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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.

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

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)

loop elsewhere MAY EDITION

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detail from, September Haze #3, Oil on wood, 20 x 20”, Martha Eleen, 2017.

MARTHA ELEEN

Martha’s exhibition, The Meaning of Things, runs until May 28th at the Barber Atrium of the Carnegie Gallery.
The Carnegie Gallery
10 King Street West
Dundas, ON L9H 1T7
905.627.4265
carnegiegallery.org

LIBBY HAGUE

Libby has been invited to participate in the Digital Painting  Atelier at OCAD . This residency provides access to technology and technical support for creative experimentation.

Jane LowBeer land lines

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October 8th – October 30th, 2016

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

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

jane

It is to be had for the feeling… you can extract the essence of a place once you know how. If you just get as still as a needle you’ll be there. 

Lawrence Durell 

 

In land lines Jane LowBeer reflects on the horizon seen in the rural landscape, the rolling hills, forests and fields of southern Ontario. A first impression of these collages may suggest floating islands, strange creatures or sea-less ships. In the making they consist of overlapped monoprints, sewn and cut out in asymmetric, horizontal forms. These forms are caught and pinned on the wall like trophy fish.

But a closer look reveals something else: sanctuary, places of peace, wellsprings of lyric dreams and poems. Grass, trees, fence lines, pasture and hedge rows, LowBeer reveals the land as layers of lines constantly shifting with wind and light.

Although not using the standard material for drawing, LowBeer focuses on line as her medium of expression. With traditional drypoint technology she builds up texture with numerous printings on semi-transparent Japanese paper, collaged, overlapped and sewn together to slowly evolve into a finished, shaped work: multi-media mounted on wood.

LowBeer continues to develop the horizontal format. A previous Loop show, Crankees consisted of 60” scrolls in a box which the viewer had to operate. In Seams, her 2013 exhibition, her sewn landscapes were long. In land lines she pushes the format further.

In the countryside the horizon line is continuous, spreading in all directions. LowBeer plays with the experience of that expanse by exaggerating the proportion, squeezing some pieces to less than two inches high and stretching the length.

We are all overwhelmed in the vastness of the world. Jane’s work in landscape hopes to bring us back to the essence of place.

This is Jane’s sixth exhibition at Loop. She studied printmaking at the venerated Atelier 17 in Paris and her work has won numerous prizes. Her art is found in private and public collections in New York, Paris, Montreal and Toronto including London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the Bibliothèque National de Paris, France. In Toronto her monotypes can be found at Open Studio and The Nikolai Rukaj Gallery. LowBeer is looking forward to an upcoming exhibition at VAC (Visual Arts Centre of Clarington) in 2018.