Opening reception: The Flats Block Party, Saturday, July 15, 2 – 4 p.m.
Exhibition dates: July 15 – August 19, 2017
Gallery Jones presents Flat-ish, an exhibition of new works by Erin O’Keefe, Fei Disbrow, and Vishal Marapon in conjunction with the Fifth Annual Flats Block Party.
Three artists meet at an intersection in Flat-ish, where dimension, perception, and distinctions between media are called into question. In fact, it is the value of making distinctions that is under scrutiny in this exhibition as each artist prioritizes aesthetics and the essentials of colour and composition over the intrinsic qualities of the medium, whether it be a painted surface, photographic image, sculpture or collage.
New York- and New Brunswick-based artist Erin O’Keefe exposes the transformative effects of photography in her work, where small table-top constructions of mixed materials (using everything from tinted plexiglass to painted sticks and paper) are redefined in two-dimensions through photography. Informed by O’Keefe’s training as an architect, these images distort perceptions of real and imagined space in playful and profound ways.
New works by Vancouver-based artists Fei Disbrow and Vishal Marapon similarly push boundaries between mediums: photographs capture the depth, texture and colour of Disbrow’s mixed paper collages and Marapon’s bright urban landscapes while simultaneously flattening space.
We enter an age where the vast potentiality of contemporary photography is being continuously provoked, stretched, and rethought. In Flat-ish, three distinct artistic voices converge at the level of the photograph, where figure, shape and colour exist with equal emphasis.
Click here to download press release.
Opening reception: Saturday, June 8, 2 – 4 p.m
Exhibition dates: June 8 – July 8, 2017
Gallery Jones is pleased to present work by Otto Rogers, one of Canada’s most celebrated senior abstract painters, in a solo exhibition, Recent Paintings, from June 8- July 8, 2017.
Rogers’ work takes its origins in the abstract painting movement of the 1960’s and ‘70’s in Saskatchewan, during which time Rogers (with artists like William Perehudoff and Eli Bornstein) explored the visual correlations between the prairie landscape and abstracted forms. Out of the artistic nucleus of the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops in northern Saskatchewan, Rogers emerged as a nationally recognized painter in the 1970’s, exhibiting in Toronto, Montréal, Paris and Milan. For nearly thirty years between 1959 and 1988, he taught art at the University of Saskatoon, mentoring artists including Douglas Bentham, Robert Christie, and Jonathan Forrest. Since then, extended periods of time living abroad and in isolated Canadian communities somewhat limited Rogers’ public profile, but continued to cultivate his individual style.
Through a muted palette, Rogers’ paintings present the viewer with shapes and textures that hint at empirical content while whispering about the creative sensibility behind each work. In this way, his paintings are able to achieve the non-referential character of North American modernist artworks, while departing from the strictness of the Greenbergian aesthetic that demanded absence of representation.
We use the word “modernist” in relation to Rogers with some caution. His work demonstrates strong Cubist influences, producing pictorial flatness through collage and the stacking of planes. Within this restriction, he expertly achieves a sense of spatial harmony without the stabilizing effects of figure and ground. And though Rogers developed and refined his style in close relation to the Abstract Expressionists, his work is imbued with a distinct sense of utopian idealism that moves past pure expressionism into the realm of the spiritual.
Rogers’ works can certainly be read in relation to the prairie landscape, but their broad interpretive potential points further and deeper into an area we may tentatively call “the self”. Rogers’ outlook on art-making is one of deep spiritual significance: he describes the process of artistic expression as “devotion” or “supplication.” Highly influenced by the teachings of the Baha’i faith, Rogers’ regard for artistic expression can be best described in his own words:
All art, by any definition, gives expression to the human condition; thus the high purpose of art is to elevate that condition and bring it into harmony with an all-loving Creator.
– Otto Donald Rogers, 2007
Rogers’ spiritual perspective is manifest in the explorative quality of his abstract works: in them, the conscience is not only examined but excavated in pursuit of expressive truth. The paintings do not intend to depict a landscape or a still life scene, but within the parameters of a frame and the mediums used, they strive for transcendence through the elemental relationships of form, colour and light.
