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Exhibitions

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.

Elizabeth Babyn Plastopia

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January 28 – February 19, 2017

Reception: January 28, 3- 6 p.m.

 

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition by member artist Elizabeth Babyn

In response to a world where oil-based materials have infiltrated so much of our consumer society, Babyn’s new installation entitled, Plastopia, represents a dystopian reality, composed of excessive amounts of plastic refuse, mirrored-Mylar and mutant-plastic creatures. Her Tsunami-Waterfall harnesses the seductive power of consumption with coloured strobing lights and reams of plastic wrap knotted onto a 16’ x 25’ chicken wire-structure, that offers beauty and enticement until the more sinister components of the “garbage” from which it is made, reveal themselves.

Along with a sci-fi video that features monstrous-plastic creatures, there are long lengths of mirrored-Mylar on both the floor and ceiling accompanying the sculptural pieces within Plastopia. The video reveals a surreal assemblage of random illogical sequences that appear both confusing and devoid of a comprehensive storyline. Babyn’s film and installation objects, symbolically repeat themselves as they obscenely fill the space through the use of mirror fragmentation; “never able to get rid of” the multiplying effects of overabundance and hyper-consumption. Considering that 315 billion tons of plastic become permanent fixtures within our oceans and waterways; this post-apocalyptic world reflects not only her own consumption excesses, but ones that also plague many of us within society today.

Babyn received her BFA with Honours in Drawing and Painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2005. She recently completed her MFA in 2016 at the University of Saskatchewan in sculpture and installation. She has been a Loop Gallery Member in Toronto since 2003. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her works can be found in public and private collections in both Canada and Europe.

For more information, visit www.elizabethbabyn.ca.

Ester Pugliese Measured Calm

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January 28 – February 19, 2017

Reception:  January 28, 3 – 6 p.m.

 

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition by member artist, Ester Pugliese.

Channeling diverse influences ranging from endangered species and cut flower arrangements, to children’s amusements and Italian folk music, Pugliese‘s new mixed media paintings capture the fleeting quality of life. By suffusing abstracted swathes of colour with carefully drawn details and a coral reef aesthetic, the works ask viewers to untangle dense layers and find relationships in seemingly disparate imagery. Geometric shapes resembling building blocks threaten to swallow carefully rendered details of plants, suggesting their likely demise through the agency of human progress. However, rather than obliterating the natural living things, these geometric shapes appear to be replicating themselves – learning how to grow alongside the natural world.

Measured Calm explores the relationship between the enjoyment evoked by the sensuous depiction of a subject and a conflicting moral message, a concept inspired by the still life, or “vanitas”, paintings of the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries. This is akin to the artist’s breathless lust when she enters a flower shop and imagines composing an arrangement drawn from the exquisite living things contained within. With such an assortment of blooms – common, rare and possibly endangered – she must contain her desire to have them all. It seems that in today’s world, when we scrutinize our base, often materialistic, urges we inevitably confront our morals.

Ester Pugliese is a Toronto-based artist. She graduated from York University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Specialized Honours) in Visual Arts Studio. She spent a year studying abroad in Leeds, UK and has exhibited extensively in Ontario as well as in Leeds, UK. Pugliese has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, and her work can be found in private and public collections in North America and Europe, including the Donovan Collection.

For more information, visit www.esterpugliese.com.

Suzanne Nacha Interior Geometry

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December 31, 2016 – January 22, 2017

Reception: Saturday, January 7, 2017

Inspired by industrial landscapes, Nacha’s animation works present seamlessly looped, staged scenarios. Viewed in ceramic boxes, these animated vignettes appear as windows onto other worlds. Their moving geometries play with the viewer’s perception – successfully conveying mood and offering a unique visual experience. While animations take their inspiration from the landscapes of industry, screen prints and oval format paintings draw on her background in the geological sciences. Conflating the standard pictorial formats of landscape and portrait—anthropomorphism of geological strata and references to historical portraiture cleverly combine to create absurd and ominous narratives. Further enriched by her use of complex color, knowledge of structural geology and studied shadow play, these paintings and prints put forward an existential narrative—one that illuminates our ‘earth → man → machine’ trajectory and relationship to geologic time.

