Tau Lewis Featured on The Arts Desk

July 18, 2019
Tags: News, Tau Lewis

Tau Lewis part of Yorkshire Sculpture International and featured on The Arts Desk. 

Sculpture is as much a part of Yorkshire as cricket and a decent cup of tea, with the “sculpture triangle”, comprising four prestigious museums and galleries, feeling almost as well-established as the county’s famed rhubarb triangle. Now the Hepworth Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park have collaborated with the Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute next door to launch a sculpture festival.

Yorkshire Sculpture International, which runs until 29 September, showcases work new and old against the backdrop of the county’s considerable sculptural heritage, with Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, two of Yorkshire’s most illustrious offspring, rarely far from sight or mind. Their commitment to the modernist maxim of “truth to materials” provides a thematic anchor for 18 artists from 12 different countries, united by their interest in exploring the physical and cultural attributes of their chosen materials. New commissions from local and international artists, all at different points in their careers, respond also to a statement by Phyllida Barlow in 2018, that “sculpture is the most anthropological of the artforms.”

A unifying theme is vital for a festival as ambitious as this one, but Barlow’s insistence on sculpture as a human imperative is sufficiently ambiguous that it can accommodate just about anything. At the Henry Moore Institute it embraces the clankingly literal, with Rashid Johnson’s sculptures made from shea butter a striking example of concept triumphing over execution. Shea Butter Three Ways attempts to channel the exotic overtones of this luxury cosmetic ingredient into a broader critique of cultural appropriation and western cultural imperialism. The ideas are good, but the cloying smell is the memory that endures.

In Leeds and Wakefield city centres, Barlow’s statement might well have provided an opportunity – sadly wasted – for a re-evaluation of public sculpture and its role. Instead Leeds city centre hosts a self-serving homage to another of Yorkshire’s sons, Damien Hirst. Hymn, 1995-2005, a giant anatomical model in playschool colours towers over the city’s main shopping street, while inside the elegant Victoria Arcade, something similar bares its organs, as neatly packed and decorative as if they had been parceled up in one of the chichi boutiques nearby.

In Wakefield city centre, Receiver by Huma Bhabha is another dispiriting addition, the more so perhaps because it was specially commissioned. Vaguely humanoid, archly naive, the piece is an artist’s inadequate internal dialogue located in a civic space in a way that shows an extraordinary lack of judgement by both artist and curator. The piece shows no empathy with its location in the city’s fine and dignified square, eliciting well-deserved snorts of  derision from passing youth on BMX’s.

If misplaced self-importance is the scourge of public sculpture, self-searching work by west Yorkshire artist Rosanne Robertson brings insight and feeling to big topics. Her casts of rock formations, made on long walks in the countryside near her studio in Hebden Bridge, test the natural states of fluidity and solidity with dedication and originality. For her, these interrogations serves as a means to consider the nature of gender and sexuality: beautiful to look at, sensitive and responsive to the artistic antecedents that surround it in the gallery at Hepworth Wakefield, Robertson’s work combines sculpture and performance in works that are both personal and universal.

In a similar vein, Jamaican-Canadian sculptor Tau Lewis’s work is infused with the power of memory. Pieced together from fabrics collected from different places and people, Lewis’s handsewn sculptures of sea creatures and others are envisaged as reincarnations of victims of the slave trade, lost at sea but perpetuated through private and public acts of remembrance.

The highlight of the offering from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and perhaps of the festival overall, is an exhibition dedicated to David Smith (1906-1965), an American sculptor little known outside the USA, with few works in European collections. Though he died very young, he was prolific, and sculptures dating from 1932 until his death seen both outside and in, present a sustained dialogue with sculptural developments of the 20th century.

Though Smith can clearly be seen responding to surrealism and kinetic art, for example, it was industrial practices rather than artistic ones that motivated him in the first place. Works from the 1930s and 1940s recall the surrealist constructions of Giacometti, the erotic casts of Duchamp and Louise Bourgeois’s cells, while a piece such as Hudson River Landscape, 1951, a drawing in metal, relates to the work of his friend Alexander Calder.

In his Medals for Dishonor series, 1939, Smith’s antecedents reach back still further. The series of 15 large scale reliefs recall Renaissance medals, their theme of protest against the horrors of war echoing Goya’s print series, The Disasters of War, 1810-20

Much as fine art provides an intellectual and formal backdrop for Smith’s work, his training as a welder was every bit as influential, a stint at the Studebacker car factory while a student proving formative. A decade or so later, in 1934, Smith rented workspace at the Terminal Iron Works in Brooklyn, so that he was in the remarkable and surely at that time unique position of prdoucing sculptures surrounded by industrial metalworkers.

Works from the 1950s and 1960s combine an industrial aesthetic with fields of colour reminiscent of the paintings of that era. In fact, Smith’s work often challenges the very fundamentals of sculpture itself, insisting on flatness and rejecting mass and volume, traditionally the very essence of sculpture.

Long-awaited, difficult to stage, and including the rare chance to see Smith’s sculptures out of doors, this exhibition is by far and away the high point of the inaugural Yorkshire Sculpture Festival, and a reason to go in itself. Smith’s works add a further, enlivening dimension to the possibly rather overawing dual presence of Hepworth and Moore. Along with an impressive outreach project that is not only supporting early careers of promising young artists like Roseanne Robertson, but also introducing school children to sculpture, this is what will be remembered from this first edition of a festival that has every reason to grow into an annual monument.

To view the full article please visit The Arts Desk.

For more information about Tau Lewis please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Interview with artist Tau Lewis at The Hepworth Wakefield

July 12, 2019
Tags: News, Tau Lewis

 

As part of Yorkshire Sculpture International, The Hepworth Wakefield sat down with self-taught artist Tau Lewis (b.1993, Toronto) while she spoke about her first solo show outside of North America, taking place in Wakefield. Yorkshire Sculpture International, the largest festival of sculpture in the UK, runs at The Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery, Henry Moore Institute and Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 22 June – 29 September 2019.

For more information about Tau Lewis please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Sara Cwynar Featured on Zukus

July 11, 2019

Sara Cwynar’s solo exhibition at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art is featured on Zukus.

Sara Cwynar’s video Cover Girl (2018), the artist’s meditation on femininity and the history of cosmetics, includes scenes shot in the depths of an unnamed makeup factory. In one scene, the camera pans over sterile jars filled with flesh-tone liquids to be eventually sold as foundation. In another, thin sheets of oily rose-colored wax—pink lipstick in progress—cascade down a slide looking like slices of finely shaved deli meat, delectable and disgusting.

There is something jarring about seeing the cold realities of the beauty industry—a sector that is growing rapidly among millennials, shilling self-care, individuality, and most important, the capacity to be Instagram ready. And after one views Cover Girl in Cwynar’s “Gilded Age” at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut—the artist’s first East Coast solo museum show—it’s hard to resist seeking out more footage from inside cosmetics factories. My favorite, a YouTube video by L’Oréal on its lipstick-making process, stands out for embracing the contradiction between the product’s associations and its mode of manufacturing, stressing that “as glamorous as it is, lipstick is still a high-technology product.” As the video elaborates, lip color is mixed according to tested, standardized procedures. To achieve each shade, multiple pigments are needed, and each tube contains about 20 ingredients.

Images, especially those of women, are just as manufactured—comprising ingredients that cohere into one appealing or comprehensible vision. And many of Cwynar’s videos and photographs are designed, like Cover Girl, to offer something like a behind-the-scenes look into the making of feminine ideals. Her work forces viewers to question why certain tropes of femininity appear beautiful or at least normalized. Why does a synthetically produced red lip, for example, read as sultry rather than machinic? And when and why do we embrace artifice in women? How much makeup is too much? At what point does self-enhancement slip from tasteful to garish?

Cwynar’s work is also interested more broadly in identifying the palettes, cinematographic moods, and media formats we are subconsciously drawn to. For example, her best-known film, Rose Gold (2017)—shown in a 2017 exhibition at her New York gallery, Foxy Production—highlights our attraction to soft colors and faded analog film. (Soft Film is the title of a 2016 video showing the artist arranging her vintage eBay purchases by look, date, and function.) Shot on 16 millimeter, Rose Gold centers on color trends and takes its name from the popular, since-discontinued iPhone color option. Through a series of montages and voiceovers, Cwynar reveals how our reception of different hues changes over time by comparing our appreciation of the titular iridescent pink to our revulsion for older, harsher metallics like harvest gold, a mustardy shade that was a staple of 1970s fridges and shag carpets.

Sara Cwynar Featured on The Nation

July 11, 2019

Sara Cwynar’s exhibition at The Aldrich is featured on The Nation. 

Sara Cwynar’s video Cover Girl (2018), the artist’s meditation on femininity and the history of cosmetics, includes scenes shot in the depths of an unnamed makeup factory. In one scene, the camera pans over sterile jars filled with flesh-tone liquids to be eventually sold as foundation. In another, thin sheets of oily rose-colored wax—pink lipstick in progress—cascade down a slide looking like slices of finely shaved deli meat, delectable and disgusting.

There is something jarring about seeing the cold realities of the beauty industry—a sector that is growing rapidly among millennials, shilling self-care, individuality, and most important, the capacity to be Instagram ready. And after one views Cover Girl in Cwynar’s “Gilded Age” at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut—the artist’s first East Coast solo museum show—it’s hard to resist seeking out more footage from inside cosmetics factories. My favorite, a YouTube video by L’Oréal on its lipstick-making process, stands out for embracing the contradiction between the product’s associations and its mode of manufacturing, stressing that “as glamorous as it is, lipstick is still a high-technology product.” As the video elaborates, lip color is mixed according to tested, standardized procedures. To achieve each shade, multiple pigments are needed, and each tube contains about 20 ingredients.

Images, especially those of women, are just as manufactured—comprising ingredients that cohere into one appealing or comprehensible vision. And many of Cwynar’s videos and photographs are designed, like Cover Girl, to offer something like a behind-the-scenes look into the making of feminine ideals. Her work forces viewers to question why certain tropes of femininity appear beautiful or at least normalized. Why does a synthetically produced red lip, for example, read as sultry rather than machinic? And when and why do we embrace artifice in women? How much makeup is too much? At what point does self-enhancement slip from tasteful to garish?

Cwynar’s work is also interested more broadly in identifying the palettes, cinematographic moods, and media formats we are subconsciously drawn to. For example, her best-known film, Rose Gold (2017)—shown in a 2017 exhibition at her New York gallery, Foxy Production—highlights our attraction to soft colors and faded analog film. (Soft Film is the title of a 2016 video showing the artist arranging her vintage eBay purchases by look, date, and function.) Shot on 16 millimeter, Rose Goldcenters on color trends and takes its name from the popular, since-discontinued iPhone color option. Through a series of montages and voiceovers, Cwynar reveals how our reception of different hues changes over time by comparing our appreciation of the titular iridescent pink to our revulsion for older, harsher metallics like harvest gold, a mustardy shade that was a staple of 1970s fridges and shag carpets.

Cover Girl picks up on the themes of Rose Gold, demystifying beauty as something in flux—subject to the rules of advertising and manufacturing rather than instinct or nature—and continues Cwynar’s exploration of 16 millimeter’s subduing effects. As she observed at the opening of “Gilded Age,” many of the hottest brands, like Glossier, a naturalish makeup line, and Acne Studios, the Swedish fashion house, trade in dusty colors. A certain form of nostalgia is trending, hungry for the sun-washed tints and blurry imprecision of older media, and Cwynar capitalizes on this fact in her filmmaking. Despite Cover Girl’s unsavory factory scenes, its retro format tinges it with an overall loveliness. Wrapped in the warm embrace of analog, even its sequences of sterile machinery acquire an undeniable gauzy charm, appearing slower and less sharply defined than if they were captured digitally.

Cwynar was born in 1985 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and studied and worked in graphic design—she is a former New York Times Magazine staffer—before turning to the fine arts and pursuing an MFA in photography at Yale. Her background in the world of commercial and editorial design has made her particularly well suited to engage questions about how we package and create beauty trends and given her the skills to understand how professionally made images of women and their products function.

How images and texts are placed, colored, and arranged establishes the parameters within which we all receive and assess visual media and their subjects, yet these mechanics often go unnoticed by the untrained eye or are unremarkable to consumers less interested in advertisement’s construction than its emotional impact. Thanks to her training, however, Cwynar is capable of seeing through myriad design conventions and teases apart how graphics induce desire or disgust in their viewers. Her practice owes a debt to conceptual and appropriation work done in the 1970s and ’80s by artists like Sherrie Levine and Sarah Charlesworth, both credited in “Gilded Age,” but Cwynar takes their insights further and applies them to Web design in addition to print.

For instance, 141 Pictures of Sophie, 1, 2, and 3 (2019)—displayed in the room next to Cover Girl—unpacks the rules that structure online fashion photo shoots. A petite redhead, attractive in a bland way, is photographed three times in Cwynar’s studio against a backdrop printed with a square grid pattern: in the first image, facing directly forward; in the next, angled at a slight leftward tilt; and in the third, turned away from the beholder. The subject, Sophie, is a popular Web model, and the three-part configuration mirrors the way models are frequently shot for online clothing sales in a three-point turn that displays the front, side, and back of a garment. Cwynar has made this fact visible by taping and attaching over the large-scale studio portraits layers of smaller pictures of Sophie standing in identical positions printed from Web pages (mainly Ssense, a high-end fashion, editorial, and e-commerce platform) and cut out. Cwynar then rephotographed the ensemble, giving the final composition an air of both professionalism and amateurism: The pieces of conspicuous tape, the imperfect, slightly jagged scissor cuts, and the lovingly handmade quality of the arrangement—as you might see on a mood board or locker door—feel at odds with the flat glossiness of its format.

Cwynar copies e-commerce photography but does so imperfectly and with an intentional degree of error and eccentricity that claims it as her own. The photographs force us to confront ostensibly ordinary images, highlighting the disjuncture between the Sophie depicted in the studio and her sleeker digital twin, who has benefited from some expert airbrushing and color correction. An homage to the Photoshop proletariat, the piece hints at the labor that goes into making Ssense Sophie, who has far dewier skin and much brighter crimson hair than the real, nondigitized Sophie. The juxtaposition shows how old techniques of image doctoring persist online in newer and subtler forms and offers a sharp take on the internet as a medium that innovates but does not entirely invent. Cwynar’s skill in illuminating both the electrifying newness and continuities and regressions of Web culture is praiseworthy and makes her one of the most captivating photographers of the millennial generation.

If 141 Pictures of Sophiedemonstrates how the Internet gives novel form to old politics, in the ways it objectifies women and touches up reality, then its neighboring piece 432 Nefertitis(2015) illustrates how Web browsers function as something like time machines, operating as portals through which we can explore images, objects, and people of millennia past. Another collage, 432 Nefertitisassembles hundreds of pictures of Nefertiti’s famous circa 1340 BCE bust, with high cheekbones and kohl-lined eyes, in a shape that resembles open browser windows on a computer screen. Sophie’s and Nefertiti’s idealized forms—a twentysomething model and one of the beauty industry’s most ancient references—circulate in the same temporal space of the Internet, ready for us to view, download, print, and share. A Rococo Base (2018) is similarly anachronistic in its pairings: Resembling a visual-culture junk drawer, its surface displays feminine frills from across the ages—eyeshadow palettes in Barbie hues, pastel Post-it notes, photographs of contemporary runway looks, and part of a reproduction of Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun’s 1778 painting of Marie Antoinette. Cropped from the larger painting and removed from its 18th-century background, the queen’s pose reads more coquettish cover girl than stoic royalty. The face that launched a thousand products.

In all her bouffant-haired, pale-powder-faced splendor, Marie Antoinette has gone too far by today’s standards. She is overdone: kitsch and, to many, unsightly. Though her look may be passé, it is hard to claim that her quest for picture-perfect beauty is similarly outdated. Women have long been tasked with the impossible mission to be both beautiful and natural. Society has demanded that women be pleasing to the eye, then castigated them for falsity and capriciousness when, to do so, they turned, as did Marie Antoinette, to the aid of rouges and paints. As Cwynar’s work shows, the times may change, but societal expectations of women as standard bearers of so-called tasteful beauty—one that enhances inside the bounds of plausibility—have remained, in many ways, remarkably the same. The creamy pinks and porcelain whites of the rococo may be unsubtle to modern eyes, but are they so unlike the translucent shimmers of Glossier? Aren’t they ultimately all just shades of the same thing?

To view the full article please visit The Nation.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

 

Vikky Alexander Featured on British Journal of Photography

July 8, 2019
Tags: News

Vikky Alexander’s retrospective Extreme Beauty at the Vancouver Art Gallery is featured on the British Journal of Photography.

Vikky Alexander co-opts the visual language of consumerist culture to provoke a state of self-awareness in her viewers

“I still fall into the imaginative depths of the photograph,” says Vikky Alexander. The Canadian artist’s practice spans montage, sculpture, collage and installation, but photography remains her focus. “I love the glossy surface of the paper,” she continues. “It is still seductive to me.”

Alexander’s practice centres on exploring the mechanisms of display that influence society’s perception of beauty and desire, and the way in which they attribute meaning to things. The photograph exists as the ideal medium to aid this endeavour. “My work should make people self-aware about how they function in society, or how mechanisms of display attempt to influence them,” says Alexander. “But, in a fairly gentle way because I am doing the same thing. I am looking at a work and thinking ‘how am I supposed to perceive that?’.

Alexander’s first retrospective Extreme Beauty, on show at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, explores the major themes that have preoccupied her work for over three decades. “Looking back can be difficult,” reflects Alexander, whose entry into photography coincided with the emergence of the Pictures Generation in 1980s New York – a loose group of artists reappropriating the visual language of consumer culture in order to expose the tactics at work. Alexander moved to the city straight out of university in 1979. Her contemporaries included Richard Prince, Barbara Kruger and Sherry Levine – she was the youngest and most unknown, but the relationships she had with these practitioners contributed greatly to the development of her practice.

“It was exactly what I wanted,” says Alexander, who discovered photography while studying at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, between 1976 to 1979. Visiting lecturers – including Dan Graham, Dara Birnbaum, and Martha Rosler – opened up the possibilities of the medium, but the photographer felt suffocated in the male-dominated darkroom in which street photography prevailed. “Those were the kind of ideas that I was interested in – employing photography in a more conceptual way,” she continues.

The exhibition begins with work made during this time, from 1980 to 1987. In Obsession, (1983), Alexander coopts the visual language of the glossy magazine, creating a 20-foot-long panel composed of images of model Christie Brinkly – enlarged and rendered in luminescent yellow. The piece epitomises the focus of her early practice: an interrogation of the ‘ideal’ woman projected by the media and advertising in order to critique, and expose, the wider culture of consumerism pervading public consciousness.

Today, the work has accrued new significance and continues to highlight the enduring drive for perfection that defines consumerist culture. “A graduate student was writing about Obsession and she was fascinated by the number of wrinkles that you could see on Christie Brinkly’s face,” says Alexander. “She was probably 25 at the time. But, because of the way she was shot, and because there was no Photoshop, she looks less idealised than models in magazines do now.”

It was while studying at NSCAD that Alexander became interested in building design and structure, taking an experimental architecture course at the Technical University of Nova Scotia. In an interview with Canadian Art, the photographer also spoke about the lasting impact that Dan Graham’s photography of architecture and the vernacular had on her when he attended the university as a visiting lecturer. By the mid-1980s Alexander had began to explore these preoccupations in her work; her practice shifted to interrogate the way in which humans interact with nature. Then, in the 1990s, it refocused on our relationship with architecture and interior décor.

This final development coincided with Alexander moving to Vancouver in 1992, where she became associated with the Vancouver School of Photoconceptualism – a group of artists including Jeff Wall and Rodney Graham, employing photography and other new media in a conceptual capacity to explore the social force of imagery. The exhibition traces this evolution. Work such as Paris Showrooms: Gold Torso 2009 frames the gleaming interior of a shop, captured behind a reflective, glass storefront. Just as her earlier work encourages audiences to critically-reflect on the visual language of consumerist culture, Alexander employs architectural settings to invite us to think about how they are engineered to entice us.

The exhibition draws out these recurring themes. Whether we are reassessing the way in which we perceive the ‘ideal’ women depicted in magazine spreads, or how we position ourselves in relation to a utopic shop interior,  Alexander forces us to think critically about what we are looking at. “You see yourself reflected in the piece and you try to figure out how you are going to position yourself,” she explains. “It is all about self-awareness.”

To view the full article please visit the British Journal of Photography. 

For more information about Vikky Alexander please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Vikky Alexander Featured in Inside Vancouver

July 4, 2019

Vikky Alexander’s solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery is featured on Inside Vancouver.

Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery
What: The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty, the first retrospective of the renowned Canadian artist. Alexander became known for her investigations of the appropriated image, the artificiality of nature and the seduction of space in the 1980s. Extreme Beauty showcases more than eighty works from this artist’s career whose practice includes photography, sculpture, collage and installation.
Runs Until: Sunday October 20, 2019

 

To view the full article please visit Inside Vancouver. 

For more information about Vikky Alexander please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Vikky Alexander featured in the Georgia Straight

July 4, 2019

Vikky Alexander’s solo retrospective Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty at the Vancouver Art Gallery is featured in the Georgia Straight.

 

 

Vikky Alexander queries Extreme Beauty at the Vancouver Art Gallery

 

In her major new survey, Vikky Alexander (centre) poses questions about advertising tropes and desire (photo by Ian Lefebvre); coloured Plexiglas gives a new sheen to her Obsession (left, detail) and Between Dreaming and Living Series #5(right).

In 1983, the acclaimed Canadian artist Vikky Alexander was living in New York, working with images appropriated from popular culture—especially from high-end fashion magazines. Her conceptual practice, which posed questions about advertising tropes and the nature of desire, was generating buzz from East Coast critics, curators, and gallerists. It also attracted the attention of Vancouver’s Bill Jeffries, who invited Alexander to show at his Coburg Gallery, which specialized in photographic art.

“At the time Bill asked me, it was spring and all the magazines that I was using were featuring Christie Brinkley,” Alexander tells the Straight, standing in front of her multipanel work Obsession. It consists of 10 large, grainy, numbered images of the famous model. Framed and mounted in a tight grid, it serves as an introduction to the exhibition Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty. Installed on the second floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by the VAG’s Daina Augaitis, this big, shiny, and seductive survey of Alexander’s stellar career spans the years 1981 to the present day.

Alexander, who was based in New York City from 1979 to 1992 and in Vancouver from 1992 to 2016, and who now lives and works in Montreal, was struck by the ubiquity of Brinkley’s image all those years ago. It was reproduced “everywhere” at the time she conceived Obsession, she recalls—from Time magazine to British Vogue—provoking her curiosity about Brinkley’s appeal to advertisers and art directors.

