Our current show Hey Mars featuring the work of Scott Treleaven and Rachel Eulena Williams is featured on Art Viewer.
Artists: Rachel Eulena Williams and Scott Treleaven
Exhibition title: Hey Mars
Venue: COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada
Date: July 9 – August 15, 2020
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and COOPER COLE, Toronto
COOPER COLE is pleased to present Hey Mars, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of New York-based artist Rachel Eulena Williams and Toronto-based artist Scott Treleaven.
Rachel Eulena Williams works at the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Her reconfigured canvases unbind painting from the stretcher, avoiding conventional support systems and imagining a myriad of spatial contortions. Some works in this exhibition take this to the extreme: sprawling across the walls resembling assemblages more than canvases. In others, Williams pulls these shapes back into the frame, creating sculptural works that push out of the two-dimensional plane. Williams’ vibrant use of colour represents a critique of, and liberation from, Western art history’s ‘othering’ of colour, and its categorization as unruly, foreign, and vulgar. The artist embraces those colours marginalized by the chromophobia of the West, which defined them as both dangerous and superficial.1 Williams’ distinctive works question these restrictions placed on colour and shape, as well as how virtuosity is defined.
Scott Treleaven’s work is engaged with themes of perception, embodied mysticism, and queer alterity, aiming to re-locate abstraction as part of a transcendental, rather than purely formal, tradition. Using established aesthetic prompts, from pop psychedelic gestures to the arrangement of Neolithic stone sites, Treleaven’s paintings act as portals into ecologies of visual language and symbology, conveying ideas of sublimity and the ecstatic. The works begin with a representational image, which is responded to as a field of markings rather than a picture – unpremeditated strokes and gestures are added, allowing the elemental exuberance of the paint to perform, letting the original conception come apart. The paintings in this exhibition resemble microcosms of richly coloured minerals or galaxies. No one gem-hued shape/organism is a focal point; their interconnectedness is the object of study. Treleaven—who has worked in film, collage, photography, and sculpture— brings distinct tensions to the painting field: unlike a photographic image, the linearity of film, a line of text, or the circumambulation required to activate a sculpture, painting unfolds in its own unique temporal and psychological space; not as a transcendent object in itself but as a point of departure.
Williams and Treleaven share an interest in questioning the formal boundaries of painting. Through their own distinctive approaches to the medium and its history, both artists search for that which is not easily defined, fixed, or part of the visible, earthly world. Instead, they delve into the imagery of the ulterior.
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For more information about Scott Treleaven and Rachel Eulena Williams please contact the gallery: