-76 season, Smith has sought to fill the voids of a childhood collection by creating his personal “complete set”.

Collectively, these images continue Smith’s longtime exploration of memory and object. They are positioned at the intersection of sport and play as a trigger for questioning the creative act — of mass culture and its relationship to contemporary art. The installation examines the notion of what it means to be complete and the role of process as it relates to production of artifacts.

Smith is less interested in the idea of a collectible as a commodity than other questions: what drives the compulsion to collect something in the first place? How does one decide what to collect? When does one thing cease to be merely an object, and become part of a collection of other things?

Jean Baudrillard argues that “all objects in a collection become equivalent, thanks to that process of passionate abstraction we call possession. Further, a simple object can never be enough: invariably there will be a whole succession of objects…”  As an object maker, Smith both acquires things and produces pieces that make their way into other people’s collections. Perhaps, therefore, it is the concept of worth that may only be seen through absence.

P. Roch Smith was born and raised on Vancouver Island and currently lives and maintains a studio in Toronto. Working primarily within the realm of sculpture, Smith also generates installations, paintings, and drawings as part of his artistic output. Smith received a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and an MFA from York University. He has taught classes at the University of Waterloo, ECIAD, and York University. He has been a member of loop Gallery since 2014, and currently manages and operates the bronze and aluminum foundry at York University.

Smith has exhibited internationally and is included in private as well as public collections in Canada and the United States. His sculptures are available through the Oeno Gallery located in Prince Edward County, ON.

For more information, visit rochsmith.com, or visit his pages on instagram (@rochsmith) and twitter (@_rochsmith).

Andrew Duff #VirtualGraffiti

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January 6th – 28th, 2018

Opening Reception: January 13th, 2 – 5  PM

Q & A: Sunday, January 28th, 2 PM

 

 

Andrew Duff​’s current body of work is #totallyfake. In an era of “Fake News,” overtly posed images and oversharing on social media, ​Duff​ asks, “why can’t I make fake art?” #VirtualGraffiti​ explores issues of unverified storytelling, ubiquitous content creators and concepts of modern media, while playfully celebrating our willingness to believe it all. When “likes” and #hashtags trump actual content, we find ourselves overrun with celebrities of all stripes behaving badly — and unknowns becoming celebrities for the same ill-advised reasons.

Inspired by this questionable media soup, Duff​ sets the stage for his work within the established structure of Instagram: a square image framed in white with minimal text. His process then continues with spontaneous photographs from his daily life taken with a smartphone. The photographs often are blurry, have strangers walking through them, or are poorly cropped. ​Duff then loads the photos onto his computer to draw and paint on them using Sketchbook Pro software and “natural” brushes. The goal being to digitally create real world graffiti that looks either plausible or is clearly fake.

The third part of ​#VirtualGraffiti​ is the written story. ​Duff​ takes on a character closely resembling himself, but with the courage and conviction of an actual graffiti artist. His short form “Fake News Fiction,” like historical fiction, is storytelling that skates close enough to reality, referencing actual people and places to make it believable. Lastly, to enhance the gallery experience, Duff​ has created 12 audio tracks for each of the exhibited ​#VirtualGraffiti pieces. These audio works incorporate royalty free sound files and ​Duff​’s own voice to create an unusual audio tour.

Andrew Duff​ is an artist, designer and educator based in Toronto. A graduate of both OCAD and NSCAD, he has sustained an active art practice and freelance design business since 1997. Duff​ became a member of Loop in 2017 and this exhibition marks his first with the gallery.

For more information, please visit andrewduff.ca or visit him on Instagram (@andrewduff).

Sung Ja Kim Connection

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November 4 – November 26th, 2017

Reception: Saturday, November 4th, 2 – 5 PM

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Sung Ja Kim entitled Connection.

Straight lines and curved lines connect us to our destinations. Connecting with these personal destinations occurs through a journey involving new ways to live our lives. Yet our connections to our destinations can often be obscured during our life journey.

As we connect firmly by putting our trust in the right things our connections give us hope. Connecting by and through our life journey in hope of things yet unseen creates images of our destination in our hearts and minds. But the full awareness of our life’s purpose will be revealed when we reach our life destination.

Our ultimate connections by and the straight and curved lines of our life journey becomes layered with the passage of time. These layers of time connect our pasts to our presents and lead us into our futures.

Sung Ja Kim’s works in this exhibition all use only the colour white. This is because white readily absorbs the free range of other colours. These other colours symbolize the textures of our life experiences. Yet the connecting curved and straight lines are white to enable all the other textures to blend into the ebb and flow of life.