“I started collecting images of her and then I rephotographed them on a copy stand and enlarged them to poster size,” Alexander says. To distinguish her work from mainstream black-and-white photography, she mounted the grainy prints under yellow Plexiglas. “And I added these numbers, one through 10, because I thought this is the opposite of what ‘straight’ photography does. I’m not trying to capture a personality in one image—that’s impossible—so I thought, ‘Well, this is a series that could keep going ad infinitum. This is another Christie Brinkley and this is another one.’ ”

While previewing her exhibition with the Straight, Alexander talks about some of her subjects and strategies. Like many concept-driven artists, she employs whatever form, medium, and materials are needed to convey her ideas. Her exhibition includes installations of commercial photomurals, digital prints in light boxes, mirrored glass “furniture”, and collages printed on canvas. It also features her most recent works: four spectacular site-specific inkjet prints on self-adhesive vinyl, installed floor to ceiling—the ceiling in this instance being more than 7.5 metres high. Alexander’s photo-based practice employs not only appropriated images but also original prints. She has shot theme parks and shopping malls, classical gardens and conservatories, and clothing-store windows and furniture showrooms, her locations ranging from Las Vegas and Disneyland to Paris, Tokyo, and Istanbul.

In the mid-1980s, Alexander shifted her focus from the human figure to forms and images that speak to landscape conventions, modernist architecture, utopian ideals, the romantic notion of the sublime, consumer culture and retail display, and the places where nature and culture intersect. Mirrors, windows, and other reflecting surfaces recur throughout the show. These surfaces function as both the subject of Alexander’s photographs and her actual materials, which beam viewers back at themselves.

“That’s something that is a thread that goes through a lot of my work, the moment of self-reflection,” she says. “This is a literal moment, when you’re going, ‘Oh, I’m a viewer looking at this thing.’ ”

Alexander walks around her installation Vaux-le-Vicomte Panorama, which is composed of eight mirrored columns set in V-formation in front of a large screen on which wide, low-res images of that famous 17th-century French garden are projected. She recounts something of the garden’s history and describes taking photos of the place with a disposable camera. She also speaks of the inspiration for the mirrored columns: a gay disco she visited in Vancouver. “There were mirrored surfaces all around kicking light around the place and I thought, ‘This is so good. How can I use it?’ ” Her mirrored columns serve to fracture, pull apart, and break up the panorama, she says.

In an earlier work, Lake in the Woods, Alexander used mirrored tiles, faux-wood panelling, and a large photomural of a northern lake to conjure up a classic rec-room aesthetic, the kitschiest of decorative materials grappling with the modernist ideal of bringing the outside in. At the same time, this installation presents a second- or even third-hand version of the natural world, musing on the ways society has long attempted to frame and control nature. Alexander mentions the Claude glass, a small convex mirror that 18th-century travellers in Europe were advised to use, back turned, to view what might otherwise be overwhelming vistas. “You could compose the landscape perfectly in this mirror instead of falling into the sublime yourself,” she explains. Lake in the Woods, she adds, “is kind of a funny pop version of that”.

When Alexander was young, before committing herself to visual art, she contemplated becoming an architect—and allusions to the built environment play a large role throughout her work. “I glean ideas from architecture,” she says, “but I’m not a builder because I like to use things that already exist in the world somehow.” Early on, she realized she was too dedicated to her own creative vision to meet the demands of architectural clients. “I could never have put the client first,” she says with a laugh. “I know I shouldn’t say this, but I’m just the wrong personality.”

Extreme Beauty opens at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday (July 6) and runs through October 27.

 

To view the full article please visit the Georgia Straight.

For more information about Vikky Alexander please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

 

Sara Cwynar in Feature Shoot

July 4, 2019

Sara Cwynar’s solo exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is featured on Feature Shoot. 

Like any language, photography has given birth to a series of clichés that are reductive at best. At their worst, they become a vehicle for disinformation and stereotype, fueling pathologies by reinforcing the most dangerous aspects of confirmation bias. As Jenny Holzer noted, “Clichés endure” — and may very well exist until we root them out and expose them for the perilous, short-sighted, and sloppy thinking that they are.

Canadian artist Sara Cwynar takes aim at popular photographic clichés in her new exhibition, Gilded Age, on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, through November 10, 2019. Featuring a selection of the artist’s color photographs made over the past five years, the exhibition also includes Kitsch Encyclopedia (2014) her first artist book; Cover Girl (2018), a 16mm film on video with sound; and 72 Pictures of Modern Paintings (2016), a site-specific wallpaper.

Whatever medium Cwynar selects, she uses the form to explore and expose the ways in which images are constructed and recycled in an endless digital loop. Cwynar sets her sights on the preponderance of visual clichés that crowd our space, recognizing the ways in which they can be used as dog whistles to signify ulterior agendas.

For Cwynar, the subject of misogyny takes center stage as she delves deep into the past to examine the ways in which dated iconography is continuously revived. Whether looking at portraits or product shots, Cwynar’s work reveals a cultural penchant for played out archetypes that reinforce dated notions of gender and sexuality as a means to cultivate insecurity and desire and thus expand market share.

While her starting point is drawn from pre-digital sources as diverse as the New York Public Library, a local dollar store, a curbside dumpster, and eBay, Cwynar uses technology to examine the ways in which visual language plays into our fantasies while simultaneously spawning nightmares. The modern-day obsession with lifestyle, as evidenced by everyone from social media influencers to advertisers underscores a long-standing capitalist belief that you can buy happiness — when they understand that the pleasure is as fleeting as the printing of your receipt, and once hooked you can be sold time and again, like an addict on the street.

Yet, for all of the truth that is exposed, the fact is there’s nothing quite so pleasurable as the high. Cwynar’s work does not veer away from beauty, but rather uses it like bait on a hook, captivating us with the fact that what we really, really want, is to stand still and just look.

To view the full article please visit Feature Shoot. 

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Geoff McFetridge Featured on Art Viewer

July 3, 2019

Geoff McFetridge’s solo exhibition is featured on Art Viewer.

