Press: Vanessa Maltese Featured on Toronto Star

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Vanessa Maltese’s upcoming exhibition was recently featured on Toronto Star.

“The poetic impulses of painter Maltese play out as much in the form her works take as the paint she applies to them. For this exhibition, the big, round panels on view connote myriad associations, ranging from ancient notions of cycle and continuity to the hectic tumble of street art. Maltese, wisely, refuses to be pinned down, pitching curves with a practice that always reads as part sculpture, part painting and part other (a recent show here featured slender, baton-like works studded with rubber washers and a careful lick of paint), and her furious restlessness never fails to beguile.”

-Murray Whyte

To see the full post please visit Toronto Star.

For more information about Vanessa Maltese please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Sara Cwynar Featured on Artnet News

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar’s solo presentation at Art Basel was recently featured on artnet news as one of the Top 10 Booths at Art Basel 2016.

“The hypnotic rhythm of Sara Cwynar’s film-work Soft Film, in Foxy Production’s booth in the Statements sector, was entrancing from the get-go. You see Cwynar collecting and arranging objects she’s purchased on eBay by color, material, and usage in vivid displays that seem to reference in subject and visuals Vito Acconci and Martha Rosler. With a key-motif being the velveteen jewelry box, which you see Cwynar holding in various shapes, colors, and sizes (representing, we’re told in the accompanying text, “soft sexism”), she contemplates the idea of a post-feminist world.”

-Rozalia Jovanovic

To see the full post please visit artnet news.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Vikky Alexander Featured on AnOther

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Vikky Alexander was recently featured on AnOther.

“Who? Canadian artist Vikky Alexander came of age artistically in the 1980s New York of Richard Prince, Barbara Kruger, and Sherrie Levine. She was the youngest and least recognised of this famous group, and used conceptual photography to demystify and understand visual codes. Like her more established peers, her strategy was one of visual appropriation, manipulation, and re-contextualisation: she re-photographed and manipulated generic images of female beauty taken from European fashion editorials, then re-presented fashion’s fantastical yet familiar images in a high art context. Where many artists have tried to shatter consumerist fantasies by offering explicitly critical alternatives, Alexander took visions of capitalist escapism— and amplified their effects to the max.

What? Alexander’s work recalls French theorist Roland Barthes’ dictum on the languages of visual culture: “a code cannot be destroyed, only ‘played off.’” By foregrounding the fashion photograph’s role as a vehicle conveying notions of physical acceptability, Alexander encourages viewers to become aware of ideological mechanisms at play. Alexander’s aim when making these works was to “look at myself looking at other women.” She is speaking both literally and metaphorically; her appropriated images are mounted on mirror-like black surfaces, so through a process of visual superimposition, the idealised image and the viewer gazing at it become, in a sense, one. Alexander is interested in the inevitable comparison that ensues from this collaboraion. “I don’t want to speak for all women, but I think many of us have a love/hate relationship with fashion,” she states, “You can try, but you will never attain the idealised glamour of an editorial. There’s an ambivalent push-pull effect; one knows the unattainability of media images, but desire can make you blind to reality.”

Working in art history-inspired diptych and triptych formats in this series was Alexander’s attempt to “give something fleeting and changeable, fashion, a longer lifespan of relevance.” St Sebastian (1983) alludes to ideas of physical martyrdom, connected to the pursuit of perfection. A swimsuit model, originally photographed lying down, is placed upright as if bound (Sebastian was shot through with arrows while tied to a stake). A masculine religious and historical trope becomes a secular, female, and contemporary narrative. Another work, Pietà (1981), in which a man watches over a reclining female model, reverses the roles of the Virgin Mary mourning the dead Christ in Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture. In this sense, Alexander’s women become less passive objects awaiting visual consumption in the space of an editorial, and more protagonists, existing in a rich historical lineage.

Why? Despite working in the illustrious vein of the Pictures Generation during the eighties, Alexander never gained the level of recognition her peers did. As contemporary visual culture becomes an ever more saturated and frenetic field, however, Alexander’s work of this period only increases in relevance. In an age of endemic photographic re-touching and the flattering filters of Snapchat and Instagram, Alexander’s early work reminds us of the ways technology has increased the demands on female perfection. “Looking at the photographs now I notice that, despite being visions of ideal beauty, there are still blemishes and visible pores,”she reflects. “They’re not retouched to the degree photos are routinely altered now. You can see skin!” By examining the blue-steel stares of the 1980s supermodel, Alexander offers us the opportunity to reassess current culture using the lens of the recent past.”

-Isabella Smith

To see the full post please visit AnOther.

For more information about Vikky Alexander please contact the gallery:

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+1.416.531.8000

Press: Vikky Alexander Featured on Canadian Art

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Vikky Alexander‘s exhibition The Temptation of Saint Anthony was recently featured on Canadian Art as one of the editors’ picks for the 7 Must-See Projects at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

“I knew vaguely of Vikky Alexander before I saw her 1981 work Obsession—a sequence of blown-up, black-and-yellow images of model Christy Brinkley—at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s “MashUp” show. The more I discover about Alexander, the more I’m intrigued. In addition to the work at the VAG, which more strictly resembles the image-appropriating “Pictures Generation” New York scene to which she was attached in the 1980s, she has made sculptures, installations and more, all sleek, smart and self-deconstructing. Cooper Cole’s Contact show offers a chance to see more from the period of Obsession: borrowed, retooled and re-presented images from fashion spreads, which we now see as vintage. What if Alexander, not Richard Prince, had become the artstar famed for presenting large-scale, borrowed, male-gaze-y, consumerist images of women? What if, moreover, Alexander had become canonized as a Vancouver photoconceptualist alongside all those dudes? There is, I might add, some time to correct this.”

-David Balzer, editor-in-chief

To see the full post please visit Canadian Art.

For more information about Vikky Alexander please contact the gallery:

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Press: Vikky Alexander Featured on Toronto Star

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Vikky Alexander was recently featured on Toronto Star.

“Vikky Alexander, The Temptations of St. Anthony: Vancouver-based Alexander was a young artist in New York in the ’80s when eventual bigshots like Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince began their aggressive appropriations of mass-media and advertising imagery as a strident kind of social critique. Alexander’s contribution to the burgeoning scene, of which she was part, included images recast from fashion magazines in which the overt sexuality of the female subjects were recalibrated to discomfit and confound: Enlargements, blunt crop-jobs and mirror images use the pictures as the women they portrayed already had been: As objects to convey a certain – in this case, very different – point of view. Opening Friday, May 13, 7 p.m. at Cooper Cole Gallery, 1134 Dupont St.”

-Murray Whyte

Gallery artist Davida Nemeroff‘s exhibition Connective Tissues at 8-11 was also featured in the article.

To see the full post please visit Toronto Star.

For more information about Vikky Alexander and Davida Nemeroff please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Sara Cwynar featured on British Journal of Photography

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Sara Cwynar was recently featured on British Journal of Photography

“Dutch museum and international photography magazine FOAM, known for being the awarding body of the prestigious Paul Huf award, comes to London to champion young international talent

It is not often that you meander around a gallery space and can barely get past the hoards of students, professionals and new talents of photography as they press together to see the photography on display.

Such was the bustling opening night of the eclectic FOAM Talent, a group show of 21 up-and-coming photographers under the age of 35, at the Beaconsfield Gallery in London.

The photography on display here has already been featured in a dedicated issue of the FOAM magazine, and is now exhibited in over two large rooms in a dynamically curated showcase of more than 100 photographs.

“The range of different work is important,” says curator, Mirjam Kooiman. “What ties them together is that they’re young and that they have a strong, autonomous vision, whether it’s through studio or documentary photography.”

This year, there is a noticeable emphasis on the physical presentation of the images, adding a new sculptural aspect to the exhibition.

Jean-Vincent Simonet, a French photographer, invites us into a psychedelic world of vivid colour marbled with metallic shine.

For each display of his gothic and fashion inspired work, Simonet designs a bespoke wallpaper specific to the space, resulting in each viewing experience being completely unique.

London-based photographer Dominic Hawgood shows a trio of images inspired by his experience in witnessing exorcisms in African churches.

The display is bilateral, split between a pair of large monochrome images of individuals he met behind the doors of the churches, and a digital image displayed on a luminous light box leaning against the wall on the ground, mimicking a blinding advertising billboard.

“The current state of photography is much more than pictures on the wall” Kooiman says. “Hawgood tries to incorporate lighting design within every presentation he does, and is using computer generated imagery.”

Dutch photographer Sjoerd Knibbeler has produced a body of work of “the things that are not able to be recorded by the camera”. This includes “wind”, a thick pane of dark coloured glass suspended from the ceiling, depicting a faint spiral at its centre.

Knibbeler extends this playful approach to his subjects, with a separate project comprising of images of various images of folded paper planes.

The photographs are shown with a projector, clicking away as it illuminates each design, accompanied by pieces of A4 paper on the wall. On closer inspection, these are the unfolded paper planes that never flew.

“He captures the non-physical through his use of materials, and by talking to scientists, learning how to create small processes within a context of a studio,” says Kooiman. “I once visited him, and he showed me how he created these perfect images with vacuum cleaners and plastic bags.”

Other photographers on show include Sara Cwynar, who layers photographs on top of one another to address “the hyper visual stimulation we experience on a day to day basis”; Hungarian talent, Marton Perlaki and Swiss photographer Manon Wertenbroek, who has taken a number of textural portraits of her once estranged brother, who suffers from schizophrenia.

“These artists have had exhibitions before. But there are also those who have only ever had this one presentation and are still very much at the start of their career,” says Kooiman.

“It’s not only about representing the few that are important in their generation of photography, but also very much about giving young photographers a platform and introducing them to an international audience.”

The FOAM Talent showcase is open at the Beaconsfield Gallery from 22 April to 22 May 2016.”

-Izy Radwanska Zhang

To see the full post please visit British Journal of Photography.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Dream Song 386 featured on Art Viewer

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Our current group exhibition Dream Song 386 was featured on Art Viewer.

To see full post please visit Art Viewer

For more information about Dream Song 386 please contact the gallery:

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Press: Bjorn Copeland + Georgia Dickie featured on Art Viewer

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Our current curated project at Et al etc. with Bjorn Copeland and Georgia Dickie was featured on Art Viewer.

To see the full post please visit Art Viewer.

For more information about Closing please contact the gallery:

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Press: Bjorn Copeland + Georgia Dickie featured on Fluxo

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Our current curated project at Et al etc. with Bjorn Copeland and Georgia Dickie was featured on Fluxo.

To see the full post please visit Fluxo.

For more information about Closing please contact the gallery:

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Press: I Am Not an Answer on Art Viewer

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Our current exhibition I Am Not an Answer was recently featured on Art Viewer.

To see the full post please visit Art Viewer.

For more information about I Am Not an Answer please contact the gallery:

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Press: Georgia Dickie Featured on Toronto Star

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Georgia Dickie was recently featured in the Toronto Star.

“Georgia Dickie’s west-end studio is at best an obstacle course and at worst a death trap (“Watch your eyes,” she warns, stepping over and between various sharp objects, some of which dangle from the ceiling at head height). If order from chaos is Dickie’s MO, then she sets her table nicely: for the past several years, the artist has enjoyed a career upswing both here and abroad (right now, she’s making work for a show in San Francisco) and her pack-rat sensibility deserves much credit. Dickie, an expert salvager, has a hard time saying no — industrial moulds and discarded wire, rusted steel bands, pocked sheet metal, giant springs, old curling rollers, bentwood arms from broken chairs; all have found their way into works in recent years — and her project, as much as anything, is to clear her space of the radical junk piles she accumulates. The anxiety of accumulation, though, is like jet fuel for her, firing a hectic creative output that’s spontaneous, playful but also coolly intuitive about material, proportion and form. You can see Dickie’s work at Cooper Cole Gallery as part of I Am Not an Answer until March 26.”

-Murray Whyte

To see the full post please visit Toronto Star.

For more information about Georgia Dickie please contact the gallery:

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+1.416.531.8000

Press: I Am Not an Answer featured on Mousse Magazine

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Our current exhibition I Am Not an Answer was recently featured on Mousse Magazine.

To see the full post please visit Mousse Magazine.

For more information about I Am Not an Answer please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Gerald Ferguson featured on Artforum

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Gerald Ferguson was recently featured on Artforum.

From 1967 to 1990, artist Garry Neill Kennedy served as the president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. It was a tenure that in many respects has become the stuff of legend—not only for the radical experiments in the institution and the classroom that Kennedy endorsed, but also because of the pivotal role NSCAD came to play as a far-flung focal point in the rise of Conceptual art. Kennedy captured much of this in The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968–78 (MIT Press, 2012), a chronological look back at the artists, projects, and events that marked his first decade at the school. A major survey exhibition of the same name, featuring NSCAD-related works by Joseph Beuys, Sol LeWitt, Gerhard Richter, Yvonne Rainer, Dan Graham, and Hans Haacke, among others, is on view through April 3, 2016 at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Here, Kennedy reflects on that heady era.

“I ARRIVED IN HALIFAX in June 1967. I’d finished graduate school at Ohio University a couple of years earlier and had been teaching at Northwood College in Ashland, Wisconsin. I’d heard of a job opening at a school in Halifax and I thought, Let’s go for it. I got the job—as president. I was thirty-two. At the time, the Nova Scotia College of Art was located in an old church hall. It was an extremely conservative place with a very Victorian sensibility, drawing from plaster casts and that sort of thing. In Wisconsin, my students had been doing Minimalist work and Pop art. The difference was amazing. The first year we graduated fourteen students, and I didn’t renew the contracts of four faculty. All hell broke loose. There were all kinds of phone calls and serious protests with students in the streets. I’m not sure they quite understood what they had gotten themselves into when they hired me. I mean, Color Field painting was, you know, far out in Halifax, let alone Conceptual art! So I landed with a bang.

The next year I appointed a good number of friends. Some of them were from the Kansas City Art Institute, like David Askevold and Gerald Ferguson, both of whom had ties to New York, and Jack Lemmon, who packed up his lithography workshop and moved it to Halifax. We were all teachers and active political artists. CalArts was experimenting with the same sorts of things that we were doing at the time, but there was no specific model for how we wanted to run the school. Whatever we wanted to do, we did it. And as the president, I had the authority to make those decisions. This was the time of the Vietnam War and there were a lot of artists avoiding the draft by coming up to Canada. Students wanted answers to their questions. It was all about relevance—that’s an important word—we made the school relevant.

And it just so happens that, as a port city, Halifax is perfectly located between New York and Europe. The Italian Line stopped in there, and I remember Larry Weiner in 1969 got a first-class ticket for him and his wife for fifty-two dollars on the way to New York. It’s unbelievable. As word got out, people like Daniel Buren, John Baldessari, and Dan Graham came along—he recommended Kasper Koenig for the director of the school’s press. Kasper did very important books on Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer, which became the model for Roger Conover at the MIT Press. He has every one of the books we made. And then there was the Projects Class that David Askevold came up with and the envelopes with all of these projects that were suggested by amazing Conceptual artists. So you felt like anything was possible.

In 1969, we renamed the school the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and in 1970 there was the Halifax Conference. It was Seth Siegelaub’s idea to have these well-known artists come to Halifax and talk about issues in contemporary art. Joseph Beuys, Carl Andre, Mario Merz, Richard Serra, Michael Snow, Robert Rauschenberg—all of these people were in the boardroom right next to my office. Robert Smithson and a couple of other invited artists were demonstrably angry that the college was going to make all of this money out of the transcriptions and tried to break up the conference. The other artists didn’t agree. It was so interesting. I think it was Lucy Lippard who wrote and said, There are no women artists in this gang! What’s going on? She was right and we got the message, even if those weren’t the issues that the conference started with. We all became smarter. That is a really important part of the NSCAD legacy in general: It was a wake-up call.”

-As told to Bryne McLaughlin

To see the full post please visit Artforum.

For more information about Gerald Ferguson please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Sara Cwynar featured on Blouin Art Info

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Sara Cwynar was recently featured on Blouin Art Info.

“The consummate Vancouver native, Sara Cwynar meets me at the New Haven, Connecticut, train station in a Toyota hatchback with both a roof rack and a 
bike occupying the backseat. It’s easy to imagine that the work space of this quiet and capable artist would be minimal and orderly—with not a pencil out of place—a notion I am disabused of in short order. On first glance, Cwynar’s densely cluttered studio looks like the place where aging kitsch goes to retire. Every surface, including the scarred concrete floor, is covered with a motley assortment of objects: mannequin parts, pink melamine teacups, bouquets of silk flowers, an overturned vase, power tools, pegboards, velvet drapes, and shower poufs. The walls are similarly crowded, bearing images of a rose blooming five feet high, a drugstore’s chewing-gum display, a manicured hand reaching for a telephone. The room feels like an archive of images and objects whose origins lie somewhere in the faded commercial past.

Much of Cwynar’s work, including the photographs on view through March 7 in MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York” survey, reflects the artist’s affection for design techniques and methodology. “Graphic design gives you a generous system for fitting things into their place,” she offers. Typography appears often, as does a tendency to collect and categorize; source images are borrowed and tweaked. Display Stand, No. 64 Cons H. 81⁄4″ W. 24″ D. 161⁄2″, 2014, is based on a found photograph of a chewing-gum display from the artist’s archive. The original image, along with its bold, sans serif caption, has been rephotographed, printed, and reassembled using a tiling method familiar to graphic designers; look close and you’ll see the subtle seams where the tiled prints are misaligned, resulting in an image that seems at once fractured and complete.

Cwynar’s peripatetic studies began in English literature at the University of British Columbia, before she dropped out “a whole bunch of times,” finally landing
 in the graphic design program at York University in Toronto. She fell in love with the field but longed for a more conceptual approach than her classes offered. Now, just a few months from graduating with an MFA in photography from the Yale University School of Art, her winding path through academia seems, in retrospect, to have a certain logic. (Cwynar continues to work as a commercial designer in tandem with her art practice—she served a three-year stint as a graphic designer at the New York Times Magazine—and this
 is occasionally uneasy territory: “It’s funny how, if you make art critiquing certain corporate structures,
 those corporations will often call you up and ask you to work for them. Sometimes it’s hard to say no.”)

Cwynar’s first art piece was essentially also a work of design: Kitsch Encyclopedia, a book that collects 
the writings of Milan Kundera, Jean Baudrillard, and Roland Barthes, as well as the artist’s own thoughts
 on the titular subject. Illustrated with rephotographed images of wildlife, religious iconography, and the Grand Canyon, among other things, it explores the relationship of kitsch to images. Like Kundera, who declared it an integral part of the human condition, Cwynar sees kitsch as something unavoidable, even necessary— something we need in order “to continue forward in the world.” (She comes by her enthusiasm honestly. Along with her twin sister—Toronto-based curator Kari Cwynar—she spent her childhood as a competitive figure skater, circling the rink in sequined costumes designed by their mother. “Yes!” she declares, smiling. “Figure skating is just pure kitsch. It’s like sentimentality as a sport.”) Kundera’s work provided a springboard for Cwynar’s early explorations, culminating in that book-length volume. “I was struck by how much The Unbearable Lightness of Being dovetails with ’80s image theory, with Baudrillard and Barthes: an image culture that has replaced real-world experience, where we see everything through idealized images,” she says. “I thought, ‘here’s something in theory and literature that feels like it can be visual and exciting.’”

Since then, Cwynar’s process has been elliptical in both senses of the word: deliberately obscure as well as circular. Her personal archive, which is always growing, comprises photographs, on which she exerts any number of alterations and interventions, and physical objects that she organizes and photographs in her studio.
 She spends hours in the dustiest parts of libraries, in basements where obsolete reference books are stacked, and on eBay, where her searches take on an obsessive dimension. She’ll start with a found image, often a commercial photograph from what she refers to as the “era of high modernist idealism.” For a recent piece, titled 432 Photographs of Nefertiti, Cwynar began with a photograph from an encyclopedia discovered at the Columbia University library: a bust of the Egyptian queen, shown in profile before a powder-blue backdrop. (Cwynar was drawn to the image because it was one of the few depictions of a woman in the volume.) She then scanned the photo and began making hundreds 
of laser prints. Because the file size was too large,
 the printer tended to malfunction, resulting in incomplete images of varying sizes and crops, 432 in all. She remade Nefertiti’s portrait on the floor of her studio, reassembling the famous face as a tiled collage and photographing it from above with a large-format camera. Cwynar then scanned the resulting negative, edited it digitally, and reprinted the image, which resembles a computer screen on which hundreds of windows are opened, proliferating ad nauseam.

A more deadpan approach to the archive can be found in the “encyclopedia Grids” series, in which similar
but distinct photographs of a single subject are organized in a grid. Encyclopedia Grid (Bardot), 2014, shows 24 publicity shots of the eponymous actress resting on a yellow background. There’s a ruler running along the base of the composition, lending the arrangement the look of a scientific specimen or an eBay auction image. A single, tapered finger intrudes into many of the inset Bardot photos, suggesting that they have themselves been rephotographed or altered in advance; it’s unclear whether the finger is concealing, pointing to, or simply announcing the presence of the artist. The appropriated photos of Bardot once had a straightforward commercial purpose, but in this new context their meaning seems diffuse and maddeningly elusive.

Many of the commercial photographs that Cwynar collects suggest the good life, an ideal to be chased. “That’s what’s really conveyed through this kind
of imagery,” she says, acknowledging the influence of cultural theorist Lauren Berlant on her approach to the subject. “That was much more clear in this era of high modernist idealism—what you’re supposed to want.” Cwynar’s recent work in video, a new medium for her, is far more explicit in this regard. In Rose Gold,
 2015, the narrator covets the rose-gold iPhone, then immediately wonders, “What is a good life, when something you desire is actually an obstacle?” We watch as skin is pressed and swiped with prodding fingers in search of a touch screen, a collection of disparate plastic objects are organized in a grid, and empty rooms momentarily fill with shocking pink light.

At the moment, Cwynar is preparing for a group exhibition at the Fondazione Prada in Milan, curated by Thomas Demand and opening March 10. She has been collecting lousy photographs of popular modernist paintings, including a set of Francis Bacon prints, which she plans to translate into wallpaper. She hopes to hang actual Bacon paintings on top of the wallpaper, effectively marrying the lo-fi reproductions to the originals. In a way, it’s the ultimate postmodern party trick, presenting both the authentic original and the degraded copy, then demanding that we privilege the latter. Or perhaps the effect would be gentler than that: We might look at the copy and be touched by its familiarity, like running into an old friend whose face we’ve seen hundreds of times before. Cwynar’s affection for her archive may be easy to overlook, but her love of these images
 is central to her practice. “Part of the reason my work is so obsessive and has so much labor visible in it is because it’s easy to tip into insincerity or cynicism when you’re talking about kitsch or using really obvious popular commercial imagery,” she stresses. “There have to be certain cues that make it clear how much I love this stuff. And I genuinely just love it so much.””

-Ariela Gittlen

To see the full post please visit Blouin Art Info.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Ryan Wallace featured on Artoronto

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Ryan Wallace’s current show Dragnalus was recently featured on Artoronto.

“Imagine that every bit of detritus on which you stepped throughout the day stuck to the bottom of your shoes. What would you produce from the dredges? Ryan Wallace’s tiles and collages are blue-collar fossils of everyday materials found in his studio including jeans, work gloves, mirrors, gold foil, spray paint, glue and tape residue, shoe prints and canvas strips.

The collection of tiles titles “Pitch” (2016) covering the main floor of Cooper Cole gallery – reminiscent of the metal tiles by minimalist artist Carl Andre – are calculated residue from Wallace’s sculptural process. The Plexiglas tiles were originally used as molds to fill with rubbish and plaster producing white plinth-like cubes with only a hint of their dirty contents. The cubes are not exhibited with the tiles in this specific manifestation. The accidentally visually appealing squares are not displayed as residue of Wallace’s cubes, they are artworks in their own right and their mosaic installation across the floor implicates the visitors into direct participation in the space. The pieces of debris are well stuck to the tiles, but the effect is that of a dirty linoleum floor in much need of a sweep.

Wallace’s works on canvas “Dragnalus I” (2015) and “Dragnalus II” (2014) are collages of left over materials and cut offs. The strips of paint and fabric in shades of grey, brown and red are set side by side producing a pattern of hardwood floor, plywood board, aerial views of farm land, or painterly abstractions of birch trees. But unlike pallets of leftover paint accumulating layers of colour that would never become works, the recycled strips of polyester and vinyl covered in rubber, oil, acrylic, wax and various metals are again validated artworks. It leaves one to wonder from what process Wallace produces these cut-offs if the only evidence of his work is constructed purely from leftovers. A possible creative answer is inspired by his “Untitled” sculpture (2016) a pair of shoes covered in red gunk.

Hung on the wall of the upstairs space, the soles of the shoes face out displaying scrap bits of metal and fabric like the pieces in his larger works insinuating a performative process. If we imagine these shoes were worn by Wallace at work in his studio, we can also imagine that his artistic practice is one of secret active performance in which the work constitutes the act of producing crusty artistic dredges, and the works displayed might be considered documentation of his performance. Regardless of the method by which Wallace procures the cast off materials, the exhibition Dragnalus provides much for the eye to explore. New-York based Ryan Wallace’s first Canadian solo exhibition provides a glimpse into the work and process of an accomplished recycler of industrial, utilitarian materials.”

-Alice Pelot

To see the full post please visit Artoronto.

For more information about Ryan Wallace please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Abby McGuane featured on Art Viewer

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Abby McGuane’s current show Glass Wall was recently featured on Art Viewer.

“COOPER COLE is pleased to present a solo exhibition with Toronto-based artist, Abby McGuane.

You say you hate it and you feel trapped
How nice it would be, maybe five years off
You’ll be in the country, dogs, kids running around
Get out of here
And I don’t tell you that I just met someone who has what you
described, and they smiled and said very little
If that’s what you wanted you’d be there by now

Abby McGuane (b. 1986, Nova Scotia, Canada) received her BFA in sculpture and Installation from the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2011. Her practice undertakes a sculptural negotiation of pictorial concerns, namely the relationship between image and support. Enlisting raw materiality in tandem with found objects, she probes the ways in which notions of power and vulnerability are disclosed and mediated through the built environment. McGuane has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at galleries such as The Power Plant, Division Gallery, Birch Contemporary, and Xpace, Toronto, Canada. McGuane currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.”

To see the full post please visit Art Viewer.

For more information about Abby Mcguane please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Ryan Wallace featured on Art Viewer

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Ryan Wallace’s current show Dragnalus was recently featured on Art Viewer.

“COOPER COLE is pleased to present a solo exhibition with New York-based artist, Ryan Wallace. This marks the artists first solo exhibition in Canada. Taking its title from the post-hardcore band, Unwound’s ode to apathy, boredom and the repetition of daily existence, Wallace’s work-a-day approach mines beauty from his utilitarian materials and dogged spacial investigations.

Wallace’s output is a cycle of continuously constructed, razed, rebuilt and re-flattened information. Like a field of fossils, the floor of the gallery is an optical vista of tiles that both support and trap the materials employed in his paintings and sculptures.

On the wall, his works appear as segments or selections, dredged from depths below and presented as spoils of this archeology. Upon further inspection, their accomplished compositions and surfaces reveal a keen understanding of abstract space and painting strategy. Visually, these large works are simultaneously evocative of both aerial and microscopic perspectives, yet they are assembled from recognizable “real” elements of industrial materials.

All of his work evolves from both the act of making and those materials that have been cast off, removed, and redacted from previous works. Like a scavenger in an ecosystem, Wallace continually churns what is at hand in the studio, as the waste of one system becomes the structure of another.

Ryan Wallace (b. 1977, New York, USA) is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, a 2011 Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant awardee and an Elizabeth Foundation of the Arts’ Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop SIP Fellow. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Susan Inglett Gallery, Rachel Uffner Gallery, Islip Art Museum, Islip, New York, Romer Young Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, PIMA Air & Space Museum, Tucson, USA; Marianne Friis Gallery, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; Frans Masreel Center, Kasterlee, Belgium; amongst many others. His work is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, Watermill Center, Watermill, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA. Wallace lives and works between New York City and East Hampton, USA.”

To see the full post please visit Art Viewer.

For more information about Ryan Wallace please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Ryan Wallace on Artforum

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Ryan Wallace’s current show Dragnalus was recently featured on Artforum.

“The instant you step inside the gallery door, you’re implicated in Ryan Wallace’s exhibition “Dragnalus.” Spread out underfoot across the space is Pitch, 2016, a patchwork of square Plexiglas tiles, each roughly imprinted with evidence of Wallace’s working methods—footprints in paint, offcut strips of packing tape and mesh, a flattened work glove or pair of jeans, and traces of spray paint and carpet glue, among other things. Interspersed throughout this blue-collar mosaic are squares covered in gold and silver foil or mirrors. Walking on Pitch, it’s impossible not to think of how heavily this, and the work of many young like-minded sculptural painters, treads on the legacy of Carl Andre. Earlier iterations of similar pieces by Wallace have included stacks of plaster cubes, another allusion to Andre’s Minimalist shadow. But here it’s less of a flaw than a self-reflexive reminder of how questions of process, material, value, and the negotiated play between object and subject have perpetual traction.

Wallace’s paintings operate in a similar fashion. In his “Dragnalus” series, 2014–15, vertical cuts and strips of canvas, mesh, vinyl, rubber, aluminum foil, wax, and paint—the same bric-a-brac from Wallace’s workspace that covers the tiles in Pitch—form a suite of densely textured veils. A departure from his earlier monochromatic paintings, these works hum with layered blacks, off-whites, deep reds, and a well-placed eyelet or two. The linchpin, though, is Untitled, 2016, a pair of white canvas sneakers hanging on the gallery wall, the soles of which are caked in studio detritus. Echoes of the labor-intensive heroics of the midcentury avant-garde—“Combines”-era Robert Rauschenberg comes to mind—resound again, even if, for better or worse, they remain just a step away.”

-Bryne McLaughlin

To see the full post please visit Artforum.

For more information about Ryan Wallace please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Georgia Dickie featured on Artspace

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Georgia Dickie was recently featured in the Artspace as one of the 5 Rising Stars You Should Discover at the Material Art Fair.

“Georgia Dickie grew up in Toronto with a dad who worked in movie set design and a fashion-designer mom, and as a result her garage was full of exciting odds and ends that she could play around with. Now the 26-year-old Ontario College of Art and Design graduate has taken that love of rummaging and translated it into her sculpture, assembling combinations of found objects into clever arrangements that tend to have a sly sense of humor. This piece, for instance, titled Smile, grins raffishly from its perch on the wall, and will run you $5,000. Look out for this young artist to have a solo show of new work at Cooper Cole next month.”

-Andrew M. Goldstein

To see the full post please visit Artspace.

For more information about Georgia Dickie please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Toronto Star Features Abby McGuane

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Abby McGuane was recently featured in the Toronto Star.

“Sun spills in from the south and east of Abby McGuane’s studio on Sterling Rd. Light suits McGuane, whose work asks questions about perception and reality, with its uneasy combinations of materials, images and form.

Sleek objects culled from plaster or mortar are fitted with plates of glass, deflecting and distracting your gaze from the object to the space it occupies. Obscure images pressed between glass challenge you to make sense of what you can see, and what you can’t.
The luminous quality of the studio has done much to guide the work, but McGuane can stand on her own two feet, which is important: By March 1, she’ll be gone, in search of cheaper space as Sterling rents leap ever upward. Glass Wall, McGuane’s solo show at Cooper Cole Gallery, 1134 Dupont St., continues to Feb. 20.”

- Murray Whyte

To see the full post visit the Abby McGuane please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Lauren Luloff interviewed by Artspace

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Gallery artist Lauren Luloff was recently interviewed by Artspace.

“Lauren Luloff makes paintings with bleach and muslin, combining layers of fabric with delicate prints and floral motifs to make collaged compositions that seem barely moored to the stretcher bars that frame them. Her gauzy creations have become perennial favorites of top-tier collectors like Susan and Michael Hort, and she’s been at the center of well-received solo shows at galleries including Halsey McKay, Cooper Cole, and Marlborough Chelsea. Here, Artspace’s Dylan Kerr talks to the young artist about her formative years and unusual approach to art making.”

-Dylan Kerr

To see the full interview please visit Artspace.

For more information about Lauren Luloff please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Davida Nemeroff Interviewed by Artspace

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Davida Nemeroff was recently interviewed by Artspace.

“Should you find yourself out in Los Angeles, and if you have a penchant for contemporary art, the odds are pretty good that at some point you’ll end up at Night Gallery—perhaps on the later side of the evening, with a beer in your hand, some kind of eyebrow-singeing performance underway, and in the company of some of the most exciting art (and beer-swilling artists) the city has to offer.

That’s because ever since the photographer Davida Nemeroff founded the gallery in a Lincoln Heights strip mall in 2010 as a wee-hours clubhouse-cum-laboratory for her Columbia MFA peers and other artists of her generation, it has been a consistent energizer of the city’s youthful art scene and a driver of the cultural conversation. It’s also been a star-minter: Mira Dancy and Samara Golden are just two names from its roster who have become celebrities over the past year or so, with others who have been involved with its program, like Adam Gordon, about to break out.

Based in downtown L.A. since 2013, in a building shared by François Ghebaly Gallery and in a growing art nexus now populated by Venus Over Los Angeles, Maccarone, and Gavin Brown’s 356 S. Mission Road, Night Gallery has grown from an upstart into an institution. When Art Los Angeles Contemporary opens this week, for instance, expect to find a crush of collectors gathering at the gallery’s booth (which showcases the diversity of its program, with new work by Golden, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Sean Townley, Jake Kean Mayman, Andy Woll, and Christine Wang).

For this month’s edition of our NADA Network interview series, which arrives just as the L.A. fairs are bringing the spotlight out to Tinseltown, Artspace editor-in-chief Andrew M. Goldstein spoke to Nemeroff about the unlikely history of her plucky gallery, why figuration has been its enduring source of strength, and the inspiring story behind the rise of Mira Dancy as one of painting’s newest stars.”

-Andrew M. Goldstein

To see the full interview please visit Artspace.

For more information about Davida Nemeroff please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Sara Cwynar listed The Top 15 Emerging Artists of 2015 on Artsy

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar was listed as one of the top 15 emerging artists of 2015 by Artsy.

“Cwynar scours eBay and junk stores for found vintage imagery and kitsch (like lo-fi gold watches or photographs of Brigitte Bardot) that she reworks in her studio in New Haven, CT. And she’s earned significant art-world recognition doing so, well before her Yale photography MFA graduation will roll around in 2016. Once a Literature major, Cwynar ultimately chose images over words and today—through scanning, re-photographing, and collaging—she creates tableaux and sculptural photographs from materials ranging from deconstructed darkroom manuals to a reproduction of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).

“The work is reaching out into the future of the media at a time when our dependency on it has never been bigger,” says legendary sculptor and photographer Thomas Demand, who is including Cwynar’s work in an exhibition he’s curating at Fondazione Prada in Milan in March, 2016. This show will continue Cwynar’s streak of institutional recognition, following a breakout year in 2015. (She was a standout of MoMA PS1’s “Greater New York” and “Under Construction,” the group show that traveled from Amsterdam’s Foam Photography Museum to Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works in March). But of equal measure is her presence in galleries with edgy and respected programs; she shows with Foxy Production and Cooper Cole, and in September, her seductive images of presidential busts (a series of Avon cologne bottles, scored on eBay) brought New Yorkers upstate for her solo exhibition at the popular Hudson outpost of Zach Feuer and Joel Mesler, Retrospective Gallery.”

To see the full list please visit Artsy online.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Jesse Harris on Artoronto

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Jesse Harris’ current show PATHS was recently featured on Artoronto.

“The photographic records of the punk movement printed on actual vinyl records seem to comment on the influence of the music scene on non-musical art forms. Although Jesse Harris is not a musician it’s clear how punk music fuelled this specific project. The works are Jesse Harris’ way of making an album without actually producing any original music.”

To see the full post please visit Artoronto.

For more information about Jesse Harris please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

PRESS: Brie Ruais

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Brie Ruais was recently featured on Artspace.

Operating at the nexus where ceramics and conceptual art meet, Brie Ruais makes performative, physically taxing sculptures that arise as much from language as they do from clay. The titles of her works, like Push Up, 132 lbs, Stationary Forward Spread (Salmon) 132 lbs, Spreading Out From Center, 132 lbs., often function as descriptions of the works themselves: the weight of the sculptures matches the artist’s own, and the simple instructions reflect the bodily action through which the piece comes into being.

To see the full post please visit Artspace.

For more information about Brie Ruais please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

PRESS: Sara Cwynar featured in ARTNEWS

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ARTNEWS recently visited gallery artist Sara Cwynar in her studio for their weekly Habitat series.

“I met Sara Cwynar on a humid day in July at her studio on the third floor of a warehouse building near the Gowanus Bay. The space is only temporary for her since she is heading back to Yale to complete her MFA at the end of the month. It’s surprising that she’s only been in the space since June since it’s full of countless trinkets and objects. “It looks like I’ve been here a lot longer,” she admitted. “I got a car when I moved to New Haven and I can get so much more stuff now. Until last year, I used to carry suitcases on the subway filled with materials.” Cwynar tends to buy her source material from dollar stores, drug stores, eBay, and, recently, candlestock.com, a candle company based in Woodstock, New York. Photographing those objects and combining them with found images through rephotography and collage, she makes intricate, otherworldly still lifes, which she has shown at Cooper Cole in Toronto and Foxy Production in New York.”

- KATHERINE MCMAHON

Click here to read the article in full.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Canadian Art Magazine Feature on Gallery

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Gallery director Simon Cole speaks to Nicholas Brown of Canadian Art about our exhibition Road To Ruin, and the recent move to Dupont street.

To read the full interview, please visit Canadian Art online.

For more information about Road to Ruin please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: Road to Ruin Featured on Art Viewer

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Our current group exhibition Road to Ruin was featured on Art Viewer.

For more information about Road to Ruin please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

PRESS: Road to Ruin featured on Akimbo

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Our current exhibition Road to Ruin was reviewed on Akimbo.

The decentralization of the Toronto art scene continues apace with the inaugural exhibition at Cooper Cole’s new space on Dupont near Dufferin (a block down from Geary Avenue where the Toronto music scene is similarly in search of virgin turf according to some). The relocation to frontier lands north of Bloor has, it seems, as much to do with avoiding the city’s chronic traffic delays as it does with acquiring high ceilings. CC left a sizable room on Dundas West (currently temporarily occupied by Kunstverein Toronto and their crammed retrospective of senior Canadian artist Glenn Lewis) for a former bank – complete with vault still intact – across the street from LIFT and steps from Toronto’s second grimmest mall: the Galleria (first place goes to The Crossways). Cole’s opening gambit is a group show cheekily named Road to Ruin (after the Ramones album) featuring a selection of artists whose birthdays spread from the 1940s to the 1980s. (Is this a thing now? To include the artist’s age in the list of works?)

The oldest artist – Gee Vaucher, an associate of the anarcho-punk band Crass – sets the tone with her gritty visual collage of WWII newsreel footage. The youngsters follow suit with equally snotty (a good thing for contrarian aesthetes) retorts to late 20th Century artistic gestures. Brie Ruais’s boot stomped corner-crammed ceramic sculpture is minimalism pushed to the limit. Marlie Mul’s cigarette butt-stuffed wall panel makes for a similar degrading of purist form and function. JPW3 adds popcorn and hot wax to an otherwise placid ceiling-hung chain and Sarah Greenberger Rafferty attacks Michael Snow’s walking woman with a bunch of butcher knives.

The overall tone is one of creative antagonism within the bounds of conventional forms, which, given his move to the least fashionable corner of the west end to set up a white walled haven for artists transitioning into the halls of respectability, is an appropriate introduction to the gallerist himself.

-Terence Dick

For more information please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

PRESS: Jenine Marsh reviewed in Magenta Magazine

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Gallery artist Jenine Marsh had her recent exhibition at 8-11 reviewed in Magenta Magazine.

The basement of 8-11 is a labyrinth of dark rooms and slim passageways. Its moist air and brick walls create a secretive, Tales From The Crypt-like environment for exhibitions. In The Cut Flower Still Blooms, Jenine Marsh goes in for spookiness, but maintains a keen sense of pacing and poetic sleight-of-hand. An array of visual objects—sculpture, glasswork, and ceramics—exist (aesthetically, at least) somewhere between The Secret Garden and Ghostbusters. The outcome is an affective, visual mediation on the corporeal.

Marsh often toys with the viewer’s expectations of the origins and intentions of objects. In this latest effort, she moves beyond Duchampian concerns of the ready-made (i.e., did the artist make that or is it weird basement junk?) and towards a more-focused musing on surface, texture and form. For instance, a bouquet of flowers. Looking closely, the flowers are dead, dipped in dyes and synthetic rubber. Tucked above the basement door, the festoon is ambiguous, pretty and macabre.

Marsh appraises the human body as a vessel and explores skin as the ultimate media. Marsh’s interest in skin—figuratively—as a bodily container and sentient surface allows a lot of room for visual experimentation. Her choice of filmy synthetic materials, such as acetate, plastic sheeting, and acrylics mimic the delicacy and translucency of skin (on more than one occasion, large oval forms hang from overhead pipes or drape over debris), while ceramics distort the form and function human tissues (a thickly coiled terracotta tongue on the wall, for example). In a welcome reprieve from the uncanny, Marsh changes pace from subtle gestures in a work entitled Palmslide (all works 2015) that reads as kitschy set design for a B-movie thriller: an inkjet print on adhesive vinyl of a skinless, webbed hand appearing to push open an old wooden door. Next to it, a membrane of dark plastic appears to ooze, formless, motionless, down a stairwell. And this is what’s really spooky: Marsh is not dealing in dead bodies, but instead conversing strangely with the digital, probing the integrity of living tissue and organisms. In the innermost basement room, her mix of surrealist, sci-fi imaginings encounter Classical imagery. Elegiac allusions to Greek friezes such as Nike Adjusting Her Sandal (c. 410 BCE) allow the human form to marbleize and hover.

Marsh’s material impulses add up to an equivocal experience of cell-communication. Her expressive use of flowers and forms that reference the shape and surface of petals, tongues, and skin cells creates a visual metaphor of surreptitious cellular life that buds again and again in the darkness. “The poet [and here all we need to do is to substitute “artist” for “poet”]’s mission it to attract the voice which is yet inaudible to the air; to inspire faith in a dream which is unfulfilled; to bring the earliest tidings of the unborn flower to a skeptical world,” wrote the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. In balancing scary and subtle in a dimly lit context, Marsh allows for morbid and beatific encounters with unresponsive objects that are not necessarily empty of life.

-Penelope Smart

For more information about Jenine Marsh please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

PRESS: Joshua Abelow + Bjorn Copeland in Magenta Magazine

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Recent exhibition of Joshua Abelow and Bjorn Copeland reviewed in Magenta Magazine

Two acquaintances collaborated for the first time to create a scene of decidedly irreverent, self-deprecating, pop-trash transcendence this past March at Toronto’s Cooper Cole Gallery. Joshua Abelow, a young New York-based painter and curator of the cultishly popular (and recently ended) ART BLOG ART BLOG brought some of his paintings north of the border to hang along-side locally created sculptural work by Bjorn Copeland, a member of underground electronic noise band Black Dice, who currently lives and works in L.A. The respective practices of these two artists don’t seem reconcilable (at least in an immediate visual way), but careful and considered curating managed to create an object-driven meditation on the themes of consumer culture, the assignment of value and the intrusion of the autobiographical.

Copeland first came to prominence creating posters and album art focussing on the music community in which he was involved. His principal medium was collage and his brash, bright and psychedelically fragmented images pointed towards notions of media overload, appearing as hyperkinetic animations frozen in a random micro-second of stasis. They gave the sense that an infinite number of compositions exist before and after the one moment we actually got to see, challenging the nature of choice and whether one moment is more valuable or meaningful than another. More recently, Copeland has increasingly worked sculpturally, often employing found materials and objects. For his first Toronto exhibition, the artist created works exclusively using things found in the few short days he spent in the city prior to the opening. Smack dab in the middle of the gallery sits a filing cabinet, a local newspaper box, and an old trunk, well-used and beaten up. The artist has tethered them to one-another with a ratchet strap in some form of Art Brut bondage. Tilted at an intriguing rake, in an almost sublime balance, they suggest motion but are obviously going nowhere. Another floor piece, a shopping cart pointed upwards and balancing precariously on a slightly crushed garbage can, seems to relish in the disparity between the elegance of the act of balancing and the abject reality of the object itself. Using huge, second-hand commercial vinyl banners, the artist also created a couple of wall pieces for the show. The banners are crumpled, folded and fixed into individual compositions allowing fragments of the old commercial text to appear. The resolutely industrial nature of the objects makes them difficult to warm up to at first glance but, with extended viewing, they seem to fulfill the artist’s ambition of re-applying value to things that are otherwise used up and worthless. By forcing the viewer to contemplate, consider and re-assess the object, it’s given a second life, one that transcends the original.

Abelow’s humorous, light-hearted paintings balance elements of rigorous geometric abstraction and overlays of loose, expressionistic figurative doodles. Working serially, he lays down carefully constructed grounds of colour arrangements, alternating the hues of a pattern from canvas to canvas, upon which he applies a simplified symbol or sign. Typical figurative elements throughout his oeuvre have included simplified faces, short texts, stick-men with huge penises and even a series where he repeatedly painted his real cell phone number. The “figurative” overlay is brushy and loose, with drips and subtle variations from one to the next, offering a counterpoint to the relative rigidity of the geometric backgrounds (although they too have a looseness about them). Here, Abelow showed paintings using the silhouettes of a witch, a walking man with boxing gloves, and a series of crudely rendered smiley faces. The faces seem to reflect most successfully the core of the artist’s practice, particularly the balance between the familiar and the absurd, as well as the meanings and effects of repetition. The faces, both in their rendering and conceptualization, look amateurish or childlike, giving them a whiff of bad-boy edge, like acts of vandalism, as though the artist grew impatient with the stifling geometry and lashed out with crudely superimposed symbols. The disruption of the backgrounds is a shot across the bow of all those who treat pure abstraction with excessive reverence. It’s a refreshing and breezy approach, and one that seems in tune with the realities of life where the underlying systems of order we create and try to live by are inevitably subverted by the messy realities of existence.

The collaboration between these two artists, which appears casual and offhand at first, actually reveals a far more intriguing subtext, namely the pursuit of a subject matter both humble and prosaic. Rather than Wagnerian heroics or transcendent aspirations, the work borders on the pedestrian. The text-book doodle paintings of Abelow exist on the same hierarchal level as Copeland’s recycled object sculptures. Both artists utilize the mundane and the discarded and present them for re-analysis, making the viewer look harder at what they would usually ignore on a day-to-day basis. It’s a gesture of extreme diplomacy, where anything (if presented properly) is worthy of contemplation and one that raises questions regarding our accepted standards of value and taste.

-Romas Astrauskas

For more information about Bjorn Copeland or Joshua Abelow please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Press: 2 and a Half Men (or Colin Engle) Featured on Mousse

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Our current group exhibition 2 and a Half Men (Or Colin Engle) was featured on Mousse Magazine’s blog.

Exhibition extended until January 17, 2015

Ryan Foerster
Lukas Geronimas
Jesse Harris
Shawn Kuruneru
2 And a Half Men (Or Colin Engle)
November 21 – January 17, 2015

For more information please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: 2 And A Half Men (Or Colin Engle) Reviewed by NOW Magazine

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Our current group exhibition was reviewed in NOW Magazine.

The current group show at Cooper Cole is a class reunion of sorts. New York City-based Ontarians Ryan Foerster, Lukas Geronimas and Shawn Kuruneru have returned to collaborate with Toronto’s Jesse Harris. Starting with the initial premise that every work would be 6 inches apart, they gradually refined their spatial dynamics, carving out niches for their work throughout the space.

Geronimas uses objects in a way that underscores their ambivalence. At the front of the gallery, his tub, seemingly cast in pewter, is carved and scratched over with scrawls and figures that bring to mind the scarred desks and bathroom stalls of grubby city life, inviting us to bathe in their imagery.

Harris appropriates the vintage language of advertising and signage. Recontextualized in acid greens and yellows, his pieces practically seethe with gleeful menace. He shares the wall with photographer Foerster, who overlays decayed photographic images with layers of vinyl in primary colours. Both feel like urban surfaces organically accrued and rubbed raw over time.

Once given to dense and surreally noirish pen drawings, Kuruneru here is iconic and spare. His three canvases form a triptych on the west wall: the central one bears a near pictogram of a Chinese man on a boat with a crane, flanked by two splattered with thin washes of black paint in the manner of a Chinese brush painting.

By organically filling the space, the four show a common preoccupation: a fascination with surfaces and objects subjected to the natural processes of time. The image, it seems, is less a concrete thing to be observed than an accretion of several shifting layers, caught at a particular point in flux.

For more information please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Jesse Harris at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

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Gallery artist Jesse Harris is currently exhibiting in a group exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

His artwork (pictured above) has been favourably mentioned in several reviews of the exhibition.

Canadian Art
Globe and Mail
Toronto Star

For more information about Jesse Harris please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Georgia Dickie Reviewed by the Toronto Star

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Gallery artist Georgia Dickie had her current show reviewed in The Toronto Star.

How big can Georgia Dickie get, and how fast? The 25-year-old Toronto artist, through no fault of her own, has been testing those limits with increasing intensity the past couple of years as she piles up museum exhibitions (Oakville Galleries, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Power Plant) and critical acclaim (guilty) at a dizzying rate.

That’s likely because it’s well deserved. Dickie is part of a youthful cohort in the city who have a shared enthusiasm for simple materials, but I’m not sure any of them match her unbound, intuitive joy.

Her current show at Cooper Cole shows you exactly what I mean. Dickie lives underneath a scrap heap of found objects and weirdo castoffs — for at least a couple of years, a coffinlike box with a prosthetic ear stuck to it has lived in her studio — and it often seems like her practice is founded on an urgent need to recombine them into something close enough to art that she can shove them out the door. One work in the show says as much: a gleeful swoop of wire balanced on a short pile of wood, porcelain and plastic is called “Everything Out at Once.”

Not every work teases so explicitly, and Dickie’s humour often reigns — another standout, a teetering snarl of pipe balanced on a wooden disc, is called “God Makes No Mistakes (Loretta Lynn)” — but herein lies the engine of her remarkably dynamic, idiosyncratic works.

You can see them as sculpture, which they absolutely are (she has sense of material, proportion and scale that would do any classicist proud), and there’s a sly Minimalist name check to much of what she does, with her coils of copper pipe and other workaday castoffs. But her compositions are so enigmatically beguiling that, far from the cool materialism of her forebears, they exude a lovable, forthright charm.

Dickie’s works are forced out to fend for themselves in a world where their function, as art or anything else, is to be determined. It’s a nice little reflection of their creator, who seems to use her array of objects and the mash-ups they become as a proxy for making sense of things in a much, much bigger sense for herself — something she, like any of us, struggles with mightily. With her progeny let loose in the world to find their own way, she might just be assembling an army of fellow travellers for us all.

- Murray White

To see the full article please visit The Toronto Star.

For more information about Georgia Dickie please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: As a Body Reviewed by NOW Magazine

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Our current exhibition As a Body, guest curated by Kari Cwynar, received a review from NOW Magazine.

Cooper Cole’s themed show addressing the body features works by contemporary women artists, all of them internationally recognized but many showing in Canada for the first time.

The front window is occupied by Lauren Luloff’s batik-inspired male nude. Painting with bleach on a bed sheet, she gives the male figure a casual exoticism reminiscent of Matisse’s odalisques. Seeing the male figure treated this way makes you wonder why it doesn’t happen more often.

Columbia graduate Mira Dancy, whose loose, expressionism-inflected figures paradoxically emerge with an effortlessness that comes from obsessive practice, is fascinated by contemporary folk magic. Her large-scale triangular cloth piece is based on a hoodoo wrist charm, infusing women’s long history of soothsaying and charm-making with a bold, painterly sensibility.

A triptych of portraits on leather hides by Allison Katz catches subjects in moments of sad contemplation. Ghosts of past illustrative traditions – fashion illustration and sign painting most consistently – haunt her work, making the emotional depth in her figures all the more arresting.

Staring through the batik nude in the window, you can see to Jody Rogac’s semi-nude photo of a young woman on the back wall. Naked from the waist down, feet planted firmly, the woman’s expression remains guarded and unreadable.

Holding the show together are Jenine Marsh’s glistening ceramic tongues, playfully scattered throughout the space. Given that the human tongue covers such a broad range of activity, they are fitting mascots for the show. 

To see the full review please visit NOW Magazine.

For more information about As a Body please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Sara Cwynar Reviewed by Frieze Magazine

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar had her recent show in New York reviewed in Frieze Magazine.

Sara Cwynar’s artist’s book, Kitsch Encyclopedia (2014), patches together the writings of Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard and Milan Kundera in an attempt to cata­logue a world completely coated in a layer of kitsch. Cwynar draws her definition of the term from Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Sim­ulation (1981), which defines kitsch as a manifestation of the ‘hyperreal’ – simulations of the world that have started to matter more than the reality they represent. Cuckolded by its own image, reality is reduced to what Baudrillard calls a ‘fetish of the lost object – no longer object of representation, but ecstasy of degeneration and of its own ritual extermination: the hyperreal.’

Kitsch Encyclopedia provides the theoretical basis for Cwynar’s latest body of work, ‘Flat Death’ (2014), a collection of photographs that exacts a kind of ‘ritual extermination’ upon the hyperreal by confusing representation and reality. The show was anchored by two large prints from ‘Contemporary Floral Arrangements’ (2014), a series in which the artist enlarges found illustrations of elaborate bouquets segment by segment, then manually tapes together the various sections to form a flat surface. On top of this newly reconstituted picture, Cwynar carefully covers the original contours of the blooms with assorted colour-coded knick-knacks, and photographs the composition from above. Technically novelty items, the objects – which range from birthday cake candles, hotel soaps, remote controls, pencil sharpeners, trading cards and pill boxes to Scrabble tiles and a button boasting ‘Japanese Americans for Reagan/Bush’ – register as more nostalgic than new, leaving no true clues as to when the photographs may have been taken.

Across the gallery, Cwynar presented excerpts from multiple series, hung side-by-side in simple black frames, almost like a filmstrip. If there was a narrative, however, its tale was of how a flat image of an object can be transformed into a 3D object itself, only to later return to two dimensions as a photograph. Starting with found or staged pictures, Cwynar’s images are then scanned, enlarged, cropped, reconstituted, repopulated, rephotographed, and reprinted. The artist makes no attempt to disguise her interventions. The distortions of the ‘Darkroom Manual’ series (2013–14) result from direct interference with the scanning of diagrams sampled from a how-to book for budding photographers. (The effect is akin to the exaggerated static seen interrupting important broadcasts in cartoons.) For Toucan In Nature (Post It Notes) (2013), Cwynar took a snapshot of the tropical bird and surrounded it with a foliage of green highlighter tabs, photographing the resulting collage. The ‘Plastic Cups’ (2014) series begin as sculptures: towers of plastic plates and tumblers set against the backdrop of a crude blue tarpaulin. Cwynar photographs and enlarges the images, but then adds references to historical architecture, via grainy photos of Corinthian columns or Islamic domes. She prints out each image in black and white segments, covering the seams with short strips of brightly coloured tape that align like crosshairs over the focal point of
the final photograph.

While the layers of Cwynar’s imagery can be picked apart, the photographs resist being pinned to a time or place. The black and white portions of the ‘Plastic Cups’ encourage a comparison to historical documents but, even when left in colour, the pictures elude exact dating through their casual use of modernist kitchenware. This leaves the enigma of the title: ‘Flat Death’, two terms Scotch-taped into a vexed juxtaposition. The first term is troubled by the fact that, while the images the artist ultimately presents are flat, they remain aggressive advertisements for their brief existence as 3D objects; the second by the fact that, while reality may be finite, the hyperreal can never truly die, it merely gives way to other representations. The true mystery, then, is how Cwynar makes these longstanding observations feel so contemporary.

- Kate Sutton

To see the full article please visit Frieze Magazine.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Mark DeLong Essay on The Rusty Toque

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Gallery artists Mark DeLong was recently profiled on The Rusty Toque.

I was recently told that the American artist Kerry Tribe has described the making and presentation of artwork as a “tiny bit radical”–radical in that making and exhibiting art is tied into slowness and contemplation, things that are not popular in the contemporary culture we’re living in.

When I first met Mark around eight years ago, he was making work that was somewhat popular in Vancouver, or at least the sort of thing you might see around. Artists like Jason McLean and Keith Higgins and Marc Bell had become sort of West Coast affiliates of a Royal Art Lodge methodology, but made unique in a Pacific Northwest way in which their drawings were not twee, or precious, but more psychedelic and intuitive; messy and unpretentious. Some of those artists are still making some of that work. That is just fine.

Mark’s work now consists of ceramics and abstract paintings. Completely abstract paintings. No wishy-washy abstract figuration, zero ‘investigation’ into anything. He’s just picked up a Modernist interest and run with it. Because I suppose there is still more, at least as far as he can see, to be done with Abstract Expressionism, or just Abstract painting, or Action Painting, Automatisme. The only other male artist that I know of working with ceramics is Grayson Perry, who was momentarily popular and won the Turner Prize for his fairy tale type ceramic works, usually decorated vases. They were quite beautiful. I don’t hear much about him now. But Grayson Perry presented as a cross-dresser. He picked up his cheque for the Turner Prize in a gaudy, campy dress, accompanied by his wife. So inherent in his work were multiform gender issues, I suppose. Ceramic being women’s work, ostensibly. Perry’s ceramics in that regard were political, whether he/she intended them to be or not. If you make ceramic vases, and you walk around East London in a wedding dress, people will obviously start to make connections about gender politics, male v. female art–I don’t know exactly what point he was trying to make if any, but his manner suggested a politicization of his product.

Mark is a father of two. He has large muscles. He is working class. And he makes ceramics, egg shaped ceramics, wonky bizarre ceramics that look like oversized versions of what a child might make (in the 1970’s) as an ashtray for their parents in art class. They are very beautiful. They’re neither feminine nor masculine. They’re artefacts he makes by hand. The need to even attach gender labels to the production of art in 2013 seems unnecessary. It’s been covered. Boring. It could be said then, that Mark, as a heterosexual male, working class father of two, producing ceramics that are fragile and delicate, is somewhat radical. Denying the idea of this ‘craft’ being the sole domain of female artists.

But this isn’t the case. What is inherently radical about Mark’s work is his complete and utter disinterest in any of these issues. He’s making sculptures post-gender. Essentially with each ceramic he is creating a product which communicates the idea that the issue has been dealt with. I think Mark works in ceramic because he’s found that he enjoys doing it, that he’s good at it, and that sometimes, a ceramic egg is the most appropriate vehicle with which to deliver whatever aesthetic he’s interested in at the moment. So in this sense to me the work is radical, in that he is so far removed from the politics of the work he makes. It is a radicalism of complete nonchalance and disinterest. He’s not saying this work is not female work, or hey look I’m a man making work primarily designated to be created by female artists; what he is saying (or rather doing)–is demonstrating that ceramic is a very nice way for an artist to make art. Regardless of what’s inside your pants. An egalitarian gesture which denies the issue even being relevant anymore. To me this is a radical gesture.

Again with his paintings. There aren’t a whole lot of people making fast abstract paintings right now. Save the few who have become re-interested in minimalism, and again are using the most awful word in contemporary art: “investigation”. There are many artists who are still, seeming to not understand that DeKoonig dealt with this half a century ago, dabbling in abstract figuration. Look here’s an abstract painting, but wait! I see a face in it! Cicely Brown likes to bury her pornography in abstract painting. It’s a bit of a Where’s Waldo trope. There are words for this in psychology. Apophenia is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns in random data. More specifically, Pareidolia is literally what children do when they look for anthropomorphic imagery in clouds. What do you see in the sky honey? I see a bear Mommy etc. In fact it’s just water vapour, but you need to keep your kids entertained. There is a surfeit of this work being made right now, and in the recent past, so my contention is that there is no need to make more of it.

I feel that making completely abstract paintings right now is compelling, in that everyone thought that was all over. Looking at Mark’s work I imagine they are mostly done in a day, one sitting. The white is raw canvas. If I were forced to compare them to any genre, I would say that he is making Ab-Ex paintings. Some look like early Albert Oehlen paintings, and some look a bit like Stuart Davis (I realize both are not Abstract Expressionists)–but Mark somehow, even if there is a minute resemblance to those artist’s work, has managed to morph his own into what look like good old Clement Greenberg approved Abstract Expressionism. So some people might say that in 2013, to reengage with Abstract Expressionism is a radical gesture. Again this is not what I feel is radical about the work.

Ab-Ex art extolled the artist as mystical shaman, a serious thinker, tortured (Mark is hilarious), heavily involved in Poetics and Eastern Religion and just having an awful time in their head feeling quite tortured and unhappy. All the weeping in front of Rothko, even he had to kill himself. If you’ve spent time at Mark’s house, it’s not the Cedar Tavern. It’s a good time. The only visible clock is Garfield, his googly eyes trailing you all over the room like Mona Lisa and his tail swinging back and forth like a pendulum. I don’t see much angst in his life. He does not appear to be tortured. I don’t think he is suggesting his hand is a conduit between the canvas and God.

Here are the titles of some Cy Twombly paintings (mystical genius, exiled in Rome, multi-million dollar paintings, born in the wrong century, cliché cliché cliché…)

Leda and the Swan
Venere Franchetti (completely washed out painting that looks like it took about two hours)
Olympia
The Bacchus Series
The Supplement, 2006 – Sotheby’s Estimate 8 – 12 million USD
Bacchus Psilax (?)
Sunset Gaeta
Ferragosto III
Nine Discourses on Commodus
Untitled (Bolsena)
Quattro Staggionia
Poems to the Sea (how will they hear these poems?)

Why does Cy use Italian so much? Everyone knows he was born in Lexington Virginia! But, don’t get me wrong. Cy Twombly is a very good, important painter, and influenced many people. Without Twombly there would have been no Jean Michel Basquiat. His work is important. I like it. It’s messy and strange, drippy, hastily crafted, and once in a while he likes to write a word on the picture from some Greek Myth or something out of Dante. That’s fair, there was a time for that. But in doing so, he was, like Jackson Pollock, an exemplar of the artist as Gnostic and Mystic and Guru on the Mount.

Here are the titles of some of Marks’ paintings, which are messy, and sometimes drippy, and hastily crafted, and full of dashes and blotches of strange colour and weird forms and confusing geometry;

Dan is So Stupid
Tall Grass no Phone
Portrait of Mick Jagger (completely washed out abstract painting that looks like it took about two hours)
Lady Baltimore
Pour me out the Window
Excellent Service
The Branch hit the Window
Grapes (there is no purple or green in this painting)

Twombly notoriously lived in a castle outside of Rome. He had a lot of statuary. The gardens were sublime. Long strolls reading Diogenes in the original Greek. Perhaps an obscure tailor made hat, the name of which only a handful of people in the world can pronounce.

Mark lives in a coach house in Strathcona. Next to his front door is a framed photograph of the actor Denzel Washington. DFW. David Foster Wallace? Denzel Fucking Washington!

On its surface the work is straight Ab-Ex painting. But the radical nature of what Mark is doing lies in the way he undercuts the arch-seriousness and pomposity of that genre of work with his titles. Dan is So Stupid could be called Elegy in Green and Yellow, For the People of Pompeii, something in Greek, For Frank O’Hara, Eulogy at the Funeral of Holofernes. But it’s not. It’s called Dan is So Stupid. I know Dan, he’s not. And again, if Mark were consciously trying to undercut and satirize the mystic self importance of rich white male abstract painters from America in the 1950’s, there would be an angle there to explore, a hook for people to hold onto. But I don’t believe that’s what he’s doing at all. So again the work is radical in its absolute and complete indifference to the history of the very painting he’s working on.

It occurs to me that this might appear that I am saying that Mark is naïve. He’s not. He is a self-taught artist, this might be why his work is so good. He isn’t encumbered by the manifold expectations of the audience, worried about the issues inherent in his work, concerned with awful things like investigating, and interrogating painting. Self taught is best taught. Mark is a smart guy. That intelligence is apparent in his complete and total dismissal of ‘issues’ in art. Art about issues, it doesn’t work. What we’re doing is Visual Art. Does it succeed visually is really the only issue that matters. And Mark’s work does succeed visually. He makes very beautiful work.

The possibility exists that his paintings and ceramics can be viewed as political, but that’s not his fault. Don’t blame Mark for that. The beauty of art is it’s polysemic nature in which everyone’s reaction is a correct reaction, and the intention of the artist in completely irrelevant. Political art tends to be stultifyingly boring. And rarely succeeds as visual art. You really only need to look at one Barbara Kruger to understand all of her work. This is not to discredit her work. Felix Gonzales Torres made political work that was beautiful to look at. Mark however isn’t a woman struggling to be noticed in a male dominated New York art world, Mark isn’t a gay artist who has died of AIDS. The politics of a middle class white male living in a world class city; there’s not much to work with there, and were he to attempt to approach it from that angle, it would be tired white guilt, or amelioration, or apology art. The reason that Mark’s work is unique and interesting is because he is doing it the old fashioned way. Because he has to, because he enjoys it, and because he does it well. And in 2013, to make work from this position, is also a tiny bit radical.

Brad Phillips – January 24, 2013

To see the full article please visit the The Rusty Toque.

For more information about Mark DeLong please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Vanessa Maltese Reviewed By Magenta Magazine

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Gallery artist Vanessa Maltese had her recent show at the gallery was reviewed in the latest issue of Magenta Magazine.

For her first solo exhibition at this gallery, Toronto-based Vanessa Maltese, who has made a name for herself as a painter of sharp and smart abstractions, put aside her brushes and presented a minimal, yet surprisingly gallery-filling, installation. With a few deceptively simple gestures, Maltese’s installation, The Compleat Gamester, lead me down a couple of interpretative paths.

First, the installation felt like a piece of institutional critique, a sly look at the idea of being ‘allowed’ to interact with art, and how we approach artworks physically and psychologically within the white cube. Observing gallery-goers during the show’s run revealed the level of discomfort some feel in such spaces. Towards the front of the gallery, Maltese seemingly placed a barrier that stopped some people in their tracks. This ‘impediment’ was nothing more than a grey strip of wood with the outline of hands cut into either end lying on the gallery floor. It could have been stepped over easily, but people paused, pulling back their children or picking up their dogs, wondering if they were permitted to proceed through the installation.

Of course, we were expected to step into the installation, the middle of which contained yellow billiard balls, clustering on the gallery floor, and two large, red silhouettes of men’s profiles hanging across from each other. Once ’inside’, I couldn’t help looking at the display as a metaphor for the art world, the billiard balls amassing in some areas of the floor – like dealers, artists, curators and collectors grouping together in major centres, and forming cliques within them – and the two large profiles as the art world’s gate-keepers – the blue-chip galleries, superstar artists, and jet-setting curators and collectors, making the decisions on what art will be sold, made, seen and purchased, and thereby deemed ‘important’. Standing in the middle of this large ‘game board’, it also crossed my mind that both New York’s Chelsea gallery district and Las Vegas’s casino strip are full of ‘dealers’ – speculating on art on a par with trying your luck at the poker table.

Considering the billiard balls further, it also occurred to me that the gallery containing Maltese’s installation is in the middle of Toronto’s rapidly gentrifying Little Portugal neighbourhood. Once home to dozens of smoky and somewhat dingy men’s clubs (containing pool tables, of course), the storefronts now contain galleries, hip bars, coffee shops and restaurants, and independent clothing and design retailers catering to the young couples and families moving into the area. It seems the rules of the games we’re made to play – whether in the art circles we’re part of or the neighbourhoods we frequent – are always changing.

To see the full article please visit Magenta.

For more information about Vanessa Maltese please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Brie Ruais Featured in Magenta Magazine

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Brie Ruais had her recent show at the gallery reviewed in the latest issue of Magenta Magazine.

As technology expands its relentless infiltration into our everyday lives, experience itself becomes increasingly linked to some form of technological interface. The way we see the world, the world of language and of things, and how these things are seen and absorbed, is rapidly changing. First-hand experience of an event or an object is rapidly becoming replaced by the second-hand experience of viewing via monitors. Flat, weightless, sensually deprived projections on a screen that have the removed presence of a spectre or apparition. Broken souls with no mass or volume representing a complete removal or relegation of the body.

With these thoughts running through my mind on a drizzly Saturday, it was refreshing to come across a work titled Nearly Torn Away (2013) by American sculptor Brie Ruais at Toronto’s Cooper Cole. The work, a large rough circular ring composed of glazed ceramic, is explicitly about the body and emphatic about its connection to it. Clay is perhaps one of those artist materials that most effectively reflects the interface of body and action, recording and preserving directly the physical impressions made upon it. These interactions could not be more explicit in this work. The artist begins with a block of clay (measured to match her own personal weight) and frames her ensuing activity with a directive or set of instructions, a basic formal strategy that informs the physical, performative aspect of the work. “Push clay in two directions from a central starting point” or “push it out from the centre as far as it will go.” The end result is a physical manifestation of the aforementioned prescribed actions, traces and impressions of direct human contact.

From across the gallery, the piece resembles a rusted metal ring, a blown-up version of something you might find embedded in an asphalt road, repeatedly run over and subjected to years of elemental abuse. As you approach, however, the impressions and details of touch become more and more apparent. Beyond primitive, the work exudes a sort of basic primordial exuberance, reveling in its own simplicity and directness. It touches on all those things contemporary life seems to be in the practice of shedding. In its simplicity and directness, Nearly Torn Away represents a desire for an increased awareness of our own physical selves and a desire to represent this awareness in a tangible, non-reproducible object, which, to be understood, must be seen in person or not seen at all.

To see the full article please visit Magenta.

For more information about Brie Ruais please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Sara Cwynar Reviewed by New York Times

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar was recently reviewed by Roberta Smith for The New York Times.

The artifice of photography is elastic and alluring, and has allowed many younger artists to build on the achievements of the early-1980s Pictures Generation. Among them is Sara Cwynar — a graphic designer by day, and photo-artist by night — whose witty, visually rich images make an excellent impression here.

Ms. Cwynar’s medium-size works range from simple distortion of found images (achieved by jiggling them as they entered the scanner) to dizzying mixtures of appropriation, photography, rephotography, collage and studio setups. In the making of an image, she works on the horizontal and then on the vertical, slices up and then reassembles her images and also shifts from black and white to color film. It seems that Ms. Cwynar (pronounced SWIN-ar) wants a photograph to be anything but coherently two-dimensional. (Possibly to avoid the “Flat Death” of her show’s title?)

In “Toucan in Nature (Post It Notes),” the bird sits among weirdly stiff, geometric leaves. They are actually covered with hundreds of green Post-it arrows, stuck to the image, which was then rephotographed. Things are further confused by the pieces of masking tape that hold the sheets of the image, which has been cut into a grid, in place.

“Islamic Dome (Plastic Cups),” a shadowy black-and-white image, is even trickier regarding space and process. Its vaguely architectural arrangement of plastic cups and objects is seen against a backdrop of a black garbage bag, but the whole image is visibly seamed, and the seams are joined with little bits of colored tape.

Some of Ms. Cwynar’s images are too simply self-referential, but this show indicates that when it comes to confounding the eye and mind, she has a lot to work with.

Her current exhibition at Foxy Production continues through May 3, 2014.

To see the full post please visit The New York Times.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Sara Cwynar Interview on Aperture

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar was recently interviewed by Christopher Schreck for Aperture about her recent exhibition at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia.

Blending elements of photography, sculpture, collage, and design, Sara Cwynar’s work explores the processes by which images and objects acquire, change, and lose their meaning over time. In her most recent series, “Flat Death,” the New York—based artist reimagines vernacular images as dense arrangements of found objects. By employing various analog and digital methods of intervention, she produces striking, highly textured imagery that confirms the expressive potential of seemingly archaic materials through the subtle subversion of photographic tropes.

In addition to her recent second monograph, Kitsch Encyclopedia, Cwynar will follow her current exhibition at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, Philadelphia with her first solo showing in New York. Flat Death will open at Foxy Production on Friday, April 4th.
Christopher Schreck: Until recently, you were a staff graphic designer at the New York Times Magazine, where you produced the same brand of imagery you’re dealing with in your work. How would you say that experience has informed your practice?

Sara Cwynar: Working at the Times was a really formative experience for me. Producing content for commercial and editorial purposes gave me a much better understanding of the way images work, how they’re affected by context and time. Commercial imagery is really about reflecting a particular moment—some images might stand the test of time, but many become dated almost immediately after they’re made. But I also feel like that’s become complicated by the fact that there seems to be a lot of nostalgia in design and photography right now. There’s a lot of combing through image archives for inspiration, talking about how cool and kitschy and funny these old images are to us now. What’s interesting is that people often don’t seem to think about how the images they’re currently making will inevitably share the same fate. It’s something I try to build into my work now. I like the idea of my pictures embracing that process, of retaining this sense of bad taste, while still being contemporary.

CS: It’s interesting, because while it’s a given that commercial images are both driven and ultimately superseded by these cycles of fashion, it seems to me that artworks often function the same way.

SC: Exactly! I’m very interested in the idea that the highly produced art images we see in galleries are subject to the same degradation in value and taste as anything else—that they can become just another item we use and leave behind. It’s something I actively try to build into my images, where they look at first like simple recastings of throwaway imagery, but then, upon closer inspection, reveal themselves as being something else entirely, almost like a trompe l’œil painting.

All the images we make are subject to some sort of change in value and reading as soon as we put them out into the world. It’s really clear when you look at how images circulate online: they enter the stream and end up in unpredictable places. For example, when you see my pictures at reduced sizes on a screen, you really can’t tell what’s going on. They just look like the original, mundane images, so people might not realize they’re really looking at an intricately composed artwork. If you look at how my work has progressed, my images have been getting denser and denser, and that’s in part because I wanted to make them harder to read in passing, online. My earlier “Color Study” pieces flipped around the internet too easily. There was no reason to think you weren’t getting the full experience of the work by viewing it on the computer—which is fine, since not everyone is in New York and can see the works in person. It’s a different way of experiencing the work. It’s hard to get much information out of a 600-pixel-wide jpeg. So in moving forward, I’ve wanted to make sure that what you’re seeing online is not the whole story.

CS: You seem to be asserting a more pronounced materiality in this body of work: rather than using straight shots or scans as in previous series, many of these latest images were composed like mosaics, with separate sheets connected with colored tape. In other instances, you’ve layered post-it notes or stickers directly onto the print’s surface before re-photographing it. What led you to experiment with these new techniques?

SC: One of the major themes in my work is this idea of construction, which speaks not only to the way I physically combine objects and rebuild images, but also to how photography uses framing to create narratives, and how we as viewers draw meaning from those narratives. I see these new techniques as a literal way of reinforcing these ideas.

With some of these new pieces, I scan the original found image and use InDesign to make a much larger, segmented version of the file. Once that was printed out and arranged on the studio floor, I then re-build the images with various objects and shoot the piece from above. Working this way, I was able to get much deeper into the details and the tones of the original printed matter.

Incorporating these different techniques further confuses what’s already a complicated viewing experience, where each image initially reads as a kind of collage, but upon closer inspection is revealed to be a photograph of a still-life arrangement, a single image rather than multiple parts. The tiling approach allowed me to introduce another imaging technology into the process: these pictures now go from found pieces of printed matter to digital files, to low-quality laser prints, and back to high-quality analog film negatives before they are finally printed.

CS: As you’re composing these still-life arrangements, are you selecting items thematically? Do you expect your audience to find—or to invent—associations between those particular objects or images?

SC: What ties them together isn’t necessarily their specific content, but rather that they show how content and function can change or be lost over time. I think a lot about how these images were once the height of style, or that these objects once served a particular function. They will inevitably lose their relevance and get left behind, but they never physically go away. They’re still around, clogging up household junk drawers and remaining in our collective psyches, and that’s what I’m looking to as my source material.

I’m working with this huge, democratic archive that’s waiting there to be drawn from, making still-lifes from the debris I’ve collected, and re-presenting it all in a contemporary art context. Having said that, it’s also possible that certain aspects of the content might work its way into my pictures. I am drawn to the modernist idealism you find in mid-century printed matter: this sense of optimism that seems foreign, even naïve to us today. If you look through old issues of Life or National Geographic, it’s palpable, and it really captures something about the culture at that time. The same goes for book covers. I like to think that in reconstructing those images, my work might somehow retain that tone, because the truth is that I love this material. The items may be considered “tasteless,” but they genuinely appeal to my own taste, and I like the idea that by resurrecting them as subjects for art, I’m putting them back in “good taste,” so that others might find value in them again.

CS: Your first New York solo show opens at Foxy Production later this week. What can audiences expect from this new set of images?

SC: I really wanted the work in this show to span the tropes of the photographic canon, so I worked with a much broader range of imagery: there are commercial still-lifes, floral arrangements, nature photographs, tourist landmarks, encyclopedia images, printing tests, images from how-to manuals, and, for the first time, portraits. I think it’s a much more comprehensive overview of the medium. I’ve also been experimenting with new ways of approximating the tones of the original printed matter. In the “Display Stand” pictures, for instance, I isolate individual sections of the original image and construct still-lifes of those details using other objects. I then shoot those arrangements, shrink the photos down to 4×6 quick prints, and place them on top of the original image before making the final photograph, combining up to thirty different still-lifes to produce a single work.

To see the full interview please visit Aperture.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Travess Smalley featured in Forbes

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Travess Smalley was recently featured in Forbes Magazine’s third annual Top 30 Under 30.

West Virginia-born Smalley blends computer graphics with physical collage-making. His colorful pieces look like a cross between a painting and a screen saver. One piece has Rothko-like stripes in blues, greens and yellows, with what appear to be cut-outs layered on top. He has had solo shows in New York, Toronto and Milan.

To see the full list please visit Forbes.

For more information about Travess Smalley please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Lauren Luloff Reviewed in The New York Times

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Gallery artist Lauren Luloff was recently reviewed in The New York Times by Roberta Smith.

“As a painter, Lauren Luloff excels at the extremes of ideas and touch. Her mongrel conception of her medium — as painting, textile, patchwork collage, punctured surface and abstraction — and her equally confident handling of different materials and techniques, are sometimes more exciting than the results.

Of the collage-paintings in her latest show, the best is “Flame Violet and Golden,” which contrasts dark patterns with an explosion of pink, and was exhibited in a 2012 summer group show at Galerie Lelong in Chelsea, where it knocked me out. Nothing else here quite does that, although most comes close.

Starting with tight, primed muslin, Ms. Luloff applies swaths of patterned fabric that she sometimes finds but usually makes, either by block printing or by drawing with bleach on colored bedsheets. Areas of abstractly worked oil paint are added to some of the spaces between the fabric, as are cuts through the surfaces that may expose stretcher bars or the wire screening behind the muslin.

The range from tight to loose pattern, from pattern to expressive painting, is intriguing in concept, as is the emphasis on a painting as a physical object. But these works are often too arbitrary and random in totality. They lack internal sense, or rigor, especially in the application of the oil paint.

Repeatedly, it is the dark or earthy bleach-drawn patterns and motifs that draw the eye as the freshest, most convincing parts of the paintings, the areas where Ms. Luloff seems most engaged and present.”

For more information about Lauren Luloff please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Andrea Pinheiro featured in Magenta Magazine

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Gallery artist Andrea Pinheiro was featured in the recent issue of Magenta Magazine.

“In Pinheiro’s practice, as in Antonioni’s film, tacking photos to the wall is a gesture of continuance. Photographs can preserve unnoticed details that observers can discover later; attentive audiences can extend the life of a captured moment. Pinheiro sees that truth and raises it: the image on the wall may continue imparting information, and meanwhile persist in recording.

Often thematizing the receptivity of the photograph, Pinheiro’s work links sensitivity to objecthood. Mutability shows up in materiality; texture implies perpetuity. For the series Safn (2010 – ongoing), the artist painted onto pictures she took of the eponymous gallery space. Enlarged from postcard to poster-size, the applied paint reads almost sculptural.

The brushstrokes are explicitly expressionistic, the photographs implicitly so. Both are personal, and to some degree Safn comprises indexical portraits of the artist. The shots are casual; they are Pinheiro’s spontaneous records: unofficial souvenirs of an experience, preserved by the camera. The paint is her response to the prints, recorded by the brush. Both deliberately retain a certain crudeness.

The marks are elicited by the image, and the photos by the space. The space, in turn, is filled with others’ art. Pinheiro paints With Roth, On Fleury, Over Andre and Neuhaus. To this extent, Safn constitutes a series of unauthorized collaborations with iconic artists, anathematic to the traditional installation view.

Moreover, though, the series documents a synergy between audience and exhibit. Safn is a personal collection, housed in a home: effectively, Pinheiro also collaborated with the collectors. Their practices parallel: like collecting, photographing is a way to express through observation and selection. Both group things together in a context, and it’s this gestalt – the whole gallery – that Pinheiro paints with, on and over: zooming out is as important as blowing up.”

To see the full article please visit Magenta Magazine.

For more information about Andrea Pinheiro please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: NOW Magazine reviews Todd James

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NOW Magaine recently reviewed Todd James’ current exhibition.

“Viewers averting their eyes from Miley Cyrus’s tongue at the VMAs would have found her entourage of dancing bears more enjoyable. These were the brainchild of artist Todd James, who’s having his first Canadian solo show of paintings at Cooper Cole.

James, who began his career as a New York City graffiti prodigy named REAS, has collaborated with Eminem and Mobb Deep and done extensive work in production, film and animation. He is also an internationally recognized fine artist.

His ironic street sensibility is in no way dulled in this funny, fierce show of nudes that makes contemporary no-brow culture look nearly refined. James is obviously having fun – lots of it.

It’s a huge and colourful show, and funny as hell. The well-worn bourgeois aesthetics of Picasso and Matisse are weaponized into Tom Wesselmann-flavoured japes: big naked blonds lounging about, surrounded by cats and toting automatic weapons.

Once your laughter subsides, you appreciate James’s immense skill. He almost paints staid knockoffs of respectable modernism, but the palette is a too club-kid neon and there are too many touches of white-trash sass. One woman sports striped 70s tube socks, à la classic centrefold, while hoisting a joint. The cats, looking glum and neurotic, are pure comedy. It’s a little too much for an investment banker’s foyer.

The mashup of genres would be disorienting were they not so seamlessly unified. James parodies his styles with a lightness that betrays a deep immersion in their history: his visual language is as fluent as it is offhand. Like the rappers he’s worked with, his crude, comic patois is a breezy front for a profound, almost reverent literacy.

Pulling off a genre joke this blunt and sophisticated takes both balls and finesse. At the start of a grey Toronto winter, James’s high-octane nudes are an invigorating blast of heat.”

To see the full review please visit NOW MAgazine.

This exhibition continues at the gallery until December 7, 2013.

Click here to see photos of the installation.

Click here to view selected works from this exhibition.

For press and sales information please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1 (647) 347-3316

Press: Jeremy Jansen on Dust Magazine

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Jeremy Jansen was recently profiled by Dust Magazine.

Jeremy Jansen (b. 1979, Calgary, AB) works primarily in sculpture and photography. His recent exhibitions include “More Than Two (Let It Make Itself),” curated by Micah Lexier (The Power Plant, Toronto), “Untitled” (Cooper Cole, Toronto), “History” (Tomorrow, Toronto) and “Like Minded” (Plug In ICA, Winnipeg). His debut European solo show “Dirty Negative” (La Miroiterie, Paris) featured an accompanying monograph by the same name published by Editions FP & CF. Jansen currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

To see the full post please visit Dust Magazine.

For more information about Jeremy Jansen please contact the gallery.

Press: Lavalette in Conversation With Sara Cwynar

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar was recently interviewed on Lavalette.

“Arianne Di Nardo: The title of your latest series, Flat Death, is a term many may recognize from Barthes’ Camera Lucida. How did this concept inform your methodology; moreover, the themes at play in your work?

Sara Cwynar: For Barthes, the other punctum, the “prick” of the photograph is time, what he calls the “that-has-been” and its “pure representation” in photographic form – how a photo can palpably show you what was – bringing it back to life, while also showing you what is no more. The image produces death while trying to preserve life. I really like this idea for two reasons: first, in relation to resurrecting refuse and re-presenting it in photographic form; second, in terms of how all photographs work.

Barthes suggests this defeat of time is much more tactual in historical photographs; that “This punctum is more or less blurred beneath the abundance and disparity of contemporary photographs.” He wrote in the ’70s, and I wonder how this idea relates to our contemporary experience with images – not so much as individual objects but as a steady stream, largely undifferentiated from one another. It seems an important idea to rediscover. I also thought about this in relation to the supposed death of printed photographs; what does it mean that even the physical reproduction of the thing in the past is gone, that it increasingly never existed, but only passes on by screen? Barthes proposed that the photographic object could be destroyed, yellowed, dead, like anything else. Which is a nice metaphor.

The process began by materializing these ideas using a mix of contemporary and antiquated objects and images: decontextualized stock photos, digital and analog processes, resampling both objects and printed photographs in order to bring them forward and show they existed. At the same time, I wanted to remind the viewer that the originals are gone, and I was thinking about the effect these images might have on a shared visual consciousness.

I interact for hours and hours with found, saved, and collected images and objects in the studio. I hope that my work method might carve a space for dialogue on the ways that images work, on questioning aesthetic tropes, on spectatorship, on the reading of visuals. How many objects and images get discarded in the constant process of generating new ones? These concerns have come to the fore of my practice, after working for the New York Times and other editorial or commercial jobs, where I made the same type of pictures that I’m trying to mess with here.”

To see the full interview please visit Lavalette.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

Press: Denise Kupferschmidt featured on Artspace

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Denise Kupferschmidt was recently featured on Artspace.

Because you might have heard of Denise Kupferschmidt as an up-and-coming painter, your first thought might be that her work was surely an incisive commentary on the digital age, or a hypertheoreticaly discourse on formalism. Instead, Kupferschmidt is a formidable new painter for entirely different reasons. At age 35, Kupferschmidt shows a passion and sense of freedom in her craft rarely seen in artists her age.

To see the full post please visit Artspace.

For more information about Denise Kupferschmidt please contact the gallery.

Press: Graham Collins on Dust Magazine

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Graham Collins was recently profiled by Dust Magazine.

Graham Collins’ varied work blends painting, architecture and sculpture into a contradictory amalgam of ruin and stability. Canvases of spray painted monochrome hues are partially obscured behind a scrim of tinted glass and encased in frames made with salvaged wood. The tinted monochromes combine the artist’s appreciation of normative craft forms, specifically woodworking and DIY window tinting, with the canon of abstraction. Collins forces a harmony from the disparate cultural and aesthetic values associated with these different entities.

Taking a cue from Frank Stella’s dictum that “what you see is what you see”, the works function at first glance as minimalist forms, yet hold a bevy of specific information right on the surface. The weather-stained wood, the torn window tinting, the color, the shape of the stretcher, the heavy, sharp glass, a section of wall–all serve as a collection of marks that signify different histories. While pocked and torn in places, these planes still shimmer and act as a kind of mirror reflecting their surrounding environment. On closer inspection the viewer’s eyes focus back and forth on the surfaces of the glass, the canvas, the tinting – revealing what we ourselves look like when viewing an artwork.

Graham Collins was born in Washington, DC in 1980. He received his BFA from The Corcoran School of Art and an MFA from Bard College. Collins’ artwork routinely incorporates a wide range of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, woodworking, and architectural intervention. Solo exhibitions have been with Halsey McKay Gallery (East Hampton), the journal and Soloway, (Brooklyn). His work has been featured in group shows at Rachel Uffner Gallery, Derek Eller Gallery (NY), The Corcoran Museum (Washington DC), and Tät (Berlin), among others. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

To see the full post please visit Dust Magazine.

For more information about Graham Collins please contact the gallery.

News: Chris Duncan Interview on LVL3

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Chris Duncan was recently interviewed by LVL3.

Chris Duncan is an Oakland-based artist who employs repetition and accumulation as a basis for experiments in visual and sound based media. Often in flux between maximal and minimal, Duncan’s work is a constant balancing act of positive or negative, loud or quite, solitary or participatory and tends to lead towards questions regarding perception, experience and transcendence.

Outside of his studio practice he organizes events and runs a small artist book press and record label called LAND AND SEA with his wife. Duncan earned his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his Masters Degree in Art Practice from Stanford University.

To see the full interview please visit LVL3.

For more information about Chris Duncan please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar Reviewed by Canadian Art

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar had her current show reviewed by Canadian Art.

“Conceptual kitsch” might be the only adequate term to describe the work of artist Sara Cwynar. Born in Vancouver and raised in Ottawa, she studied design at Toronto’s York University and English at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia before relocating to New York and working as a graphic designer for the New York Times Magazine. Cwynar left the magazine earlier this year to work full-time on her art, the product of which is currently on view in Toronto at Cooper Cole.

Cwynar’s newest body of photographic work, Flat Death (2013), consists of careful arrangements of objects and images that the artist has then rephotographed.

The west side of the gallery is anchored by three such large-scale studies of floral arrangements. An evolution of Cwynar’s earlier Color Studies series (2012), these Contemporary Floral Arrangement works are composed of groupings of objects organized by colour atop enlarged photographs depicting flower-arranging techniques.

The bouquets in these prints bloom with the debris of everyday life: spools of thread, golf tees, paper clips, fancy toothpicks and more. Up close, each arrangement of items resembles the cluttered pages of an I Spy book. However, with slightly more distance, it becomes apparent that each component has been carefully placed upon reproductions of petals, pistils and leaves, following the contours of the image below.

A self-professed “hoarder,” the artist maintains a comprehensive and growing archive of objects, photographs and other ephemera that she describes as a medium or tool in her work. Cwynar’s humour and obsessive collecting impulses, already evident in the floral pieces, are also apparent in another series of 13 photographs. These tightly wrap an interior corner, creating an intimate viewing space that echoes the cloistered self-referentiality of a collector’s stash.

Images culled from Cwynar’s archive are reimagined in abundant, often overwhelming, ways. For the print Continuous Pour (2013), Cwynar appropriated images from photography manuals and stock food photographs as well as from her own previous work Bernardo with Props (2013); she then arranged these into a dizzying meditation on the title action.

Many of the works in the show can be grouped in pairs or trios, provoking viewers to look closely for additional references. Both Toucan In Nature (Post It Notes) (2013) and Gold – NYT April 22, 1979 (Alphabet Stickers) (2013) employ a technique whereby Cwynar enlarges an original archival image, then reprints it on several pages and reassembles it with tape. This collage then becomes a ground for embellishment—in these cases, with Post-it note arrows and gold alphabet stickers, respectively—before being rephotographed. The resulting images are delightfully kitschy and visually pleasing, but also evince the very involved process of their making.

Without subtlety—but with craft and wit—Cwynar invites us to look closely and to question hierarchies of image-making, as well as the changing nature of photography. The title of this body of work references Barthes’s famed phrase on spatial collapse inherent to the medium, while five prints titled Darkroom Manual (2013)—scans of instructional-text images of darkroom equipment—underline oscillations between digital and analog. (The floral works were shot and developed on film before being digitally printed, further signalling a play between different techniques.)

Overall, the works on view invite speculation on the ever-increasing space and time that seemingly disposable stock photographs and ephemera, and the tropes they have propelled, might occupy.

To see the full review please visit Canadian Art online.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar in Flare Magazine

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar is featured in the latest issue of FLARE Magazine.

Sara Cwynar is blessed with the gift of arrangement. The Vancouver-born, New York–based 27-year-old sped up the ladder in the graphic design world to get a job at the The New York Times Magazine (along with Bloomberg Businessweek, one of the most coveted spots for a designer) because of her talent at re-seeing and rearranging the familiar parts (headline, subhead, story, photo) into a fresh, make- you-double-take new whole. This past April, she quit to work on her art full-time—“I was installing shows on my vacation,” she says—and the fruits of her decision are on view at a Cooper Cole Gallery solo show in Toronto (Sept. 5–28).

As the title of one of her two books, Kitsch Encyclopedia, suggests, Cwynar is a collector of everyday objects. But, as with her graphic design magic, by reordering the obsolete and ordinary into colour coordinated groupings, she makes it extraordinary. Toy basketballs, thread spools and remote controls, in rich hues of lemon yellow, tropical green or poppy red, became colour-field mirages that make the viewer suspect the items have been spray-painted, or the photos retouched. Plastic figures frequently, like razors or bingo coins. “I’ve always been attracted to the myriad ways that colours are simulated,” she says. “Roland Barthes [describes] in a Mythologies essay how plastic never manages to simulate natural colour; it always fails, and has a distinct, particular plastic-y quality. I think it’s beautiful, this continued failure to accurately represent nature.”

Cwynar, who has also had images in the Museum of Modern Art and FOAM Photography Museum in Amsterdam, works away in her studio until the mess is prodigious—art supplies spill from under her bed into hallways and burst from cupboards and drawers. Pennies, plastic peaches, elastic bands and other ephemera are collected from her parents’ basement, eBay, flea markets and random neighbourhood junk shops: “The dollar stores here are just monumental.” At least 100 objects, from blue plastic forks to red candles, go into one colossal 3D bouquet she constructed and photographed for her new show. She also plays with reconfiguring pages from photo manuals from the ’50s to the ’90s, asking us to remember and value the discarded analogue process and, by extension, that old version of life itself, which, perhaps, like nature, we can’t capture, much as we try.

To see the full post please visit FLARE Magazine.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar Featured on The New Yorker

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Gallery artist Sara Cwynar was featured on The New Yorker.

“As part of our ongoing Emerging Photographers series, today we’re highlighting the work of Sara Cwynar, a Vancouver native who lives and works in Brooklyn. I have been following her work for a while, and was drawn in particular to the monochromatic “Color Studies” as well as the series “Accidental Archives”—both of which drew on a confluence of literature, kitsch, and photographic tropes, which she cites as inspirations. Most recently, Cwynar has been preparing for her solo show, opening this week, at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, where she will début a new collection of photographs called “Flat Death” (a reference to Roland Barthes). I caught up with Cwynar to find out more about the exhibition and her latest work.

You’ve described your work to me before as relating to “vernacular photography.” Does this apply to “Flat Death”?

Definitely! The process behind this work involves reprinting and scanning found images and reworking them in the studio, mixing them with new objects and materials—taking them out of the shared-image world and into a space for personal, often very obsessive intervention. Most of the reference images come from a huge personal archive I have of vernacular, pop-culture images.

I am interested in the steady stream of images that comes at us from different channels in everyday life, how these have helped to build and reinforce a shared view of the world. The pictures I have made are, in a sense, trompe-l’oeils. I am trying to foreground the experience in which the photo reveals itself to the viewer, where you unpack what the image is actually showing you. This happens with all the vernacular photos you see every day, but it happens too quickly to notice it. In this work, what might appear to be three-dimensional is flat, what might seem “beautiful” or “sophisticated” is made up of junk, and what might look old is new. The intention is to confuse the reading of the picture.

Is the history of studio photography something you consider?

Yes. I am interested in recreating certain familiar aspects of product shots and commercial still-lives. The reproduction of detail, for example, or a specific style of lighting. I take a lot of inspiration from old studio photos and how what is once fashionable or forward-looking can come to look absurd with changing styles.

Equally, I am interested in contemporary studio photography; the hyper-real, retouched images that we see everywhere. I want everything in my pictures to be intentionally unpolished, filled with mistakes, and tactile: the opposite of a clean, commercial image.

I like the idea of reinvesting the personal into a highly produced still-life image of the sort that would normally be used to sell something, and using objects that everyone has filling their junk drawers—lost or valueless objects—and presenting them as having artistic value.

Do you approach the categorization of objects in a pragmatic or theoretical sense? Or are the objects selected based purely on their aesthetic value?

Much of my work involves systems of categorization, particularly in relation to failed modernist ideas of obtaining and organizing the world, especially the idea that you could document everything through photography, which was a really prevalent idea at the medium’s beginning—that cameras would allow us to obtain the whole world in a sense, get the whole thing “objectively” on film. Organizing and manipulating my archive of saved materials in the studio is a way of controlling the world through images, organizing chaos, taking a small slice of the world and reworking it under my own terms.

Color plays a large role in your images. What informs the color choice?

I am really drawn to the way that colors morph—faded pinks on printed matter or colors in plastic (there is a great Roland Barthes essay about the way that plastic always fails to replicate natural color) and how scanning can warp colors and bring out new ones. I like colors that have been messed up by time and process.

Lastly, what are you particularly excited to share in the exhibition?

Maybe because it’s the last one I made, I’m really excited about the gold picture, “Gold—NYT April 22, 1979.” I love the way that fake gold photographs. Gold is a quality of surface that remains a recognizable color when it is captured in a photograph. In this image, I loved the number of different iterations of gold alphabet stickers that I was able to find, and how the photo has a false value to it because it is made up of cheap materials but reflects one of the few things in our world that retains its value. I printed it on metallic paper so it really glows, and the surface is very tricky to read.”

To see the full post please visit The New Yorker.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

Press: Jen Stark Reviewed on Akimbo

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Jen Stark’s current exhibition reviewed on art blog Akimbo.

“Jen Stark’s use of colour is anything but restrained. Her selection of works at Cooper Cole is all about pleasing the eye, dipping into Op Art territory and coming out in three dimensions. Her wall installations are all trippy, multicoloured swirls and drips; each in its own way also suggests movement. After the initial appeal of her vortex installations wears off, it’s a ceiling hung mobile of concentric rings that play with our expectations of volumes of space and an abstract sworl mounted slightly off the wall to allow a subtle glow of colour to emerge beneath that sustain my curiosity.”

To see the full post please visit Akimbo.

For more information about Jen Stark please contact the gallery.

Jen Stark’s current exhibition continues until August 24, 2013.

Press: Devin Troy Strother Interviewed in Magenta Magazine

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Devin Troy Strother was recently interviewed in the current issue of Magenta Magazine.

“Born in California, and now based between Los Angeles and Brooklyn, 27-year-old Devin Troy Strother makes work that combines painting, drawing, collage and sculpture, and reflects his experience growing up in a middle-class suburb of Los Angeles where he was “sometimes the only black kid in [his] class”. He brings this unique perspective to work that depicts decidedly contemporary scenarios that often feature joyful-looking African-American figures made from cut paper. Although celebrating black culture is Strother’s primary concern, subtle intimations of fraught African-American histories give the work weight. In the past year, Strother has had solo shows at Monya Rowe in New York, Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica and Bendixen in Copenhagen. His work was included in a two-person show at Toronto’s Cooper Cole earlier this summer. Here, Magenta editor Bill Clarke talks to the artist about how his early life influences his art, owning the ‘signage’ of Black American culture, and how one ‘gets a pass’ to drop the n-bomb.”

To see the full interview please visit Magenta Magazine online.

For more information about Devin Troy Strother please contact the gallery.

Press: Jen Stark Reviewed By NOW Magazine

Jen Stark’s current exhibition was reviewed by Now Magazine.

“Los Angeles-based artist Jen Stark doesn’t hang her work in galleries; she creates inter-dimensional rifts in their walls. Occupying a wholly original territory between painting and sculpture, she literally builds her complex vortices into walls or pedestals, giving the impression that they’ve opened into rainbow hued wormholes.

Behind each of these manifestations is a daunting degree of meticulous craftsmanship, handicraft and math. Stark’s three-dimensional spirals and eye-brain workouts are derived from a mix of sacred geometry and fractals painstakingly reconstructed by hand using brightly coloured paper, foam board and glue.

It’s Stark’s patient commitment to detail that lends her works their hallucinatory vividness. The geometrically precise swirl of Vortextural is made all the more compelling by the ambiguous rainbow-hued shapes around its rim.

She skirts the chaotic edge of her mathematically precise constructions in ways that make them more playful. And she’s not afraid to revel in the pure joy of colour running wild, as in Drippy, where it appears that a prismatic glob of colours has started to literally run down the wall from the gallery ceiling.

Dimension makes its visual impact with more restraint and elegance. A series of concentric rings suspended by threads to form a receding tunnel floating in mid-air, it evokes the colour spectrum and its perceptual trickery. Circling around it, however, you’re surprised to discover that the far side has been rendered in black and white, a monochrome inversion of the same work.
Pulsating, mathematically complex geometries bursting with colour are things we associate with waving glow sticks at 4 am. Stark gives these old psychedelic tropes a conceptual retrofit, infusing them with a clean, playful, contemporary edge.”

To see the full review please visit NOW Magazine.

Jen stark’s current exhibition continues at the gallery until August 10, 2013.

For more information about Jen Stark please contact the gallery.

News: Ryan Wallace Featured on Hunted Projects

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Gallery artist Ryan Wallace was recently interviewed by Hunted Projects.

“Through investigating Chardin’s theory of the omega point and Kurzweil’s notion of technological singularity, Ryan Wallace explores where Chardin’s supreme point of complexity, consciousness and evolution is relational to Kurzweil’s concept of super intelligence evolving through technological means. Perhaps this may be complicated for you if you haven’t read up on either Pierre Teilhard de Chardin or Raymond Kurzweil, though Wallace’s sophisticated process driven abstractions visually expand upon these concepts of evolution and technological acceleration through creating complex, heavily layered works that visually and metaphorically relate to the universal evolution of total consciousness.

Being fascinated with scientific existentialism, Wallace’s Terraform series explores Chardin’s Omega Point theory through creating heavily layered multi-media canvas works that visually evoke supermassive black holes. Made using oil, enamel, pigment, crystalina and cold wax, the Omega Point works are an indulgence into complexity and materiality, stimulating a sensory overload. Simultaneously, Wallace’s Consensus works are additionally a play on the senses through the creation of replica rock sculptures that are displayed within tinted vitrine cases that make it difficult for the viewer to decipher which rocks are the real, or the replicant. Whilst on the other hand, Wallace’s Tablet paintings mimic both the Omega Point works, and his earlier Glean series, by having the connected elements pushed to the surrounding edges of the canvas, as to allow the central void to be an area of flattened information.”

To see the full interview please visit Hunted Projects.

For more information about Ryan Wallace please contact the gallery.

Press: Georgia Dickie in FLARE Magainze

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Gallery artist Georgia Dickie has a small feature in Flare Magazine.

Georgia Dickie, 23, creates art out of found objects—rather menacing found objects. A strip of metal perched on a hockey puck looks like a snake about to strike, while the rusty old propeller lurks under a stack of metal objects. “By arranging combinations of objects, I attempt to describe the present moment,” Dickie says. “I engage in a continuous process of moving things around, building things up and taking things down, dismantling, rearranging, walking away and then revisiting.”

To see the full article please visite Flare Magazine.

For more information about Georgia Dickie please contact the gallery.

PRESS: SARA CWYNAR FEATURED ON SLEEK MAGAZINE

Gallery artist Sara Cwynar was featured on Sleek Magazine’s website.

“Hoarding – as anybody who’s ever filed away old receipts or napkins with scribbles on will know, is an addictive tendency. Once you’ve started documenting, scrapbooking and filing away, who’s to say where you should stop? For Canadian artist Sara Cwynar, the desire to hoard, a compulsion with collection, lies at the root of her work as an artist. For the installation Everything in the Studio (Destroyed), showing as part of the Young Talent programme at Foam Gallery, Cwynar took all the objects out of her studio at one given point, documenting each one and reconstituting it so it would fit in one corner of the room. The resulting exhibition is a colourful candy-coloured collection of lost objects, where traditional vanitas imagery mixes with the sheen of shiny plastic, a rotting piece of fruit, a plastic skull. But the memories are also bittersweet, and make me think of Don Draper’s comment in Mad Men, when pitching a Kodak Carousel: “Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek nostalgia literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again”.

Draper’s description of nostalgia fits well with Cwynar’s archiving tendencies. It charts a wish to go back in time, and find something that was lost. Cwynar builds her own personal record through objects gleaned from flea markets, images and photos picked out from encyclopaedias and objects snuck out from skips. Through the process of accumulation, she explores its function in constituting personal memories, and the way in which these images move around, circulating through different hands, in different ways. She explains her interest as a desire to explore “the ways in which we understand the world through images: how we view ourselves and our history through a shared image-based archive built from cultural fantasies and photographic tropes”. Is she a compulsive hoarder, then? “Collecting, taking and re-composing images in my art practice is both a means of satisfying a constant impulse I have to hoard and save things, and a means of breaking into the constant image landscape that surrounds me, grabbing a small piece of the world and reconstituting it under my own terms”. Once the first installation of Everything in the Studio (Destroyed) was completed, Cwynar forced herself to destroy it, and come to terms with her compulsive hoarding tendencies. That’s definitely one way to do it.

Internet culture, and the way in which you can comically juxtapose the ordinary with the extraordinary, is another influence at play in her work. The internet creates (or maybe recreates) a new image-world. Cwynar observes that, “consumer culture and the internet have helped to create an image-world that exists on top of the real world and has in many ways subsumed it – and the possibility of finding ways out of this system by appropriating and messing with many of its tropes, using vernacular, throwaway materials and outdated imagery, to question the consensus of what is worth taking a picture of, and the glossy surface of so much that we see”.

Andy Warhol’s dislike of nostalgia (he put everything in labelled boxes and stored it away in New Jersey, eventually chucking it all out) is a critical reference point in the exhibition. Yet while professing a discomfort with the concept, Cwynar’s work still carries a particularly nostalgic aura, seemingly harking back to 1970s photographic techniques. I asked if this was intentional, and Cwynar replied: “Yes, my photos and the colour values and modes of production are definitely consciously nostalgic. In my work I am working through my nostalgia both by constantly documenting everything with a camera and constantly collecting materials and objects – it satisfies a need to grab onto a bit of the world that will last, making an external record of experience. Warhol says he hates nostalgia but by acknowledging this he is saying that he actually is very nostalgic, he just can’t help it and wishes he wasn’t. This is how I feel too”. Nostalgia reminds us of the pain of past memories, encouraging us to hold on to the past. Thankfully, Cwynar’s also looking to the future.”

- Sophia Satchell-Baeza

To see the full post please visit Sleek Magazine.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

PRESS: SARA CWYNAR FEATURED IN MAGENTA MAGAZINE

Gallery artist Sara Cwynar is featured in the current issue of Magenta Magazine.

“Brooklyn-based Canadian Sara Cwynar’s photographs are informed by her collecting habits and propelled by her love of documentation. For the “Colour Studies” series (2012), Cwynar has accumulated a mass of objects and honours her “hoarding” obsession through the photographs, which read like still life arrangements, or images from catalogues or advertising. Cwynar composes her photographs in pleasing displays that are very personal, yet easy to relate to. Her acute attention to detail holds power on a micro scale yet, when looking at these compositions, the viewer feels a specific pull. In these photographs, relationships between items are highlighted, but the work is most concerned with colour. Cwynar neatly displays her understanding of aesthetics, meticulously organizing the noise of our material world.

Cwynar is a graduate of York University, and has exhibited her photos and installations internationally at The Magenta Flash Forward Festival (Toronto and Boston) Foam Photography Museum (Amsterdam), Ed Varie and Printed Matter (New York), Paul Petro Special Projects (Toronto) and the Royal College of Art (London, U.K.). Her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, 01 Magazine, and Bad Day. She was listed as one of Print magazine’s “20 Under 30 New Visual Artists for 2011”. Cwynar is represented by COOPER COLE in Toronto.”

To see the full article please visit Magenta online.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

PRESS: TESSAR LO ON JUXTAPOZ

Juxtapoz Magazine recently featured Tessar Lo on their website.

“Toronto-based Tessar Lo has a unique expressionistic style reminiscent of Basquiat or Anthony Lister. His dreamy, motion-filled paintings represent fragments of some free-flowing consciousness. Lo’s works draw energy from the visual language of children’s drawings, mysticism, symbols and totems. We love being able to see the artist’s hand so vividly in the strokes and lines of these dynamic, deeply engaging works.”

To see the full post please visit Juxtapoz Magazine.

PRESS: SARA CWYNAR FEATURED IN WE ARE SELECTERS MAGAZINE

Gallery artist Sara Cwynar was featured on fashion magazine We Are Selecters.

“Canadian photographer, artist and graphic designer, Sara Cwynar (b. 1985) combines photographic images with installations, collages and sculptures. She has a constant need to collect photographs, objects and all kinds of ephemera, which she then re-arranges and documents. Sara currently lives and works in New York.

For the installation, ‘Everything in the Studio (Destroyed)’, which is being exhibited at Foam 3h as part of the young talent program me of Foam, Sara Cwynar took all of the materials in her studio at one time, documented each items and arranged it into a digital plan where she could fit the entire contents into a corner of the gallery.

Sara attempted to install the archive according to the plan, which quickly began to fall apart as images and objects were not how she had remembered them. She left the materials for a month, then destroyed the whole thing, … so that she would be forced to purge the archive – allowing herself to start anew, and documenting everything only with a camera.

All that remains of this studio’s worth of materials is the image. ‘Everything in the Studio (Destroyed)’ by Sara Cwynar can be seen until 16th of May 2013 at Foam. An exhibition made possible by Van Bijlevelt Stichting and the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund.”

To see the full post please visit We Are Selecters.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

Press: Jen Stark Interviewed on Live Fast

Gallery artist Jen Stark was recently featured on Live Fast Magazine.

“A rising star on the global contemporary arts scene, her unique technique and her mastery of color and geometry fascinate. No wonder her intricate sculptural work – so hypnotic and colorful – has caught the attention of critics and collectors alike. You have to see it to believe it.”

See the full post here.

For more information about available works from Stark please contact the gallery.

Press: Artinfo names Georgia Dickie top 30 under 30

Gallery artist Georgia Dickie was recently featured in Artinfo Canada’s top 30 under 30 list.

“Georgia Dickie, 23, is an artist. She received her BFA from OCAD and has exhibited at Nudashank Gallery in Baltimore, MD; Toronto’s MKG127, Erin Stump Projects; the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the Oakville Galleries. In February 2013, Dickie will be participating in the Soi Fischer Thematic Residency Program with the artist, Artie Vierkant. She is currently represented by Cooper Cole and will exhibit her first solo show with the gallery in April.”

To see the full list (which also features COOPER COLE Director Simon Cole) please visit Artinfo.

For more information about Georgia Dickie please contact the gallery.

Press: Ryan Wallace on NY Arts Magazine

Gallery artist Ryan Wallace was featured on New York Arts Magazine.

“Do you see yourself as a painter? Do you care? I’ve always thought you fetishized the your surface.

RW: At the core yes, though sculpture has become increasingly important. These works still come from my understanding of painting. They are essentially still lifes. For me, abstract paintings have inherent psychological connotations. The sculptures that I make are generally recognizable things. The manner in which the realist objects are created, allow them to emote a similar tone to the abstractions I make with paint or collage materials. What they do is more important to me than what they are. I find that surface helps to unify the work. They have a kind of touch or attention to materials that is of my sensibility, rather than it all being the same style or thing. ”

To see the full post please visit New York Arts Magazine.

For more information about Ryan Wallace please contact the gallery.

Press: De-Accessioned featured on Artforum

Our current exhibition De-Accessioned was listed on Artforum as a critics pick.

“This is a surprisingly ambitious group show that doesn’t deal with deaccessioning as a reality (à la Michael Asher) but instead mines that term for the institutional mystery and intrigue it suggests. Deaccessioning is the shadowy process whereby museums get rid of works in their collections. As such, many of the works in this show are packed for transport—either rolled up, crated, stacked, or leaning against the walls. While some pieces overlap (notably Laura McCoy’s thickly worked foamcore boards resting within Georgia Dickie’s tape outlines), even those that are relatively clearly displayed are still essentially submerged into artist-cum-“curator” Lucas Soi’s overarching image of the show.

Operating like Louise Lawler in reverse, Soi arranged this show like a studio photographer composing an allegorical image of one of a museum’s darkest secrets. He even added crates when most of the work probably arrived at the gallery in the back of a cab. This sculptural intervention makes clear the disingenuous nature of Soi’s claim to “curate.” His decision to deploy Matthew Brown’s paintings rolled up and arranged on the floor as a grille or grating speaks to this as well, revealing him, in this exhibition at least, to be a sculptor more at ease working materially with the work of others.

The reversals—between paintings becoming sculptures and those sculptures themselves existing somehow “photographically,” almost posed as in a portrait studio—produces a fascinating aura of fake candor that through clear insincerity manages to release a weirdly affecting emotive yelp. Ultimately, it is this collision of confidence with insecurity, bubbling up from many of the tentative paintings themselves, which gives the show its own life.”

To see the review on line please visit Artforum.

De-Accessioned continues until January 19, 2013.

Join us for a talk with curator Lucas Soi this Saturday January 12, 2013 / 3:00pm – 4:00pm.

Press: Maya Hayuk featured in Brooklyn Magazine

Gallery artist Maya Hayuk was recently featured in Brooklyn Magazine. 

See the article here to get a look inside Maya’s studio.

“What are the three inanimate things you’d save first in a fire?
All of my external hard drives, my archive of photographs, the pillow my grandmother embroidered in 1923, when she was 13 years old.”

Press: Jen Stark featured on It’s Nice That

Gallery artist Jen Stark was recently featured on It’s Nice That.

“The Miami-born master of colour and form embraces complexity but in a fully inclusive way, creating pieces that are both immediately satisfying and infinitely intriguing.”

To see the full post please visit It’s Nice That.