Gareth Bate In the Garden

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November 4 – November 26, 2017

Reception: Saturday, November 4th, 2-5 PM

 

“No guru, no method, no teacher 

Just you and I and nature”

(In the Garden, Van Morrison)

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to present In the Garden by Gareth Bate, a collection of recent and new works. In Gareth’s own words:

Standhal Syndrome: Last year I visited an exhibition that I found so overwhelming I had to leave, twice. It felt like I was in an altered state of dizzying awareness. The condition of being completely overwhelmed by art is known as Standhal Syndrome. Plants and flowers were bursting, swirling and growing in every direction. The show was a whirling excess of patterns and complexity. It was like life itself, nothing simple about it. What resonated most for me, was the feeling that in my own work, I was tapped into something archetypal. It was clear that many artists from around the world, and throughout time, had felt the same intuition. The universe is like a garden.

A Cosmic Garden: These were gardens with a higher purpose. To me, these artists were making images that were like metaphors of the universe. Tiny images of the cosmos. Perhaps as humans we desperately want the universe to be like a garden so that it all makes sense. A garden has a gardener, who shapes nature, and makes order out of chaos.

Bliss: Gardens Real and Imagined: I was very moved by this exhibition curated by Natalia Nekrassova at the Textile Museum of Canada. It featured centuries of textile works from around the world. All of them unified by an exuberant love of plants and flowers. The time and craftsmanship that went into these works was mind blowing. I think we need more shows like this that emphasize what we have in common on a deep human level rather than everything that’s different.

What I see: When I look at In The Garden I see life swirling around. I feel energy and vibration. Plants growing and blossoms exploding. Particles and atoms zipping about. I see the heavens, planets and galaxies. I feel a world bubbling and blooming, evolving and fucking. Like Toronto, I see a beautiful mess. A vibrant crudeness, crowded and busy, filled up to the brink. Trying to punch holes. Packed with stuff to do and endless projects. Distractions and updates. Chaotic and unordered. Anxiety. Endless lists. I see a desire for an ordered world and a cleared out space. A need to always prove something. Or is that just me?

Blender: My work is like a blender with the same ingredients added in different combinations and then mixed together into new drinks. The cosmos has been a central theme in my work for years. So have storms, clouds, grasses, plants and flowers. Finding order in chaos, shifting perspectives and current news events. But until now the cosmos hadn’t mixed with the plants and flowers. Since Cape Flora, my last exhibition at loop Gallery, I’ve spent the last year out on the streets of Toronto photographing constantly every day. I’m always shooting details of colours, street life, plants and flowers. The result is thousands of photographs.

Colour Charts: Art School Untangled is my private studio art courses. I teach an intensive eight week course devoted exclusively to mixing paint called The Colour Mixing Detective. As I’ve developed this course I’ve created hundreds of complex colour charts and mixed an exhaustive amount of colour combinations. The process has been fascinating and I’ve learned a lot. I’m using colours I’d never have touched and discovered a remarkable level of nuance.

Byproducts: In the Garden emerged over time out of a process I’ve used in the past. While I was doing hundreds of colour charts, instead of squirting my paint on a palette, I used a wood painting surface. I’d continually turn it around, and randomly wipe my brushes on it. Essentially, these paintings are the accumulation of my wiped brushstrokes! Layer upon layer, built up over time, until something suddenly happened. A spark of life. It became a painting! Over a year this process grew into a body of work with over 25 paintings.

Emergence: The process was like improvisation or jazz. There’s a set of limits or rules, but then it’s all about letting surprising things emerge. I never set out to make paintings that evoked a garden, or the cosmos or anything like that. These paintings are totally abstract, yet I still feel those things. It just happened on it’s own without even trying. It’s not about thinking, it’s about trusting. Knowing without knowing. Letting it flow like nature. The key is recognizing it when it happens!

Changes: When I used this process in the past in my Cosmos and Anarchy series, I took the mess of paint that accumulated and added all sorts of imagery on top. For In the Garden I mostly left things alone. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t continue to work on them. I’d edit things out. Exaggerate or clarify. Create more volume or depth. Maybe pull something forward and push something back. In painting there’s a time for going nuts and throwing it all out there, but afterwards you need to get some perspective and do some editing. Does this actually work?

Lessons: For me the number one lesson of these paintings was “stop fucking with them!” Leave them alone. Let them be what they are. Accept them without feeling the need to fix them too much. I can now go back and look at “unfinished” paintings from the past and know that I can leave them alone. They’re already done, and often better than ones I thought were done. Now I continually ask can I accept this as a finished painting?”

Many Worlds: For a long time I’ve thought about painting as like building a universe. It’s a glimpse inside another world. Like opening windows or punching holes. Alternate universes could exist, but they will always have their own laws. They have to be internally coherent, You can’t just throw anything in there.

Joan Mitchell: I’ve grown to love the paintings of abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell. I admire her rawness. She was willing to let things sit there in a messy state. She didn’t finesse the life out of it or feel the need to present a well done painting. She knew that the mess was filled with energy and excitement. Leave it rough. The crudeness is the power.

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).

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.