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Exhibitions

Gareth Bate – Cape Flora

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January 30th – February 21st, 2016
Reception: Saturday, January 30th, 2-5 p.m.
Q & A: Sunday February 21st, 2 p.m.

gareth

Gareth says: “My new Cape Flora paintings are about letting go and allowing myself to just make art without ideas about what kind of an artist I am – or ought to be. There’s no political agenda, no intellectual concepts and nothing capital C contemporary blah blah. My new philosophy of art making is “I don’t give a crap.” Or perhaps the more Bhagavad Gita way of saying it  – detachment from the outcome. (I love the Bhagavad Gita by the way.) Now of course I care deeply about making art. I just don’t care what imagery comes out. As they’d say on LOST – Whatever happened happened. No judgement, no expectations. The result – remarkably – is totally coherent and one of the best bodies of work I’ve done. I love these paintings.

Every year I visit North Lake –  a little fishing village in Prince Edward Island. A really special place. Every night, sitting around the dining room table with my partner Graham – I’d just draw in markers. I didn’t care what happened because they didn’t matter. The results were boisterous and vibrant drawings of plants, flowers and amorphous sea creatures. It was so liberating.

I’d been working on a body of work for a year and was sick to death of it. It was stale and contrived. When I returned to Toronto – in one day – I painted over 30 paintings – a year of work! I experimented with an “automatic” approach. This meant I just launched right in with spontaneous brushwork and went wild. No conscious thought or intention. Whatever imagery emerged I just went with it.

Immediately the paintings had a raw vitality. An explosion of new life. Spring bursting out, letting go. They’re filled with vines, knots, nerves, trees, leaves, blossoms and glowing lights. A cosmic garden or tree of life. Swirls of colour and churning vortexes of tangled webs and crisscrossing vines. These elements then repeat and rearrange themselves in new ways. My intentional paintings would never have looked like this! I feel rejuvenated, like I’ve released a ton of built up tension and anxiety. Over the last few months I’ve refined these images into finished paintings without losing their initial impulse.

I now recognize that the paintings feel reminiscent of my 2015 trip to South Africa. I was born there and we left when I was six because of Apartheid. I was returning after almost two decades. In Cape Town I visited the spectacular Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden at the foot of Table Mountain. I was with my half-sister who I was meeting for the first time. The remarkable collection of local fynbos and protea plants seeped into my mind.

For me the paintings feel reminiscent of the tangled vines in the Book of Kells, the gardens in Indian Mughal miniatures, the weaving of Islamic calligraphy, microscopic photos of cells and the plant patterns of William Morris. All completely accidental – filtering into my mind over the years and bursting out now – because I finally let it.”

Gareth Bate is a Toronto artist working in painting, installation and photography. He’s the co-curator of Oakville’s World of Threads Festival of contemporary fibre/textile art. He teaches abstract painting and art history at Central Tech. He does art tours of galleries and museums called “Art World Untangled.” Subscribe here to get his weekly emails about making art, art history and the art world. You can see more of his work at garethbate.com
Image:  Cape Flora, acrylic on wood, 12 x 12, 2015.

Mindy Yan Miller – Mother and Child

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January 30th – February 21st, 2016
Reception: Saturday, January 30th, 2-5 p.m.
Q&A: Sunday, February 21st, 2 p.m.

untitled (universe)

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce Mother and Child, a new exhibition by Mindy Yan Miller.

For her first exhibition at Loop, Yan Miller returns to a longstanding fascination with flesh. Using cowhides and calfskins that she has carefully clipped, patterned, and perforated, Yan Miller exposes the surprising fragility of these tough skins. “The material is very precious; these hides are the residue of a life and I couldn’t bear to waste them,” Yan Miller explains. The title derives from conceptually pairing hides and calfskins – at once a clever gesture at parent-child resemblance, and a painful reminder of the shared fate of both mother and child within the animal industrial complex.

Yan Miller’s work has long related to the body, and often engaged clothing, skin, or hair in monumental temporary installations. Mother and Child marks the beginning of a studio based practice, while sharing the spiritual and philosophical underpinnings that have defined her work for more than 3 decades.

Mindy Yan Miller was born in Sault Ste Marie and graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 1990. She teaches Fibres and Material Practices at Concordia University. She has been the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Quebec Arts Council, the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Concordia Union for Part-time Faculty. Her work has been exhibited at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery (Saskatchewan), The Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge), La Centrale (Montreal), Mercer Union (Toronto), Fe Gallery (Philadelphia), W139 (Amsterdam) and galleries across North America and Europe. Yan Miller lives in Saskatoon and periodically teaches in Montreal.
Image:  untitled (universe), shaved cowhide, 56.25” x  56.25” (2015)

Gary Clement – NATURE BOY

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January 6 – 24, 2016
Reception: January 9, 2-5PM

GARY

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce NATURE BOY, a new exhibition by Gary Clement.

The paintings and drawings in NATURE BOY record Clement’s open and emotional response to the intense and overwhelming beauty of the landscape he encountered during recent trips to the coast of Labrador and the Algonquin Park region. The pieces in this show address the wonder and variety of those often remote, always visually striking environments.

It is a show of multiple firsts for Clement… a first time using oils, a first landscape show and a first time departing from his natural tendency to urban cynicism in favour of giving himself over entirely to an immersive and near mystical experience of nature.

Gary Clement has been the editorial cartoonist for the National Post since 1998. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and The Wall St. Journal. He is also a writer and illustrator of children’s books and is a three time nominee for the Governor General’s Award for Illustration. He won the award in 1999 for his book, The Great Poochini. This is his eighth show at Loop.

Suzanne Nacha – minera-logic

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January 6 – 24, 2016
Reception: January 9, 2-5PM

SuzanneNacha

Minera-logic is an exhibition of new paintings by Toronto artist, Suzanne Nacha. In an effort to depict our human relationship to the earth – our position upon it and our overwhelming lack of understanding beyond it – Nacha turns to the logic of mineral forms and material structures in creating this new body of work.

Equally absurd and solemn, the paintings reflect on our place in the world by setting up formal relationships between space and object, light and shadow, and in creating a narrative that unfolds as much through what is seen as what is not. Material piles appear to take on anthropomorphic form, occupying a landscape seemingly empty and timeless. But these are not the sort of narratives that offer any resolve. Their empty spaces and exaggerated shadows convey a sense of potential rather than assertion and time here is not linear but cyclic. The result is a narrative that doesn’t offer up answers, but rather a range of experience that spans silent contemplation at one end and a sense of unease at the other.

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 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 mining industry mapping geographies of fortune and need.

Image: under a billion suns, 2015, oil on panel, 19″x 24.5″

Mark Adair – Death’s Epilogue, The Glass House Window

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December 5 – 27, 2015
Opening Reception: December 5, 2015, 2-5pm
Q&A: December 5, 2015, 3pm

adair_10mb-flatbed NEW

Loop Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition by Mark Adair entitled Death’s Epilogue: The Glass House Window.

Adair has always simultaneously worked on parallel projects. The two featured in this show are the Death Drinks series (1999-2015) which Adair concludes with more small charcoal drawings and the new piece, The Glass House Window, which is a glass, steel and lead window featuring a version of the Tree of Knowledge. Death’s Epilogue is ironic and dark; The Glass House Window is a new departure for Adair — it is a meditation on the need for sincerity.

Adair graduated from York University with his BFA and went on to do his MFA at the University of Victoria in B.C. in the early 80’s. After returning to Toronto in 1983 he almost immediately became involved in Green politics, and the questions and anxieties that have arisen from the observation of the steady deterioration of our planet have formed the basis of his work for the last thirty years. ‘How did we get to this place?’ Why did we allow it to happen?’ ‘Why are we so reticent “to do something” before it is too late?’

 

Visit the artist’s website

Yael Brotman – We / Standing by water / Waiting

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December 5 – 27, 2015
Opening Reception: December 5, 2015, 2-5pm
Q&A: December 5, 2015, 3pm

yael

This exhibition is a poetic investigation into the sites where action and inaction intersect. We may be full of longing, willing a lover, a friend, to come to us. But we remain transfixed until the loved one releases us by their action.

In western mythology, often women are the ones standing by a body of water, wishin’ and hopin’. Penelope looks out at the sea for twenty years, waiting for Ulysses’ ship to return. She unravels each day’s labour in order for her world to stay inert, frozen in time. In Dvorak’s opera Rusalka, water plays a crucial role in the water nymph’s tragedy. But the situation is different from that of Penelope. Rusalka, living in the depths of a lake, longs to experience the passion of human love. She can’t take action until an external force, the witch’s potion, transforms her and she is able to walk on the shore to meet the Prince. In Genesis, Rebecca stands by a contained body of water, a well, also waiting. The chain of events leading to her destiny as the mother of nations begins when a stranger requests a drink of water.

The shards of colour, the twinkling lights, the reflections in the exhibition, imbue the work with a sense of the sublime we feel in our relation to water. Yet when we wait by water, there is also the inherent implication of waiting for someone. Then, as in the myths and fairy tales referenced above, the sense of wonder is darkened by anxiety, a dichotomy ever-present in the human condition.

Yael Brotman is a long time member of Loop Gallery. She also exhibits nationally and internationally including at the Biennale internationale d’estampe contemporaine de Trois-Rivières; McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton; ODD Gallery, Dawson City, Yukon; and at the International Print Centre New York; Zweigstelle Berlin, Germany; Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen, China. She has been awarded grants, and residencies in Scotland, China, Australia, Ireland, Yukon and Banff. Brotman is on faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough and is president of CARFAC Ontario.

The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Art’s Council.

John Ide – Magritte’s Cloud: new drawings

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November 7 -29, 2015
Reception: November 7, 2-5PM

Magritte's Cloud #1

“The drawings are striking for a gentle but uncompromising quality, their rich texture lost in reproduction, especially online.”  Maria Meindl

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by John Ide entitled, Magritte’s Cloud.

Imagery fades into the background of thousands of cross-hatched lines which Ide erases and redraws, to create patterns of light and dark that randomly remember bits and pieces of what was there before.  “Those subtleties of dark and light, they just happen the more I’m there in the drawing, with the sound the pencil makes on paper,” he explains.

The show’s title refers to a cloud in one of Magritte’s paintings, The Human Condition 1 (1933), the form of which echoes here and there in the drawings.

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 Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant and How Paper Remembers at Loop Gallery.

Martha Eleen – The Meaning of Things

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November 7 -29, 2015
Reception: November 7, 2-5PM

CBC, oil on wood, 20" x 20", 2015

Loop Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Martha Eleen entitled, The Meaning of Things.

In her 2014 show, “My Space”, Eleen looked to her studio to document the space between the artist’s skin and the outside world. For “The Meaning of Things,” Eleen builds on the final set of paintings from “My Space” which departed into an abstract investigation of space itself. She describes her newest work very simply as “paintings of a cardboard box.”

Martha Eleen is interested in human geography and the relationship between culture and landscape. Her paintings have received critical attention in the form of curatorial essays, reviews and publication and have been exhibited in public galleries in Canada, U.S.A, Mexico and Japan. Eleen’s work is represented in permanent collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario. She is an honours graduate of Emily Carr College of Art, Vancouver. Eleen lives in Toronto where she teaches painting and drawing at Toronto School of Art and is represented by Loop Gallery.

Jenn Law – Means & Ends

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October 10 – November 1, 2015

Jen Law, Pharmacy, 3D printed ink bottles, 2015

Jen Law, Pharmacy, 3D printed ink bottles, 2015

“…the essence of technology is by no means anything technological.” ~Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, 1949.

Jenn Law’s multi-disciplinary practice centres on the artifacts of print culture and our relationship to technology as the means by which we continuously reinvent ourselves. In Means & Ends, Law synergistically engages two technologies that have fundamentally shaped our understanding of the world and our place in it – print and horology (the science of time keeping).  Focused on the pocket watch and the ink bottle and combining traditional print methods with 3D printing, Law presents a collection of evolving objects transitioning between the past and the future, tradition and invention.  Here, apparent endings may become the means for innovation.

Law is an artist, writer and researcher living in Toronto. She 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, and a BFA from Queen’s University.  She has worked as a lecturer, editor and curator in Canada, the UK and South Africa, and has published on South African, Caribbean and Canadian contemporary art and print culture.  Law has exhibited her work internationally and has received numerous fellowships, grants and awards for her research, including from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, the British Council and the British Academy.