Suzanne Nacha is an artist working in painting, sculpture, installation and video. Her work is imbued with a unique visual language enriched by her experiences mapping the far-reaches of Canada, creating geologic maps that span the earth’s continents and the study of structural geology. She has exhibited her artwork in Canada, the United States and Europe and is represented in public and private collections, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the National Bank of Canada, The Donovan Collection and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, she holds degrees in both Fine Art and Geology. She has taught in the Fine Art departments of OCAD, Sheridan/UTM and York University, and for the past fifteen years has worked in the geological sciences mapping geographies of fortune and need.

For more information, visit www.suzannenacha.com.

Libby Hague Pattern Recognition

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December 31, 2016 – January  22, 2017

Reception: Saturday January 7, 2-5 PM

Playdate: Sunday, January 15, 1-4 PM

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition by member artist Libby Hague. 

I see Loop Gallery as an experimental space. This exhibition has two experimental installations—one visual and the other audio visual.

How much is too much? You begin with one object, then add another. At a certain point, our minds rebel at having to hold it all together. Nevertheless you add one more thing and wondrously, a release comes, everything fuses and becomes one variegated pattern with a quiet visual buzz on which that one new addition sits, a resting spot in a noisy world.

To explore this edge of excess, I am relying on the safety net of structure; it is not a precise grid, but an intuitively felt one that I hope viewers will also sense—something to make me feel brave and viewers reassured—something to connect us to a subtly comprehensible world that allows me to build complexity.

In a spirit of free invention, I’ve also begun a series of experiments with the potential of some of the structural components to make sounds. These sounds are much simpler than those made by traditional instruments, but the objects are very curious and less daunting. Everything will flow from the viewer’s decision to reach out and touch something. When explored by careful people, it should be at least interesting. If anyone is actually musical, I hope something more will emerge.

Libby Hague, RCA, (BFA Honours, Concordia University, (SGWU) Montreal)

Thematically, Libby Hague’s work examines humane and complex social relationships in a precarious and interconnected world. Her concerns, curiosity and love of invention have led her to a hybrid practice of printmaking, installation and animation.

Her recent solo exhibitions include the Idea Exchange, Cambridge; Centre Clark, Montreal; the Art Gallery of Ontario; YYZ artist’s outlet, Toronto; and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Recent group exhibitions include Habitat: Our World; our chance, Harbourfront; Build…build better, Zion Schoolhouse and All that glows, AGNS. She lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

For more information, please visit www.libbyhague.com or contact Kelly McKenzie, Gallery Manager.

John Ide Drawings 2B

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December 3 -23, 2016

Reception: December 3, 2-5 PM

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Loop Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition by member artist John Ide. 

In this new series of drawings, thousands of cross hatched lines make patterns of dark and light that rise and fall, like breath. “Everything I do to the paper changes the paper,” Ide says. “The marks themselves—some of them hold bits of the graphite, some release it. As the drawing is being built over time white lines begin appearing, as if the paper has remembered where a line was before.”

The tools are simple: 2B pencil, colour pastel, and Stonehenge paper.

The drawings are striking for a gentle but uncompromising quality, their rich texture lost in reproduction, especially online. You have to see the works in person… [to] see not just fields of dark and light, but the impressions of the layers of cross hatching that went before. 

Maria Meindl, bodylanguagejournal.wordpress.com

A wide range of sources inspire the works: a flash of flame on a wood-fired bowl, faded frayed fabrics, billowing clouds, a leaf drifting. Suggestions of screens sometimes emerge, highlighting perhaps in this age of facsimile, the dynamic forces as they play with our notions of what’s real, what’s not.

John Ide is a Toronto-based artist who has exhibited widely. Having created filmic works earlier in his career, he returned to drawing in the mid-2000s. Recent exhibitions include Time, Shadow, and Light at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant and Magritte’s Cloud at Loop Gallery.