 

Artist: Geoff McFetridge

Venue: COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada

Date: June 13 – July 19, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and COOPER COLE, Toronto

COOPER COLE is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Geoff McFetridge. This marks the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, his first in Toronto since 2012.

In the paintings on show, Geoff McFetridge waxes poetic on the human condition. Figures are arranged against flat tonal surfaces, often forming simple shapes in their solidarity. They lean on one another or melt, become one; they leap through space using heads as stepping-stones. The way McFetridge has choreographed bodies makes apt metaphor for social mechanism, whereby the final form (of a new image or world) is achieved through collective action and support. In paintings otherwise, the motif of a string is present, looping through geometric forms and bodily fragments, an ode to the interconnectedness of things. In a moment, coloured line embodies thought: graspable between the narrow in-betweens of fingers, or differently transferrable among communing individuals. For this, McFetridge continues his ongoing conceptual investigation of painting at the nexus of drawing and design.

Geoff McFetridge (b. 1971, Calgary, Canada) received his Bachelor of Art from The AlbertaCollege of Art and Design, Calgary, Canada, and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, USA. He has exhibited internationally at The Art Gallery of Vancouver, Vancouver; Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada; Joshua Liner Gallery, Half Gallery, The Hole, Cooper Hewitt, New York; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; Museum of Contemporary Art, New Image Art Gallery, Los Angeles; Pasadena Museum of Art, Pasadena; County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, USA; Parco Gallery X, PlayMountain, AD21, Tokyo, Japan; Bondi Pavilion, Sydney, Australia; Ivory & Black, London, United Kingdom; V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; Mu, Eindhoven, Netherlands; The Spitroom, Berlin, Germany; Volta, Basel, Switzerland. He is the winner of the 2016 Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award. In 2019, he was awarded The Medal of AIGA. McFetridge currently lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.

To view the full article please visit Art Viewer.

For more information about Geoff McFetridge please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

ektor garcia featured in The Art Newspaper

July 2, 2019

ektor garcia’s two-person exhibition Tricknology at Marianne Boesky is featured in The Art Newspaper  as a must-see gallery show.

Tricknology

Marianne Boesky, Aspen, 26 July – 9 September

The hip-hop group Brand Nubian says that the best way to defend against “tricknology”—i.e. getting fooled by the system—is by reclaiming history in order to know oneself. It is a point of inspiration for the artist Sanford Biggers, who curates this show pairing two emerging artists: Allison Janae Hamilton, who explores the American South, and latinx artist Ektor Garcia. Both seek to redefine American identity for a new age.

 

To view the full article please visit The Art Newspaper.

For more information about ektor garcia please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Tau Lewis featured in Elephant

July 1, 2019
Tags: News, Tau Lewis

Tau Lewis’ exhibition at Hepworth Wakefield is featured in Elephant.

Tau Lewis, twenty-six, is in Wakefield, standing in front of her latest works—a series of three very large hybrid sculptures—at the Hepworth, as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International. Visible up-close are the seams of jeans and other scraps of found and collected fabrics, a patchwork that has been stitched with care by hand and constructed entirely from discarded materials. The Canadian-Jamaican artist Lewis, who was raised in Toronto, spoke eloquently about the work she had made, employing underwater metaphors to create new, positive stories about black bodies in the water, where histories have been effaced. Her fictional sea creatures fill the space and your imagination. Inspired by her mother’s hobby of collecting other people’s junk and turning it into something of beauty, and the environmental ethics of our age, Lewis makes form out of fragments, in artworks that are both compelling and eco-friendly.

Why is it important to you to repurpose materials?

I started working in assemblage a few years ago because I was interested in using what was available to me. I’m not classically trained, and I don’t always use traditional methods of construction. I think a lot about access to art making and access to materials, there is an abundance of things available to us as sculptors that for one don’t cost anything, and secondly can be recycled. It’s not a new concept to me, because I grew up in a hand-me-downs, second-hand-shopping household, and that’s something I always enjoyed, finding unique things and treasure hunting.

I’m especially interested in found and repurposed things because of their affective histories, invisible narratives and how they can add depth to a vessel that tells a new story. Objects hold energies and frequencies I believe, especially after passing through people’s hands, or being near to the earth or water. I want to honour the diasporic traditions of repurposing and making cultural objects out of what’s available. I think there’s great potential for magic within the confines of limitation. It forces one to flex different muscles and look at things differently, from every angle in order to create something.

The wall-hanging tapestry work, The Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society, was inspired by a painting at your mother’s house; can you tell me about that painting and generally about how your mother’s collecting inspired you?

It was only recently that I started to actually view my mother as an art collector. Every wall and surface of the house is covered in different things she’s collected, from the side of the road, or yard sales, from the trash and also from her travels. I think about the lines we draw between craft and fine art, and especially about the ways in which contemporary art historically and continually co-opts and borrows from little acknowledged communities of craftspeople. So I’m able to learn something important by looking at my mum’s collecting habits, and it has to do with the individual’s ability to assert their own value system in their home and also in the world. It challenges classist, racist and capitalist biases about the origins and meanings of certain objects.

The painting I referenced to create the tapestry shown at The Hepworth Wakefield is hung in the bathroom of her house. It’s been there as long as I can remember, she collected it in Westmoreland, Jamaica. It depicts a coral reef with a strange assortment of aquatic life intermingling. It’s beautifully drawn and is sort of comical because of the depicted relationships. Lobster with eel, turtle hanging out with stingray, it says “The Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society” at the bottom in big block letters. It was a good starting point for the exhibition given that I’ve been thinking about aquatic territories in relation to black history/ancestors. I also am fascinated by the ocean, and I also thought it would be a good way to memorialize the artwork, which is now deteriorating and peeling at the edges a bit.

The works you’re currently showing in Wakefield have lots of qualities, but they’re imbued with this sort of mystic sensuality and eroticism—especially the octopus figure. Does this come from the tactile approach to your work, the fact you work with them by hand and carry them next to you, and that some of the materials have been worn by different people…?

Many of the materials are mine, usually work pants and other things. There’s an infusion of personal belongings in everything I make. I also believe energy passes through the hands and on to the objects, especially through the labour-intensive work of hand sewing. Maybe that’s what makes them feel alive.

The squid character is definitely phallic, it is a squid after all. On it, in and around the faces there are some labial looking flaps. When it comes down to it, nature’s funnest and most interesting shapes are inherently erotic I guess.

You’re self-taught: how did you manage that?

I tried twice at post-secondary education, both times for something other than fine art, both times it didn’t work out. I’m glad I didn’t rush to attend an art college as it could have discouraged the tendency towards art making in me as well. I had the upper hand of time. My first studio was shared with seven other women, mostly recent art school grads who had a very hard time just getting going once graduated. Time, specifically time to research materials and experiment and figure out why I was making, for myself, was my advantage while I wasn’t attending school. Classical training, while extremely useful for many, isn’t necessarily helpful for every artist. There’s also no right or wrong way (physically speaking) to construct an artwork. I worked as a bartender and a waitress and at one point a cleaning lady and funneled my time and money into learning and making. Both of my parents are self-taught in their professions.

You travelled the world while making these works; how did that affect what you produced? 

I work in patches normally. One of the nice things I’ve discovered about using fabric is that on top of being easy to source, no matter where you are in the world, it can be easily folded and packed up into a suitcase for travel. After returning to Toronto last February from LA, I began assembling together patches which I’d started on my travels.

The environment always affects the work. I have travelled in the past to make assemblage sculptures on site for an exhibition with limited time to create the work, and the work, especially when you are using found materials which are unique, is always in one way or another determined by, and a reflection of the landscape you are making it in. That’s something that challenges me to work outside of the canon of materials, textures and colors I normally gravitate to and is something I really enjoy.

To view the full article please visit the Elephant.

For more information about Tau Lewis please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Daniel Rios Rodriguez Featured in the Irish Times

June 29, 2019

Daniel Rios Rodriguez is included in group exhibition Shadowplay at the Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, South Anne St, Dublin, July 12th to August 28th and featured in the Irish Times. 

The show features work by Siobhán Hapaska, Willie Doherty, Aleana Egan, Liam Gillick, Callum Innes, William McKeown, Kathy Prendergast, Daniel Rios Rodriguez and Sean Scully.

To view the full article please visit the Irish Times.

For more information about Daniel Rios Rodriguez please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Sara Cwynar and ektor garcia featured in the Observer

June 29, 2019

ektor garcia’s solo exhibition at the Sculpture Center and Sara Cwynar’s exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum are both featured in “5 Summer Exhibitions Every New York Art Lover Needs to See” in the Observer.

“Ektor Garcia: Cadena Perpetua”
SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY
Through July 29

This summer, Ektor Garcia turns the Sculpture Center into a handcrafted minimalist dungeon for S&M lovers. Chains made of clay and crocheted rugs made from wire hang from the museum’s ceilings, juicing the family traditions drawn from his hometown of Zacatecas, Mexico, with a sexual charge. Yet, there’s an unexpected quietness to the work, reflecting the long history the Garcia’s materials call back to, while using the contemporary art context to simultaneously nod to the future.

 

“Sara Cwynar: Gilded Age”
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Through November 10

Beyond anything else, Sara Cwynar’s photographs look great. Drawing inspiration from pre-digital photographs, marketing tropes and advertising clichés, Cwynar’s work plays with themes of the visual permanence and the mutability of images. In one work, she photographs her fingers laid on top of a reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, gesturing both to enduring issues of appropriation of black culture and exploitation of women’s bodies, while also offering a vision of a more positive future. The artist nods to her own agency, in which she has the power to reimagine any image she might choose.

To view the full article please visit the Observer.

For more information about ektor garcia or Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Sara Cwynar Featured in Lebanon News

June 29, 2019

Sara Cwynar’s solo exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is featured in Lebanon News. 

Today’s show: “Sara Cwynar: Gilded Age” is on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, through Sunday, November 10. The solo exhibition features color photographs by Cwynar, her first artist book, a film, and a site-specific wallpaper, which is being shown in the United States for the first time.

To view the full article please visit Lebanon News. 

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Vikky Alexander In Vancouver Magazine

June 28, 2019

Vikky Alexander’s solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery is featured as a top Vancouver event to kick off the month in Vancouver Magazine.

Extreme Art

July 6 – October 27

This week, check out the opening of Vikky Alexander: Extreme Beauty, an exhibit that “interrogates the mechanisms of display that shape meaning, beauty and desire in our culture.” It’s the perfect opportunity to show off your new sophisticated summer self. With more than 80 works to choose from, you’re sure to find something that speaks to you—whether it inspires you to think about the seduction of space or informs your July mood board (or both).

When: Saturday, July 6 – Sunday, October 27
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery
Cost: From $6.50
More Info: vanartgallery.bc.ca

 

To view the full article please visit Vancouver Magazine. 

For more information about Vikky Alexander please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Sara Cwynar Featured in Scout Magazine

June 28, 2019

Sara Cwynar Exhibition ‘Gilded Age II’ to Open July 5 at The Polygon Gallery

North Vancouver, BC | The Polygon Gallery presents Gilded Age II, an exhibition of works by Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sara Cwynar. Primarily working in video and photography, Cwynar’s artworks evolve from a cyclical process of collecting, creating, and re-presenting both original and found visual material. Combining analogue techniques with futuristic imagery and digital artefacts, Cwynar produces photographic collages that allude to the proliferation of images in contemporary visual culture.

Organised by Vancouver curator Jenn Jackson, Gilded Age II is Cwynar’s first solo exhibition on the West Coast. The exhibition features recent photographs and two videos, reflecting Cwynar’s interest in how design and popular images impact collective modes of knowing and seeing. In Sara Cwynar’s works, found photographs, everyday artefacts, illustrations, notes, and models collide.