Opening reception: Saturday, May 6, 2 – 4 p.m
Artist in Attendance
Exhibition dates: May 4 – June 3, 2017
Living in the Complexity of an Effort* presents the acclaimed Vancouver-based painter Ross Penhall in an exhibition of selected new works. The large-scale paintings describe the West Coast landscapes of British Columbia and California with the blues, yellows, browns and greens that make the artist’s style so recognizable.
In the works, shadows play at the edge of light– illuminating trees, fields, and mountains in a checkerboard fashion. The paintings throw colour over the landscape like a quilt, softening its edges and smoothing out detail. Penhall calls these images a “reminiscence of what you see,” seemingly perceptual memories of passing glances.
Penhall’s works, and the incredible attention they receive, enter into dialogue with Canada’s long tradition of landscape painting. His view presents a curious dilemma: nature is ordered and sculpted, yet devoid of human presence. These landscapes, softened to near abstraction, exist somewhere between the once-wildly primitive West Coast and our urban reality: a nod to humanity’s ever-changing relationship to the natural environment.
*quote from Janna Malamud Smith’s book An Absorbing Errand
Opening reception: Saturday, April 1, 2 – 4 p.m.
Exhibition dates: April 1 – 29, 2017
ARTIFACT brings together two Canadian artists who approach the same subject matter in very different ways. The large-scale photographs by Danny Singer (many of which are wider than 7 feet) and the small-scale paintings by Mike Bayne (the majority in this exhibition are snap-shot size, i.e. 4 x 6 inches) are both documentations of a time and place.
Singer’s photographs of the main streets of towns and hamlets on the plains of North America are represented through multiple perspectives coalesced into one frame that exceed the real-life scope of the human eye. These sparse, yet inhabited landscapes juxtapose a constructed domesticity with the vast and sublime presence of sky and cloud.
Bayne’s paintings, in comparison, transform urban spaces through an incredible force of will, or patience, on the part of the artist. Everyday banal sights are represented as photographic glances, rendered in pointed perfection on small painted panels. The subject of these moments are the ubiquitous details of humans dwelling in proximity to each other: backyard sheds, strip mall signs, cookie-cutter homes.
In Artifact, Singer’s monumental photographs present a plurality of perspectives that dialogue with Bayne’s meticulous paintings: there are many ways to see the simplest things.
Opening reception: Thursday, March 2, 5 – 8 p.m.
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 4, 2:30 p.m.
Exhibition dates: March 3 – 29, 2017
Within Paul Morstad’s deftly rendered paintings, you can see the work of a gifted storyteller who can succinctly weave a lucid and compelling narrative. Much like Claude Debussy’s enigmatic definition of music as “the space between notes”, Morstad also crafts ambiguity into his work that leaves the viewer picking up threads as they wind through the ether of thoughtful substance.
His paintings are dense with allegory, wit, whimsy and absurdity. Thick with a confluence of ideologies, the works allude to Romanticism, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Industrial Age. He celebrates minds that pushed past the stagnation of the status quo, measured themselves with a new sense of humility, and set us on a course that now strains the capacity of the natural world.
“Was he an animal, that music could move him so? He felt as if the way to the unknown nourishment he longed for were coming to light” – Franz Kafka , The Metamorphosis
Morstad’s “Kartofel Kafka” is a painting of Franz Kafka sitting at a desk intensely typing, while positioned atop a Potato Beetle (Kartofel). All about are opened flying books expelling thick smoke, some of which have come to rest in nesting stacks. As an introduction to the image, Paul recounts a Cold War story of the Soviets accusing the Americans of secretly dropping millions of Colorado potato beetles to wipe out their food supply.
At first glance, the scene seems succinct and charming, but the viewer slowly becomes aware of a brewing pathos seeping through. Kafka’s The Metamorphosis presents the fictional story of Gregor, who wakes up one morning to discover that he has turned into a beetle. This novella is a stew of estrangement and despair. By all accounts, this short story could be autobiographical. Franz Kafka, who suffered from alienation, depression, and anxiety, was one of the great tragic figures of the literary world.
An abridged list of Paul Morstad’s skills and interests reads as follows; Artist, Musician (banjo and fiddle), Animator (he spent ten years working for the National Film Board), an affable conversationalist, a naturalist with an omnivorous interest in zoology, ornithology and biology, an explorer (he has canoed the canals and waterways through Germany to France, and Montreal to New York), an avid reader of literature and an armchair historian. His art provides a sense of all of that and more.
Opening reception: Saturday, February 4, 2 – 4pm.
