Nicholas Crombach - Hybrid Contradictions

Nicholas Crombach’s latest exhibition is called Behind Elegantly Carved Wooden Doors. The tasteful title gives no hint of what lies beyond. It is an ironic invitation to enter the artist’s hybrid world where archetypes take on new roles; where contradictory tensions provide a poignant framework for his theme. Crombach explores visual cultures to [...]

- 2 mins read
Montreal Galleries
A New Season Beckons

This fall, galleries propose exciting and thought-provoking directions through disparate techniques and subjects. Art Mûr is worth the trip toward the north end of Montreal for art lovers. This fall, the gallery showcases three artists – Henri Venne, Colleen Wolstenholme, and Judith Berry – who have radically different takes on the landscape motif, from Venne’s [...]

- 3 mins read
Bharti Kher: Bindis Create a Conversation

In reviewing the current show of work by Bharti Kher at DHC/ART Foundation, one doesn’t know where to begin. Although the artist is internationally renowned for her use of bindi – the tiny red dot worn by Hindu women on their forehead – the exhibition also showed life-size concrete figures, [...]

- 3 mins read
Julian Rosefeldt
Manifesto

This fall, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) premieres Manifesto in Canada. The highly vaunted piece is a 2015 Australian-German multi-screen film installation written, produced and directed by Julian Rosefeldt. A professor of Digital and Time-based Media at Berlin’s Academy of Fine Arts, Rosefeldt has created a hauntingly beautiful [...]

- 3 mins read
Hokusai
Beyond the Great Wave

Veronica Redgrave numéro 248 In the BBC documentary on Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave, the exhibit at the British Museum, contemporary artist David Hockney comments that the Japanese artist was a ‘‘prodigy.’’ Indeed, after viewing the show one came away amazed at his artistic vision and technical virtuosity. By the age [...]

- 4 mins read
In a Sea of Change
Teaching in the Digital Age

The ultimate meeting of left and right brain is happening at art schools where collaborations are bringing together methodologies from artistic practices to computer science and engineering. Today, all arts – dance, film, performance, music, sculpture, visual, photography – are going through a sea of change. This metamorphosis arises from the [...]

- 4 mins read
Alain Lefort
The Virtual Reality of Echo's Breath

One would hope that Alain Lefort’s photographs of the Florida mangroves would reflect the poetry of its title: Echo’s Breath, and they do not disappoint. His latest series is lyrical and seductive. The artist is enamoured with a nature ‘‘that is both savage and disturbing, as well as bucolic and pastoral.’’ Using the theme [...]

- 2 mins read
John. A. Schweitzer’s Scaling The Wall of Syndetic Erudition

Artist, collector and curator John A. Schweitzer, LLD, OSA, RCA, has embraced a pluralist perspective in a career spanning over 40 years. Following undergraduate studies with painter Paterson Ewen at Western University, he earned a Master of Fine Arts from York in 1978. Settling in Montreal, he founded the Galerie John A. [...]

- 3 mins read
Peter Krausz' Landscape Portraits

‘’I remove all direct references to houses and the horizon line. The landscape becomes a non-character — almost Biblical.’’ Although Peter Krausz’s work is both landscapes and portraits, he is renowned for his expressionistic impressions of the land. But they too can be referred to as ‘portraits’. Reflecting on the [...]

- 3 mins read
Art Cuba
Cuban Art Spreads an Aura

The first thing that strikes one about this noteworthy show is the scope of the exhibition. The array of artists — both emerging and internationally recognized — is amazing. The diversity of their art reflects the history of the island: there is myriad of influences in the visual vocabulary. Artistic [...]

- 4 mins read
Chih-Chien Wang. The Act of Forgetting Inspires

With the introduction of Kodachrome in 1935, photography changed forever. Sensuous bright colours became the go-to style for many photographers, who loved the saturation of hue now possible withthe new film. But there is no Kodachrome kick in the work of Chih-Chien Wang. The Taiwan-born photographer uses colour but in [...]

- 3 mins read
Face to Face with Louis Boudreault

Entering the studio of artist Louis Boudreault, one is struck by the luminous space, with portraits leaning against every wall, expressive eyes everywhere. They are the eyes of a child: literally. Each one of the artist’s portraits has as its source an image of the subject as a young person. [...]

- 2 mins read
Kent Monkman. Critical Mischief

As early as 65 BC, Horace used satire to criticize his world. Years later, Hogarth in his paintings and engravings The Rake’s Progress skewered 17th century morals. In the 1960s, protesters had a Pandora’s Box of issues to disparage, and did so with art as well as music. But in the 21st century, when [...]

- 3 mins read
Where Contemporary Art Resides: Artists at the Belgo

In the centre of Montreal, a stone’s throw from the bustle of the Quartier des spectacles, sits the Belgo building, housing the equally vibrant world of contemporary art. Dozens of galleries on several floors are showcasing emerging talent, pairing it with exhibitions of already established artists. A recent tour yielded the [...]

- 3 mins read
Art from the Heart

On entering the pristine PHI Centre with its cold concrete walls and steel surfaces, the last thing on one’s mind is sentiments of the heart. However, PHI’s current exposition, Hybrid Bodies, has found the perfect home. A collaboration of Appollian rational (science) and Dionysian instinct (art), it speaks of and from [...]

- 3 mins read
Beat Nation Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture

The visitor arriving at Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture is greeted by a glowing red neon sign, Tautology, by Duane Linklater, an Omushkego Cree artist. The resulting nightclub mood is further enhanced by the corridor’s scarlet glow. The sign, a stylized thunderbird, is based on a Norval Morrisseau painting, Androgyny, symbolizing an Ojibway [...]

- 3 mins read
Drew Simpson. Appetites for Deconstruction

Born in a small town near Toronto, Drew Simpson now lives and works in Berlin – possibly the most cutting- edge contemporary art city on the planet. In 2008, he was an RBC Painting Competition Finalist. Although he attended art schools, the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) and [...]

- 4 mins read
TÀPIES

Antoni Tàpies, (1923-2012), one of Spain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, was a creative alchemist. The magic lies in his alloy; his combinations of runic signs and symbols, with commanding brush strokes. The works of this Catalan art theorist and philosopher are an amalgam of the simple, transformed into elegant enigmas. Self-taught, Tàpies discovered art as [...]

- 3 mins read
Dale Chihuly. The Incredible Lightness of Colourful Glass Art

Curiously, glass is both delicate and strong. Glass was used on the floor as mosaics as early as Hellenistic and Roman times. Fabulous glass flasks out-lived other Etruscan accoutrements in the hills above Florence: Shields are shards of rust. The ancient art of blown glass has morphed into a multitude of techniques. As [...]

- 3 mins read
Nicolas Ruel

Jasper Johns’ comment ‘‘how we see, and why we see the way we do’’ is aptly illustrated by the work of Montreal artist Nicolas Ruel, whose career path was affected by his childhood. ‘‘At school, I always loved geography,’’ he admits. His photographs of cities around the world show his [...]

- 3 mins read
Lyrical Provocative - Hybrid art at the mac

Ghada Amer, Valérie Blass and Wangechi Muti are the three women artists featured in an exhibition billed as “Shock Wave at the MAC”, each addressing the question of identity, transformation, fragility, sexuality and domesticity. Concepts of beauty − iconic, sexy, historical, Photoshopped-perfect, and idealized − are present throughout. Their art requires a thoughtful perusal. [...]

- 4 mins read
Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley’s newest work – gentle images of lads – is unlike traditional portraits, wherein clothing was painted in meticulous detail and revealed much about the sitter. These likenesses are nude. They are perfect in their naked realism. The artist uses photographs to jumpstart his approach to a persona. (‘‘Models get tired.’’) [...]

- 3 mins read
Chuck Close - A Close Encounter

One could say that artist Chuck Close’s works are oxymora: a study in seeming contradictions. Suffering from face blindness, he is unable to recognize faces. Yet this, one of the most well known of contemporary artists, has used faces as his subject matter for over 40 years. He uses the [...]

- 4 mins read
Dale Chihuly

‘‘My work takes people to a different place,’’ explains artist Dale Chihuly. No one could have said it better: his blown glass pieces are transformative. Born in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly breaks the boundaries of traditionally hand-blown glass, to create one of a kind art objects. One can only gaze in [...]

- 4 mins read
Hanneke Beaumont

Throughout time, sculpture has been used to portray the human body, whether by Michelangelo, who ‘saw’ his David within a marble block before he ‘released’ it; by Roman artists, whose portrayals of emperors, (also in marble), were wrought with political power; by Giacometto, whose ultra-thin bronze bodies stride into a [...]

- 4 mins read