Sheryl Dudley Field Notes

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December 3 – 23, 2016

Reception: December 3, 2-5 PM

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After several previous bodies of work that explore family history as far back as the American Civil War, Sheryl Dudley jumps forward to her own childhood in the 1950’s, U.S.A. – a time punctuated by the looming threat of the atom bomb, duck & cover exercises and fallout shelters. She expresses this period in a series of visually abstracted metaphors of a remembered state of mind.

“Field Notes” refers to a gully in a forgotten strip of land a few miles long with a stream running through – a place where summers were spent gathering materials and building forts. It grew like a shantytown and periodically workers were sent in to clear away the ‘debris’. Structures were made up of all kinds of found materials: cast-off cardboards and ‘skids’ from a dumpster behind the supermarket, or lumber and corrugated metal from nearby building sites. A stash of old storm windows found in a basement and dragged down to the gully was meant to be the castle but proved too rickety to inhabit. Another made of steel mesh stretched out into a full circle with wildflowers and tall grasses woven through the openings became the most memorable for its fragrance and filtered light.

Several decades later a shopper reaches down to pick up her bag set below a magazine rack and notices something the Indigo team has missed. A sticky substance smeared across the bottom shelf – more than likely a soft drink knocked over and abandoned. Eventually a magazine carelessly tossed down on top of the spill stuck. Two years later, only a ghost of it remains plastered to the bottom ledge – an ambiguous residue of its back cover.

Could there possibly be a subject more banal? It is what we make of things that interest the artist: a bit of trash stuck to a shelf triggers a memory. Vivid imaginings take hold and it becomes greater than a recollection by morphing into a specific time and place. And then a gang of neighborhood kids appears and they start rummaging through backyards and garbage bins for stuff for building and invention. And so, while an idea for a new project springs to mind that takes her way back in time, the final result looks nothing at all like the past. As shadows flit in the night, memory is an elusive construct, often ending up resting in an un-nameable place and time.

J. Lynn Campbell Witness

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November 5 -27, 2016

Reception: November 5, 3-6 PM

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We are all actors and witnesses in the event called our lives – each life intersecting with, being shaped by and shaping those of others.

Today, the breadth of our connections – both direct and mediated – can be overwhelming in itself. Meanwhile, reports from far and wide unrelentingly offer views of mounting conflicts, prolonged wars, political polarizations, renewed xenophobia and the juggernaut of climate-change. The cumulative impact can be simply staggering.

Is it part of the human condition: to create the very circumstances that threaten us? to feel responsible yet powerless to shape a positive shared future? Certainly,

our efforts can feel intensely inadequate.

Still, as an artist and a Canadian, J. Lynn Campbell has had many opportunities for transforming, even transcending, the life and circumstances into which she was born. And though this is a privilege little-known to many, all people can choose whether and how they will honour life and, for her, it is in the honouring itself, that beauty is found and hope revived.

The works on view in Witness are drawn from several years of a practice in which Campbell strives to bear witness to her life and the shared human desire for connection, meaning and hope.

Passage, Earthly Paradise, and excerpts from Offering bear witness to these states.

Through the conception and the making of these pieces, J. Lynn Campbell claims, interprets and layers fragments from that which matters to her when faced with the complexities of life’s shifting realities. This can be a reminder that meaning is not found but made.

J. Lynn Campbell is a Toronto-based artist who trained at the Ontario College of Art (now OCADU), with independent studies in France, Humanities at the University of Toronto, and Philosophy at York University. Her practice extends from two-dimensional collage to three-dimensional construction and site-specific installation. She has exhibited in Canada, Italy and Germany. Her work is included in private, public, and corporate collections.