 

Press: Sara Cwynar feature in Macleans

Gallery artist Sara Cwynar received a nice mention in a recent Macleans article profiling Canadians at the art fairs in Miami.

“Cooper Cole gallery has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of Toronto’s West-end gallery scene, thanks in large part to star pupil Sara Cwynar, who along with a mini army of CC’s best and brightest, will be featured at Miami Project, the freshman of this year’s slew of satellite fairs. Born in Vancouver but based in Brooklyn, Cwyer, a graphic designer and illustrator who moonlights as both at New York Times magazine, has the impressive resume, the of-the-moment aesthetic, and just-the-right dose of attention from just-the-right tastemakers to make us all think one thing: girl’s about to blow.”

To see the full article please visit Macleans online.

Press: Geoff McFetridge Interviewed by Artinfo

Artinfo recently ran a feature on Geoff McFetridge interviewing him about his current show at the gallery.

“When graphic designer and skate-culture icon, Geoff McFetridge, was advertised to be exhibiting new work at Toronto’s Cooper Cole – what is increasingly becoming the city’s platform for young, international, and typically pop-minded talent — one could hear the country’s subterranean street culture step a little closer to the surface. Former art director of the Beastie Boys’ underground “Grand Royal” magazine, and typography designer for Sofia Coppola’s “Virgin Suicides” and Spike Jonze’s “Where The Wild Things Are,” the Calgary-born, LA-based McFetridge has earned his credit on a stratified cultural playing field [such that even his more corporate clients, like Pepsi, Nike, and Gap, seem better for his touch (not McFetridge worse for theirs)].

Amid these various design-centered, multidisciplinary initiatives, McFetridge has long maintained a presence in the art world, presenting solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, London, New York, and Japan. Uniquely, “Floating,” McFetridge’s exhibition at Cooper Cole (on until December 8) marks the artist’s first show in Canada.”
-Sky Goodden

To see the full post please visit Artinfo.

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Geoff McFetridge featured on The Grid

Our current show with Geoff McFetridge was featured in this weeks issue of The Grid.

Pick up a copy of The Grid or see the article online here.

“In “Passing,” for example, one of the paintings in McFetridge’s current show, two cyclists ride by each other in opposite directions, yet the tension between them is palpable. McFetridge captures the exact moment they meet, a moment full of potential that we sense will go unfulfilled. The cyclists could turn to look at each other, they could dismount and chat, they could fall in love. But they won’t—they’re just passing. “You grow accustomed to working with the language of your culture and then you realize it’s actually universal,” he says.”

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Geoff McFetridge Interviewed by SLAMXHYPE


Our current show with Geoff McFetridge was featured on SLAMXHYPE.

McFetridge was interviewed and profiled in his Los Angeles studio space for the article.

“I draw many many pieces when before I do a show, developing imagery. Images really carry my paintings as technically they are extremely simple and flat. For me it is the image that is central to every painting. The images come out of things I see, or imagine I saw, or ideas that I continue to explore and repeat. Much of the work involves figures, rendered in their most simplistic form. Once I have an image that resonates with me, I really refine it, reducing it to the point to where it is almost falling apart visually. I am interested in visual cliches. For years my graphics came out of finding, and inventing and tweaking common language and graphics. The work was not referential though. I was not appropriating images. I have tried to make original work that somehow felt familiar, so familiar that it feels appropriated.”

See the full post on SLAMXHYPE.

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

 

Press: Art Forum Critic’s Pick Chicago Imagists Group Show

Gallery artists Anders Oinonen and Marc Bell are both included in the current exhibition at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago. This exhibition explores work by contemporary artists who draw inspiration from an earlier generation of artists known as the Chicago Imagists.

The show was chosen by Artforum as a Critics’ Pick.

“…reminds viewers of the original movement’s loosely associated idiosyncrasies: figural forms, often with a combination of hieratic graphic precision and grotesque distortion, comic juxtaposition and cryptic text, recurrence of motifs and the suggestion of hidden or symbolic meaning, and strong colors not of the Pop art Day-Glo variety but out of comic books, Surrealist painting, and homespun craft.”

To see the full article, visit ArtForum.

DePaul Art Museum
Afterimage
September 14 – November 18, 2012

Press: Geoff McFetridge Featured on Complex

Our current show with Geoff McFetridge was previewed on Complex.

“At Toronto’s Cooper Cole Gallery, McFetridge’s signature style and humor sings through neat compositions with even neater titles. The show is titled Floating.”

See the full post on Complex.

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Maya Hayuk featured on Design Milk

Our recent show with Maya Hayuk was featured on Design Milk.

“This wall covered in layered canvases becomes a three-dimensional installation of criss-crossing, brightly colored lines full of eye-catching depth.”

To see the full post please visit Design Milk online.

For sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Geoff McFetridge Previewed on 12ozProphet

Our upcoming show with Geoff McFetridge was previewed on 12ozProphet.

“Los Angeles-based, Calgary-born artist Geoff McFetridge is set to open Floating at Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto on November 9, 2012. This will mark McFetridge’s first show in his native land of Canada.”

See the full post on 12ozProphet.

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Geoff McFetridge Previewed on Trendland

Our upcoming show with Geoff McFetridge was previewed on Trendland.

“You should already know artist Geoff McFetridge for his work with The New York Times, Colette or Nike. His very graphic signature style of pastel colors and simple shapes made him famous in the graphic design and art world. McFetridge has an upcoming new solo exhibition at Cooper Cole in Toronto, so if you are around, you should definitely check it out!”

To see the full post visit Trendland.

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Geoff McFetridge previewed on Juxtapoz

 

 

 

 

 

Our upcoming show with Geoff McFetridge was previewed on Juxtapoz Magazine.

“An artist we cover on the site often, and one who has become a painter with an increasingly signature style and approach to the age old idiom, ‘less is more,’ Los Angeles based, Calgary-born Geoff McFetridge is set to open Floating at Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto on November 9, 2012.”

See the full post on Juxtapoz.

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Geoff McFetridge previewed on Lodown Magazine

Our upcoming show with Geoff McFetridge was previewed on Lodown Magazine.

Geoff McFetridge
Floating
November 9 – December 8, 2012

To see the full post visit Lodown Magazine.

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Permanent Demand Featured in NOW Toronto

Our current exhibition Permanent Demand featuring Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell, and Jesse Harris was mention in NOW Toronto Magazine.

“Art as product and commodity is the target of Permanent Demand, a group show of three artists. Together their pieces form a satiric trifecta that skewers art as both rarified object and capitalist fetish.”

“Andrew Jeffrey Wright addresses the theme with a series of drawings tracing the manufacture of “products” like a Nike sneaker, a painting and a baby. Paintings are made from a palette that includes noxious bodily fluids like “snot” and “pus,” and Nike sneakers apparently can’t be made without the blood of children. However bleak their underlying point, these lo-fi drawings still radiate a gleeful punk rock nihilism that brings to mind 90s kitchen-sink zines. ”

To see the full post please visit NOW Toronto.

Permanent Demand featuring Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell, and Jesse Harris continues until November 3, 2012.

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Permanent Demand Featured on Frameweb

Our current exhibition Permanent Demand featuring Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell, and Jesse Harris got a mention on Netherlands based design blog Frameweb.

“Running until 3 November at Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, Permanent Demand explores the ideas of art as a commodity and the consequences of consumer culture through the eyes of three very different artists: Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell and Jesse Harris.

Andrew Jeffrey Wright approaches the subject through both humorous and somewhat satirical line drawings or through colour permeated canvases; William Buzzell uses three dimensional collages to talk about consumerism, while Jesse Harris work is statement oriented, using readily available materials and familiar forms and language.

The work of the these three artists comes together in an eclectic dialogue that share the same preoccupations and influences of a generation.”

To see the full post please visit Frameweb.

Permanent Demand featuring Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell, and Jesse Harris continues until November 3, 2012.

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Jesse Harris featured on Juxtapoz

Jesse Harris’ recent mural project was featured on Juxtapoz Magazine.

“Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist, Jesse Harris, who was recently included in a group show entitled “Permanent Demand” at Cooper Cole gallery, has completed a new mural in the West Queen Street Neighborhood of Toronto. “You’ve Changed” is meant to comment on local gentrification of West Queen Street and to support a positive message to patients visiting the adjacent Centre from Addiction and Mental Health.”

To see the full post please visit Juxtapoz online.

Press: Permanent Demand featured on Beautiful Decay

Our current exhibition Permanent Demand featuring Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell, and Jesse Harris got a mention on art blog Beautiful Decay.

“If you’re in Toronto, or going to be before november 3, you should check out Permanent Demand at Cooper Cole Gallery right now. CC put together some smart, funny, and energetic pieces loosely about art and consumerism by Jesse Harris, William Buzzell, and Andrew Jeffrey Wright to make what looks to be a great show.”

To see the full post please visit Beautiful Decay.

Permanent Demand featuring Andrew Jeffrey Wright, William Buzzell, and Jesse Harris continues until November 3, 2012.

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: William Buzzell featured on The World’s Best Ever

William Buzzell was recently profiled on NYC based lifestyle blog, The World’s Best Ever.  

William explains the subject behind a selection of works from our current show Permanent Demand.

To see the full post please visit The World’s Best Ever.

For press and sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Maya Hayuk on Two Coats of Paint

Maya Hayuk’s current exhibition was featured on NYC blog Two Coats of Paint.

“Over the past decade or so, a slew of galleries have popped up in the west end of Toronto, giving the city’s art scene a much appreciated injection of vitality. The burgeoning contemporary art hub along the Ossington strip and west Queen West has garnered international attention and acclaim, and deservedly so. Here’s a quick round up of notable painting shows in Toronto this month.

With influences ranging from Ukranian Easter eggs to chandeliers to holograms, Maya Hayuk’s Multi Versus could be described as psychedelia for the 21st century. Organized chaos reigns on canvases splashed with vibrant rainbow hues, intermixed with freehand geometric line work. A member of artist collective Barnstormers (other members include Chuck Webster, Doze Green, and Ryan McGinness) and frequent collaborator with a variety of musicians including M.I.A., The Beastie Boys, and Animal Collective, Brooklyn-based Hayuk’s oeuvre also includes silk-screening, set design, video work, and internationally commissioned murals.”

To see the full post please visit Two Coats of Paint.

Maya Hayuk’s exhibition Multi Versus continues at the gallery until October 6, 2012.

To view photos of the installation please click this link.

For press and sales information please inquire with the gallery.

Press: Ryan Travis Christian featured on New City Art

Ryan Travis Christian was recently listed as one of the top 50 artists working in Chicago by New Art City.

Ryan Travis Christian has one of the most strikingly recognizable styles in Chicago right now. His monochrome graphite drawings pull cartoony caricatures into chiaroscuro smokescreens—hallucinogenic residue or a terrorist’s daydream? The compositions are complicated, the figures unnerving. His 2011 exhibition, “The River Rats,” at Western Exhibitions, set the stage for his meandering, twisted path to portraiture; a crisp Surrealist interpretation of the after-dark alley cat junk aesthetic so readily plucked from 1920s Disney animations, yet recall the human comedy and tragedy of James Ensor’s masks. Christian is also an energetic promoter of peers on the web, resulting in invitations to collaborate on drawings exhibited around the country.

To see the full list please visit New Art City.

For more information about available works from Ryan Travis Christian please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar featured on Paper Mag

Gallery artist Sara Cwynar received a nice mention on Paper Mag.

“Brooklyn based artist Sara Cwynar is a graphic designer and illustrator for The New York Times Magazine as well as an avid collector of all sorts of shit. Her most recent solo show, “Accidental Archives” was a selection of wild, color-coded mini dioramas of her possessions that were photographed and displayed at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto. All of Cwynar’s work is worth exploring but her projects “Kitsch Encyclopedia” and “Paranoia Archive” are two of my favorites that you can view along with much much more on her website. ”

To see the full post please visit Paper Mag online.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery.

Press: Ryan Wallace featured on Sight Unseen


Gallery artist Ryan Wallace was recently featured on Sight Unseen.

“To get an idea of how Ryan Wallace approaches materials, look no further than one of the walls of his studio, made from the kind of slatboard paneling that a Chinatown souvenir shop might use to stack metal shelves full of I ♥ New York T-shirts. When Wallace found the studio last year, it was perfect otherwise — a clean, well-lit space above Paulie Gee’s pizza in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, right near his apartment. “At first I thought the wall was kind of gross,” he says. But he slowly began to accept it on a purely functional level; the way things could be hung at different heights was ideal for a painter. “I thought, ‘What can I do with this?’ A thing like that gets planted in my head, and eventually it finds its way into the next thing I’m doing.”

If this open-minded approach to materials is the foundation of Wallace’s work, an interest in existential scientific questions is its overriding concept. Growing up on the East Coast, Wallace was never particularly spiritual or religious, but he always found himself reading special editions of Time about the latest theories of the universe. His formal education at RISD only proved to him that artists and scientists are more alike than not. “We’re both on some sort of quest for discovery,” he says. He’s been fascinated in recent years by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which served as an inspiration point for his one-man show at Morgan Lehman Gallery earlier this year. For “Cusp,” he created three new series of abstract paintings — Glean, Atlas, and Tablet — which, as their names suggest, meditate on information overload, geography, and data in different visual ways. From a purely material perspective, they use soft solids like oil, enamel, ink, graphite, PVA, Mylar, artist tape, and cut paper, stretched and bound and sorted and scored into a four-cornered ordered object. As physical objects, however, they are layered and compressed with so much visual data that they become, as Wallace puts it, “a surface that stores information.”

To create the pieces in his new series, Wallace began cutting into the paintings and building them from the inside out. The collage-based paintings consist of a fastidious arrangement of hundreds of tiny pieces of paper and tape leftover from other projects. A sheet of Mylar is glued over the whole thing, leaving random-looking air bubbles in pockets over the piece. “The Mylar gives this kind of neurotic process an element of total chance,” he says. “If it was just little things arranged on a surface, it would be too design-y for me.” But it’s also consistent with his process. “I never use anything the right way,” he says. “You’re definitely not supposed to wrap a canvas in Mylar.”

Using materials the wrong way, however, seems to bring serendipitous results. A series of freestanding vitrines for his show at Morgan Lehmann used automotive tints and one-way mirror film to raise some plaster casts he’d made of ordinary rocks to the status of sacred object. “My work’s not sarcastic in this way, but I’m using stuff that 16-year-olds put on their Civics to be macho and fancy,” Wallace says. “And at the end of the day, I also think they’re really beautiful. Whenever I go from painting to printmaking to sculpture, it’s always about what can this medium do that that medium can’t do.”

For Wallace, a little discovery — like how his Mylar paintings ended up having a waxy surface texture — can result in an entire body of work. He even found a couple of 4x8s of his studio’s god-awful paneling in the stairwell of the building earlier this year, and he’s now begun using it to make pedestals. He even may be beginning to like it. “It’s scrappy, it’s industrial,” he says, listing off a few adjectives he considers compliments. “And it’s got this design element to it, but it’s a crummy one. That balance of elegance and crum is really important to me.”

To see the full post and accompanying photo essay please visit Sight Unseen.

For more information about Ryan Wallace please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar featured on 1883 Magazine

Sara Cwynar’s exhibition Accidental Archives was featured on London, UK based 1883 Magazine’s blog.

“Canadian photographer Sara Cwynar uses what could otherwise be seen as junk to create a beautiful colour spectacle. In Accidental Archives, Cwynar has collected objects over the last decade and meticulously arranged them into colour order to create a vibrantly retro collection giving your average household goods a new lease of life.

“It’s about working through all the junk and souvenirs and photos we accumulate,” says Cwynar. “And also the collective body of photographs we see and understand in our culture.”

You can see Accidental Archives at the Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto until Saturday.”

To see the full post please visit 1883 Magazine’s blog.

Press: Sara Cwynar Featured on American Photography Magazine

Sara Cwynar’s exhibition Accidental Archives was featured on American Photography Magazine’s blog.

“If you’re a collector of some sort, chances are you’ll appreciate Sara Cwynar’s project “Accidental Archives.” Using objects that she accumulated over the course of a decade, Cwynar has sorted them out by color, and photographed them on a background of the same shade. The result is a series of somewhat eerie still lifes, in which all sorts of things compete for attention with each other. My favorite might be the green one, in which the jaw of some scaly creature finds itself next to a can of soda, and a few plants. It’s actually not the first time that we’ve seen a photography project which groups together objects of similar colors; back in April, we wrote about JeongMee Yoon’s “The Pink & Blue Project,” which looks at the way that color has come to be associated with gender. Cwynar’s project is a little more personal in nature than Yoon’s, but it also shows the way we hoard objects today.

This work is on display at Toronto’s Cooper Cole Gallery until August 18.”

To see the full post please visit  the American Photography Magazine blog.

For press and sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar featured on Fubiz

Sara Cwynar’s current exhibition was featured on Parisian design blog Fubiz.

“La photographe canadienne Sara Cwynar nous propose de découvrir ces clichés et cette série « Study of Color » réunissant des objets qu’elle a pu collecter pendant une décennie, le tout rangés par couleur. Un aspect visuel très réussi à découvrir à la Cooper Cole Gallery à Toronto, et également dans la suite de l’article.”

To see the full post please visit Fubiz.

Cwynar’s exhibition Accidental Archives continues at the gallery until August 18, 2012.

For sales and press inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Summer exhibitions reviewed on Akimbo

Both of the summer exhibitions at the gallery received a mention on Canadian art blog Akimbo.

Writer Terence Dick has this to say about our summer group show Zagga Zow:

“Cooper Cole has an especially eye-popping display of energized work under the exclamatory rubric Zagga Zow. A lot of the work focuses on figures and faces; combine that with the electric colour palette and a psychedelic sense of humour, and you get a show that leans heavily in the direction of underground comics (yet another cross-over!). Participating artist Marc Bell is well known for his trippy panels of dense image and wordplay, while Taylor McKimens has a definite Gary Panter-thing going on. I’m not sure what to make of the mock-tribal art of Charlie Roberts and the racist-caricatures of Devin Troy Strother. Summer fun breaks down for me at this level of political incorrectness, unless I’m missing the underlying critique.”

He also comments on Sara Cwynar’s exhibition Accidental Archives:

“In the back, and not officially Zagga Zow, Sara Cwyner has the kind of maximalist, floor-to-ceiling assemblage that turns my crank. The overall feel is actually one of mourning as this (like Pascal Grandmaison’s similarly elegiac installation at Prefix ICA) is a shrine to the soon-to-be-lost era of darkroom photography. It’s funny/sad how quickly the once-familiar negatives strips and photomat bags have disappeared from our visual culture. It reminds me of how I had to explain what a film cartridge was to a class reading Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Times change, but photography, not simply in content but in form, is memory.”

To see the full post please visit Akimbo.

For press and sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar featured on Fast Company Design

Sara Cwynar’s current show was featured on Fast Company’s Design blog.

“Cwynar’s latest series, Accidental Archives, pushes her archival instinct to an almost obsessive place. Each photograph shows a carefully arranged selection of her belongings, organized by color. “The concept began as a means of working my way through this massive collection of images and objects that I am always gathering and saving,” she explains to Co.Design. “Then I arranged the collections into still lifes, starting with the color but moving on from there to contain narratives and ideas.”