Exhibition dates: February 4 – 28, 2017.
In 2016 there were two concurrent exhibitions of Peter Aspell’s work, at the Richmond Art Gallery and the West Vancouver Museum. In the preface to the accompanying catalogue, Rachel Lafo and Darrin Morrison, respectively Directors of those institutions, pointed to the fact that more than 50 years had passed since a serious examination of Aspell’s paintings had taken place in a public institution. There are legions of art collectors, professionals and enthusiasts that saw this as a significant oversight and last year’s exhibitions were a sizeable effort to remedy this.
Peter Aspell had a unique visual language with which he explored the heights and depths of the human condition. He can be simultaneously seen as a visionary portraitist, capturing archetypes with poetic details, a masterful colourist and an archaeologist of imagery.
This exhibition brings together collected work from the Estate that has not been available for sale since Aspell’s passing in 2004. Curating it has been an exploration of one of Canada’s most dynamic creative minds from the the last century.
Opening reception: Saturday, October 15, 2-4pm.
Exhibition dates: October 14 – November 19, 2016.
Three principles shape my practice and each emphasizes the open-ended process of making paintings and texts: development by transformation (Stanley William Hayter); form is never more than an extension of content (Robert Creeley via Charles Olson); the medium is the message (Marshall McLuhan).
In the studio the search is for discovery through proprioception (sensibility within the organism by movement of its own tissue), that is, the intelligence of the body. In my practice it isn’t reason over passion, or passion over reason, but reason with passion. Not depiction of “the real” but re-enactment of the real through the proprioception of rimed experience, language, landscape and art.
— Pierre Coupey
Pierre Coupey’s work has received numerous awards, grants and commissions, including grants from the Conseil des Arts du Québec, the Canada Council, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the Audain Foundation for the Arts. In 2013 he received the Distinguished Artist Award from FANS.
His work has been exhibited in over 30 solo and 40 group shows nationally and internationally, and is represented in numerous private collections in Canada, the United States, Japan and Europe, and in corporate, university and public collections across Canada. Significant public collections include the Burnaby Art Gallery, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Kelowna Art Gallery, Simon Fraser University Art Gallery, University of Guelph Collection, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Exhibition Dates: September 10 – October 11, 2016
Brendan Tang’s ceramic creations have been exhibited and collected widely. In the past few years his work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Ariana Museum in Geneva, Musée Magnelli in Vallauris, France as well as in Shanghai, Limoges, Seattle, Kansas City, Reno, Toronto, Montréal to name just a few. This exhibition at Gallery Jones brings together pieces from the Manga Ormolu series that have been garnering critical attention nationally and internationally, entirely new work from the studio and an exciting new series of suspended sculptures that play in the realm of pop cultural appropriation.
There is a catalogue that accompanies the exhibition and the following is an excerpt from the essay by Shaun Dacey, Curator at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver:
For Tang, the initial impetus of the work emerges from the historical context of ormolu. The act of Europeans adding ormolu (gold and bronze gilt mounts) to Chinese made ceramics emerged in 18th century France after the explosion of Ming Dynasty ceramic imports in preceding centuries. Through the development of new techniques and experimentation in vessel shape and colour influenced by contact with Islam, Chinese ceramics emerged as a highly sought after luxury object in European aristocracy. Capitalizing on this, the industry shifted to focus on export to the west. Chinese ceramists began to produce compositions specifically for their western audience. European importers in turn began to adding ormolu to ‘westernize’ the vessels. These original mash-ups are a physical representation of the cross-cultural exchange at the time. They speak to the evolutionary nature of a globalized market, and a complex timeline of influence from Islam to China, and eventually Europe.
Responding to this early modern mash-up ormolu, Tang offers us a skilled slight of the hand. When one encounters these impossibly surreal objects, the spectacle is astounding. But, on closer inspection the magic trick is slowly exposed. The artist’s hand becomes made evident. Perfect copies, the two duelling forms are fantasy. Beyond this showmanship and baroque virtuosity, the series speaks to a transience. Tang’s connection of traditional and future forms rest in-between the malleability and friction of ethno-pop-cultural identity, an amalgam of western perceptions of ‘Asian-ness’. As apparent by its titling, Manga Ormolu is both hybrid and transitional, a very physical collision between compositional and stylistic tropes that evoke cultural stereotypes.