Jenn Law Extant

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November 5 – 27, 2016

Reception: November 5, 3 – 6 PMlaw-extant_loop_invite-2016

An object uncopied is under perpetual siege… 

—Hillel Schwartz 

Jenn Law’s multi-disciplinary practice explores the idea of the variable copy in relation to the historical archive/library and print-based strategies of preservation. In Extant, Law considers the legacies of three celebrated authors–Virgil, Emily Dickinson, and Franz Kafka–who requested in their wills that their unfinished works and/or their correspondence be burned upon their deaths. In each case, their work was spared and has gone on to inspire countless writers and readers. Here, Law has carefully hand-crafted imagined artifacts of these authors, seemingly rescued from the flames. Partially destroyed, the works revel in their salvation while prompting the viewer to contemplate the impact of their near-absence on the history of Western literature and culture. Each lithographed artifact blurs the boundary between the real and the imagined, the faithful forgery and the illusive original. Tapping into our angst over things left undone, Law deliberates on the will of the artist, literally and figuratively, pondering the delicate tipping point between annihilation and preservation, obscurity and immortality.

Accompanying these artifacts are a series of lithographed postcards of libraries—some are creatively altered replicas of vintage postcards, while others are invented by the artist from archival sources. Collectively alluding to the lost library of Alexandria, this ongoing series is modelled on early twentieth century ‘disaster’ postcards—with a contemporary twist. In a time when the targeted destruction of artworks, archaeological treasures, and historical monuments has become a weapon in the war against humanity, the image of material culture under siege has become more urgent and potent than ever. Ultimately, the extant artifact invites us to reflect on that which has been preserved for posterity while (impossibly) imagining what is irrevocably lost over the course of time.

Jenn Law is an artist, writer, and researcher living in Toronto. Law holds a PhD in Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, England, a BA in Anthropology from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, and a BFA from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. She has exhibited her art internationally and has worked as a lecturer, curator, and editor in Canada, the UK, and South Africa, publishing on South African, Caribbean, and Canadian contemporary art and print culture. Law has been the recipient of several awards and grants for her research including from SSHRC, the British Council, and the British Academy. She is the co-editor, with Tara Cooper, of Printopolis, published by Open Studio, Toronto in 2016.

P. Roch Smith fields of play

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October 8th – October 30th, 2016

Reception: Thursday, October 13th, 6 – 9 PM

Q & A: Sunday, October 30th, 2 PM

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P. Roch Smith’s work centres on the creativity of play, equilibrium and disequilibrium, and how memories are constructed and held in place. In fields of play, Smith presents work in which the mass produced (plastic army figures) are merged with the organic (tree branches, sisal twine and yarn). The figures are unified by bronze casting – fixing their hybridity in both a metaphoric and material manner. The relational nature of value is examined as the tiny scale of the bronze figures is the antithesis of monumentality usually associated with bronze as a sculptural material. While bronze casting normally speaks to permanence and the epic, the scale of these works creates a form of intimacy.

Play has been theorized as a liminal space – occupying both the real and the imagined simultaneously. It is within this topography that Smith points to certain aspects of the human condition. We manufacture toys with the intention of enabling children to play and the assumption is that this play is free, unencumbered and not contingent. Pulling back, however, it may be argued that the inherent structure of the toy itself echoes strictly adult concerns. Toys and play easily normalize certain ideas about one’s place in the greater scheme of things. Thankfully, children have also long subverted these rigid narrative structures. The altering of toys – drawing tattoos on a doll or shaving the “life-like” hair off of a GI Joe figure – is an aspirational act and speaks to claiming new narratives.

Toys as a sculptural material intrigues Smith. He has spent years amassing a large collection of plastic toy soldiers, model sets, LEGO blocks, Playmobile figures and these toys become raw materials for creation. The alchemy arises from combining these elements in new ways – stretching their scale or altering their properties. In this way a tree branch replaces a gun. A 5-foot tall tower of LEGO serves as a platform for a figure to let down a rope. All of the army figures have some form of intervention – they are cut, melted or altered to undertake the new work and tasks that Smith sets out for them.

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 is a member of loop Gallery in Toronto 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 large-scale outdoor 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).