In yellow, lemons and Kodak photography supplies mingle. Pink, of course, is the most gendered photograph–hair curlers, cleaning gloves, and flowers–and an ominous cellophane carton of uncooked meat. Photos are much in evidence, too. “The photos deal with the tropes of photography,” Cwynar says. “I collect examples of traditional forms of photography: the studio still life is most prominent here, then the class portrait, the news photo, the product shot, the leftover photo of your ex-boyfriend, the souvenir postcard, and many others.”

“It’s about working through all the junk and souvenirs and photos we accumulate,” adds Cwynar. “And also the collective body of photographs we see and understand in our culture.” Accidental Archives is on view now at Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto.”

To view the full post please visit Fast Company’s Design blog.

For press and sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar featured on Designboom

Sara Cwynar’s current exhibition Accidental Archives was highlighted on Designboom.

“canadian photographer sara cwynar has produced a body of works consisting of personal artifacts that have been collected for over a decade, entitled ‘accidental archives’. the installation assembles a miscellany of objects and possessions arranged to represent an insight into the artist’s life and creative process. cwynar extends the concept by organizing her belongings into smaller color coded formats, creating mini dioramas that inform the photo editions.

these visual cross-sections are a contemporary take on classic still life photography, where what starts as a study of color, evolve into a variety of narratives that speak on ideas such as gender roles, consumerism, and mass consumption. the work is on show at the cooper cole gallery in toronto, canada through till the 18th of august, 2012.”

See the full post on Designboom.

Sara Cwynar’s exhibition Accidental Archives continues until August 18th.

Press: Sara Cwynar mentioned on the New York Times

Gallery artist Sara Cwynar received a review of her current exhibition Accidental Archives on the New York Times blog.

“Sara Cwynar, an artist and a designer at the Times Magazine, takes collecting to the extreme. She told me that she constantly amasses objects, both to satisfy her “hoarding impulses” and to compile a historical record. This winter, while contemplating a move from her Bushwick apartment and studio, Cwynar began to feel that her personal archive was becoming an unhealthy burden. When approached in January to do her first solo exhibition, she had an idea that would make use of her entire collection and ultimately force her to get rid of it all.”

To read the full review please visit the New York Times.

For press and sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Juxtapoz Magazine covers Zagga Zow

Juxtapoz Magazine featured our current exhibition Zagga Zow on their blog.

“Cooper Cole in Toronto is hosting a great line-up in the group exhibition, Zagga Zow, now on display through August 20, 2012. Cooper Cole went into the deep trenches of the urban dictionary to find out what Zagga Zow means, and they came up with “A word with literally no definition.” In the meantime, Matt Leines, Larissa Bates, Devin Troy Strother, Marc Bell, Charlie Roberts, John Riepenhoff, James Kirkpatrick, Anders Oinonen, and Sara Clendering are all showcased.”

To see the full post please visit Juxtapoz online.

For sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Lauren Luloff Mentioned in the New York Times

Lauren Luloff recently received a New York Times mention in a review written by Roberta Smith.

“Lauren Luloff’s “Flame Violent and Golden,” which seems pieced together from textile remnants that are actually hand-painted on different scraps of cloth, using bleach. It has some of the scenery-chewing exuberance of Julian Schnabel, which is quite refreshing.”

Read the full article online on the New York Times.

For more information about Lauren Luloff please contact the gallery.

Press: Sara Cwynar Featured on It’s Nice That

Sara Cwynar was recently featured on London, UK based design blog It’s Nice That.

“One of Print Magazine’s 20 Under 30 New Visual Artists in 2011, designer Sara Cwynar is proving herself to be mighty popular in the design and visual arts world. A young and self proclaimed graphic designer and artist, Sara’s work is the toast of many a trendy blog with her vivid colours, readily-viewable mood boards and open passion for all things magic. The combination of the dreamy things that inspire her, combined with her very impressive and professional knowledge of layout – see The New York Times Magazine, where she works – makes her a curious rarity, and definitely one to watch.”

Read the full article at the following link.

Cwynar will be presenting a new body of work this summer at the gallery in a solo exhibition titled Accidental Archives.

For more information please contact the gallery.

Press: Ryan Travis Christian & Marissa Textor on Artlog

Ryan Travis Christian and Marissa Textor’s current exhibition It Ain’t Conceptual featured on Artlog.

“Marissa Textor and Ryan Travis Christian are not only long-time friends, but also share a serious love for graphite. Hailing from Los Angeles and Chicago, respectively, the pals recently flung open the doors of Toronto’s Cooper Cole gallery to present It Ain’t Conceptual, a selection of their latest work.

Textor’s painstakingly photorealistic graphite drawings depict forces of nature at their most ruthless and unsympathetic. Her exquisite, clinically objective renderings could almost pass for monochrome photographs. She’s not interested in drawing from her imagination—real life, she says, is much more interesting. In turn, photography has always gone hand-in-hand with her sketches. The images of explosions, oddly shaped foliage, rocks, animals, and water could have been taken yesterday or fifty years ago, imbuing them with a sense of timelessness and familiarity. A few slightly more abstract works adjust, layer, and distort images, marking a departure from the rest of her oeuvre.

Christian’s work mixes ’30s cartoons with ’80s design, evoking reactions ranging from humor to disgust. Vulgar at times, poignant at others, the 29-year-old’s psychedelic sketches are full of energy, explosions, jazz hands, manic patterns, and bulging eyes, focusing on conjuring a fractured, multidimensional depiction of time and space. His works on view have hints of a vintage Disney dream world, though Christian uses characters all his own to speak to the cultural politics of that era. When he’s not drawing, Christian curates exhibitions, DJs for Chicago’s Club Nutz, stages comedy and noise shows, and writes about fellow artists.”
- Tiffany Jow

To see the full post please visit Artlog.

Ryan Travis Christian & Marissa Textor’s exhibition It Ain’t Conceptual continues until May 20, 2012.

For press and sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Ryan Travis Christian & Marissa Textor on Juxtapoz

Ryan Travis Christian and Marissa Textor’s upcoming exhibition It Ain’t Conceptual was previewed on Juxtapoz Magazine.

“Tonight, April 27, in Toronto, Cooper Cole Gallery is hosting It Ain’t Conceptual, featuring new works from Ryan Travis Christian and Marissa Textor, two up-and-coming artists that we have had on our radar for quite some time, and we quite excited to see showing together. With Christian’s vintage cartoon aesthetic, and Textor’s photoreal graphite drawings, this will be a really strong show.”

To see the full preview please visit Juxtapoz Magazine.

Press: Marissa Textor on New American Paintings

New American Paintings posted an interview with Marissa Textor previewing images from her upcoming two person exhibition with Ryan Travis Christian at COOPER COLE.

“Marissa Textor’s graphite drawings are hyperrealistic and vivid. With her pencil, Textor bends and molds shades of grey and white seamlessly, creating images so true to life that they appear to be photographic.

Her subjects vary, but she often creates images of pre- and post-destruction, conjuring an extreme sense of foreboding or impending devastation. Somehow this momentum she captures lingers with you as a viewer.”

To read the full interview please visit New American Paintings.

Ryan Travis Christian & Marissa Textor
It Ain’t Conceptual
April 27 – May 20, 2012

Opening reception: Friday April 27 / 6-10pm

For press and sales inquires please contact the gallery.

Press: Tessar Lo & Mark DeLong Reviewed By Canadian Art

Tessar Sebastian Lo and Mark DeLong’s current exhibitions at the gallery received a review from Canadian Art.

“Currently on view at Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto is an exhibition that juxtaposes bodies of work by two Canadian artists of distinctly different practices—one more emotional and illustrative, the other more conceptual and abstract. Interestingly, both artists’ visual gestures still fit with gallery owner Simon Cole’s long-time interest in street-based art practices such as graffiti, stencil and paste-up.

The larger portion of Cooper Cole’s floor space (which is fairly large for a Dundas West location) is dedicated to “Past, Present, Past-Present,” an exhibition of new paintings by Toronto-based artist Tessar Sebastian Lo, while the smaller rear gallery hosts “No Cover,” a small collection of works by Vancouver-based artist Mark DeLong.

DeLong’s work is described on the gallery website as a blending of the abstract and the representational, though its representational qualities perhaps owe more to the quirky titles of the paintings than to what can be deciphered from the canvases themselves.

Bagels for Lunch, for example, is a recent work by the self-taught DeLong that forces me to look for these aforementioned bagels; though I do eventually allow myself to settle on a shape that could be a man eating a bagel, I wonder if DeLong is manipulating me, using the dichotomy of image and language as a tool of suggestion, the way a psychiatrist would ask someone what they see in an inkblot.

DeLong’s 2012 work Grapes boasts an equally absurd relationship with its title. While I feel certain that there are no grapes to be found in this image, I’m amused by the dry humour and confidently lazy brushstrokes that distinguish DeLong’s work; while most likely unintentional, I can’t help recalling the accusatory painting in Ad Reinhardt’s famous “What do you represent?” comic. The rich colours and suggested narratives induce a perplexing interrogation of the work, a mode that is certainly more in line with contemporary practices than the effects found in the adjoining exhibition.

I found Cole’s inclusion of Lo’s more expressive work to be somewhat cheeky given DeLong’s drier approach. Though Lo’s and DeLong’s works both speak to a mix of abstraction and representation, the similarities end there. There is no time for self-referentiality or apathy in Lo’s paintings; instead, they are urgent with understated angst.

Lo’s work, for me, cannot escape the distinct feel of outsider art—although the artist is an graduate of the illustration program at Sheridan College and has been exhibited nationally and internationally—and similarly, its ties to symbolist archetypes.

Still Life, Before, (no suggestive titles here) is a large painting that feels cumulative of all of Lo’s preferred symbols (or, as he refers to them, totems). The surface is an unusual blend of pastels and surly darknesses, depicting a bird’s-eye view of a tabletop with Cézanne-esque fruits, clocks, compasses, a knife, eggs, and what seems to be a disembodied pair of hands and a face.

This work by Lo—and all his others here, in fact—provide surreal documentation of the fleeting moments in time in which we make decisions that lead us down one path or another, whether we choose to dwell in the past, letting our relative melancholies consume us, or to become resilient en route to the present.

While my studies in art history presuppose that I should be more stimulated by the conceptual nature of DeLong’s work, I can’t help but feel drawn to Lo’s paintings, and to the emotional honesty which informs them.”

Written by Mariam Nader.

To view the full review please visit Canadian Art.

Tessar Sebastian Lo’s exhibition past, present, past-present, and Mark DeLong’s exhibition No Cover continues until April 22, 2012.

For sales and press inquires, please contact the gallery.

Press: Mark DeLong Reviewed on The Huffington Post


Mark DeLong’s current exhibition at the gallery received a review on The Huffington Post.

“DeLong paints abstract color-based works that are both monumental and a bit childlike. With titles like “The Beat Broke in Through the Window and Stole My Poem about the Shelf” and “Ducks Crossing Oppenheimer”, the artist invites us to look for a narrative in works that would normally be thought of as pure abstraction. With each search for a story we are navigating through DeLong’s acrylic jungle, and it can be easy to get lost. And yet, like all good artists, DeLong continues to explore the difficult relationship between abstraction and representation.”

To read the full review please visit The Huffington Post.

Mark DeLong’s exhibition No Cover continues until April 22, 2012.

To see a full list of available works from DeLong please visit his artist profile.

For sales and press inquires, please contact the gallery.

Press: Brendan Monroe on Hi-Fructose

Brendan Monroe was recently interviewed by Hi-Fructose Magazine and speaks on his current exhibition at the gallery.

“Oakland, CA based artist Brendan Monroe continues his visual research with a new body of work. These new works were gleaned from ideas he has been experimenting with over the last year, leaning towards physics and astronomy to stimulate his influences. His current works, a combination of paintings and sculptures, are currently on view at Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, Ontario.”

To read the full interview please visit Hi-Fructose Magazine.

Brendan Monroe’s exhibition “Observations of Light & Matter” continues at the gallery until March 25, 2012.

Press: Brendan Monroe

 
Brendan Monroe’s current exhibition at the gallery has been featured on both My Modern Met and The Huffington Post.
 

“Just yesterday, a brand new exhibition started at Cooper Cole Gallery in Toronto, Ontario called Observations of Light and MatterBrendan Monroe tells a story of a world filled with unique personalities and imaginary organisms. His dream-like scenes show human figures on a quest to find out more about the world they inhabit.”

See the full post on My Modern Met.

 

“The flowing forms and ambiguous movement of Monroe’s work has the capacity to satisfy the most aloof daydreamer and the hard-nosed computer scientist in one swoop — both become lost between wormholes and immersed in network data. No matter your approach, “Observations of Light and Matter” is sure to leave a lasting impression.”

See the full article on The Huffington Post.

 
Brendan Monroe’s exhibition Observations of Light & Matter continues at the gallery until March 25, 2012.

Press: Brendan Monroe Previewed on Juxtapoz

Brendan Monroe’s upcoming exhibition “Observations of Light & Matter” was previewed on Juxtapoz Magazine.

“On March 2nd in Toronto, Cooper Cole will be presenting a solo exhibition by Brendan Monroe, Observations of Light & Matter. Monroe, in his first solo exhibition in Toronto, will be presenting a series of paintings and sculptures that explores his scientific and imaginary organisms that have appeared in his work over the past few years, often inspired by science and often times directly derived from past scientific observations.”

To see the full preview please visit Juxtapoz Magazine.

Press: Ryan Travis Christian Review In Frieze Magazine

Ryan Travis Christian received a review for his most recent exhibition in issue 145 of Frieze Magazine.

“Death is not death in children’s cartoons – characters bounce back to life no matter how absurd the violence. This warping of mortality informs Ryan Travis Christian’s art works. His chiaroscuro graphite drawings recall the black and white Disney cartoons of the 1920s. The ‘River Rats’ series (2011) stylistically puns on the happy rodent Mickey Mouse, whose human aspirations Christian drowns in the gutter. A new cast of villains emerges, too: the blobby type with vacant eyes that multiplies at will, high on hijinks and frightful in their conformity. In nodding to early Disney animation, Christian fills in his characters with the cultural politics of that era. The hugely influential Disney animator Ub Iwerks emigrated from Germany to the US and gave life to Mickey. Iwerks was responsible for defining the Disney style and developed it simultaneous to German Expressionism. His Skeleton Dance of 1929 redefined the age-old dance-of-death genre for children, and Christian borrows freely from the campy horror of Iwerks’ cult classic, where a graveyard is a playground for death to rattle out its funeral song. Here, humour is horror in disguise.”

To read the full review please visit Frieze Magazine.

Ryan will be exhibiting in a two person show with Marissa Textor this coming May.

For press and sales information please inquire with the gallery.

Press: Andrew Schoultz & Jen Stark in Juxtapoz

 

The March 2012 issue of Juxtapoz Magazine features two exhibiting artists at COOPER COLE. Andrew Schoultz is featured on the cover and has a full spread in the issue. Schoultz will be exhibiting alongside Richard Colman this coming June at COOPER COLE. Gallery artist Jen Stark also has a spread in the issue showcasing work from recent exhibitions. For press and sales information please inquire with the gallery.

Press: Richard Colman Studio Visit on Hi-Fructose

Hi Fructose Magazine recently posted a studio visit with artist Richard Colman showcasing an upcoming mural commission for the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills.

Colman will be exhibiting alongside Andrew Schoultz at COOPER COLE this coming June.

For press and sales information please inquire with the gallery.

To view more photos please visit Hi-Fructose.

Press: Anders Oinonen on Beautiful Decay

 

Anders Oinonen was recently featured on the blog Beautiful Decay. Below is an excerpt from the post.

Anders Oinonen, of Ontario, Canada, just opened “People people”, a solo show at Cooper Cole in Toronto. For a while now, Oinonen has been pushing the features of the face to new bounds in his paintings. The artist has removed familiar eyes, noses, and mouths from their intended plane, and inserted them along the lines of an Expressionist landscape. Such a presentation of the face -associated with communication of our inner life more than any other part of the body- in tumultuous states of despair and incredulity as stimulating blocks of color masterfully applied to canvas arranges a statement which is hard to miss and extensive in depth.

To view the full post please visit Beautiful Decay.

Press: Ryan Wallace & Chris Duncan on The Huffington Post

 

Ryan Wallace & Chris Duncan‘s exhibition Transmission Lines received some nice words on The Huffington Post.

“Ryan Wallace, hailing from New York, muses on roughly the same geometric form through various mediums and color capturing vastly different emotions, despite the seemingly minute differences between each piece. Over time the converging points in Wallace’s work cease to bec a reference point for the viewer, plunging the mind into a graceful drone. The texture of Wallace’s “Polemic” series are reminiscent of marble with minor speckled anomalies that make you search for answers.”

“Chris Duncan’s work zeroes in on an airy, ephemeral quality, approaching the notion of ‘undefined’ in a different manner. Duncan is less ambiguous with his materials, which are quite often crayon. However, in completely lacking any points of reference or geography, Duncan the same bewildering effect as his fellow exhibitor. Representing Oakland, CA, the lines of Duncan’s work are difficult to track, like staring into the bright California sun in an attempt to make out its shape. It is hard to tell whether the tonal lines are revolving around the circular mass depicted or if they are consuming it.”

Above is an excerpt from the review. To view the full article please visit The Huffington Post.

Transmission Lines runs until February 26, 2012.

Press: Anders Oinonen reviewed on Art Sync

Art Sync reviewed Anders Oinonens’ exhibition People People which recently opened at the gallery.

“While he dabbles in both more representational and more abstract artistic styles, Anders Oinonen’s most compelling paintings are his pseudo-portraits, in which basic elements of the face are assembled with wide brush-strokes and vivid colours. In People People, his current solo exhibition at Cooper Cole Gallery, faces are alternately combined and fragmented, all the while remaining instantly recognizable.

Oinonen clearly has a reverence for this often irrational aspect of human instinct, as his cheerful, child-like faces reflect Sagan’s “goony grin” right back at us. Indeed, his “Untitled” is practically the visual manifestation of Sagan’s idea: the child immediately locating a friendly face in the landscape. By choosing to approach the portrait in this manner, Oinonen still allows the viewer his sense of personal connection to the piece while also opening up entirely new possibilities for analysis.

So let’s dive into it: A tension apparent in People People is in defining the tenuous border between painting and subject. With his thick brushwork and garish colour choices, his pieces scream their identity as paintings rather than playing at representing reality. Ultimately, Oinonen appeals to the viewer’s natural tendency to search a painting for inherent “humanity,” no matter how loosely it represents this idea. In paintings such as “Lockung,” Danish painter Asger Jorn (Oinonen’s precursor and admitted idol) employs a similar technique, but with a critical difference: where in Jorn the simplistic face is layered over the landscape, Oinonen fuses the two. In doing so, he has relocated the human element to the very center of the painting, with the piece’s meaning constructed through the viewer’s recognition, rather than by the imposition of the artist. Oinonen’s portraits are thus highly interactive, inviting us to empathize with their subjects, all the while gently mocking our desire to do so.”

Above is an excerpt from the review, to view the full article please follow this link.