Sara Cwynar (b. 1985, Vancouver, BC) holds an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT and a Bachelor of Design from York University, Toronto, ON. Selected exhibitions include The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA (2019); Image Model Muse, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA (2019); Rose Gold, The approach, London, UK (2018); Hard to Picture: A Tribute to Ad Reinhardt, Mudam, Luxembourg (2018); Subjektiv, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2017); L’Image Volée, Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016); and Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2015/16). Cwynar’s artist book, Kitsch Encyclopedia (2014), was published by Blonde Art Books, and she is represented by Cooper Cole, Toronto and Foxy Production, New York.

To view the full article please visit the Scout Magazine. 

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Sara Cwynar featured on MoMA

June 26, 2019

Artists Rosalind Fox Solomon and Sara Cwynar discuss how they’re capturing key moments and stories as we prepare for a new MoMA in October.

As we prepare for the opening of a new MoMA in October, we invited artists Rosalind Fox Solomon and Sara Cwynar to capture this exciting moment in the Museum’s history through their unique perspectives. For the past 50 years, Solomon has traveled the world connecting to her subjects through medium-format photo portraits—some of which are in MoMA’s collection and were featured in the 2010–11 exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography.

Cwynar’s art takes a different approach to photography. Building composite photographs and videos of found objects, she explores how design and popular images affect our psyches and infiltrate our consciousness. Both Solomon’s and Cwynar’s work recently appeared in MoMA PS1’s 2015–16 Greater New York exhibition.

Ahead of the launch of their commissions, the two met to discuss their creative process and how they captured key moments and stories in the collection and behind the scenes.

Rosalind Fox Solomon: I want to start by hearing about what you’ve been doing [for this MoMA commission].

Sara Cwynar: Well, I started thinking about the history of MoMA and how it teaches us what we think our history is, or who we think we are, through canonical art objects like the Water Lilies and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon that we’ve seen over and over again. I wanted to think about what those objects say about Western history and ideas about a public-shared history through art objects. Does that make sense?

RFS: Yes. I looked at some of the material online about you, and I noticed that you’re very knowledgeable about art history.

SC: I’m not an art historian, by any means, but I’m interested in how images communicate things that aren’t immediately apparent in them. Something that seems really familiar and benign, like a painting of flowers, actually has so much politics in it. I’ve been trying to pull those things apart. For example, I filmed a Picasso painting with a macro lens, so you can see all of the little details and fresh strokes. You can really see his hand in a way that you normally can’t, and it makes you think about how someone actually made it as opposed to the kind of cultish figure that Picasso has become. I’ve been finding different ways of thinking about parts of the works that you might not see just by looking. It’s been a really crazy education. I wouldn’t say I knew that much about modern art history, but now I know so much about it—at least what’s in MoMA’s collection.

RFS: Our work is so totally different.

SC: Yeah, which is cool.

RFS: At MoMA, I have been focusing on photographing those who are unseen, or behind the scenes. Especially exciting was photographing the conservators working on a Picasso, a Chagall, and a Rodin.

SC: And then what’s next? Are you photographing any visitors?

RFS: I hope to do that when the museum reopens!

SC It’s so hard to me to photograph real people, even in my studio where I have control over everything. What you do seems very difficult.

RSF: It’s interesting, too. Sometimes I’m a little bit apprehensive before I start. It’s as if I’m starting from zero and wondering, “Am I going to be able to do it today? Is anything going to come out of this?” And something always does.

SC: Are you photographing in a square format for Instagram?

RFS: In 1976, I began photographing in a square format. For me, what is inside the frame is what makes the picture, and the format is incidental. Instagram has never been part of my practice.

SC: Right. Is it a Hasselblad?

RFS: It is.

SC: I have one that I never use, but this could be a good opportunity.

RFS: Did you go to art school in Vancouver?

SC: No. I went to the University of British Columbia for English literature for one year, and then I dropped out of school and worked in the mall. I didn’t go back for a long time, but then I went to graphic design school in Toronto. After a while working as a graphic designer, I went to Yale for photography.

RFS: That’s so fantastic.

SC: Yeah. But Yale wasn’t even really a formal photography education, so I still kind of taught myself how to take pictures in a random way.

RFS: Obviously, you’ve done very well with them.

SC: Thanks! What about you? Did you go to school?

RFS: I didn’t have any formal education in photography. I studied intermittently with Lisette Model. Otherwise, I am self-taught.

SC: Oh, wow. That’s amazing. You’ve been using a Hasselblad the whole time?

RFS: Since 1976. I still have my original Hasselblad body.

SC: Have you ever tried a digital Hasselblad?

RFS: I’ve tried digital a few times—not Hasselblad—but I just haven’t liked it. It’s such a different language. Do you use film all the time?

SC: Yeah, because I build things. This is why I can’t take the camera down because I build things on the floor, and then have the camera shooting down. It’s exactly where it needs to be, and then I’ll take five pictures at the end. I shoot on 4×5 or 8×10. I can afford to do that because I don’t take very many pictures. But otherwise it would be so expensive.

RFS: What you do seems very complex.

SC: It is in a sense. I want to start using my Hasselblad again. You’ve inspired me.

RFS: In terms of technology, there was a period when I figured there was no point in continuing to photograph. I just thought everybody is a photographer.

SC: Yeah. But, I mean, there’s such a difference between taking an iPhone photo, and then, the beautiful photos that you take, but you didn’t feel that way?

RFS: I don’t know. Maybe it was a lot of things. Maybe I just thought I’d done enough.

SC: I never had a feeling that there was no point in photographing anymore. I just thought, How can photographs change to make sense in that context? I think it’s more apparent with video. Everything that is made now as a short video can be captioned. Some people won’t listen, they’ll only read. Things are made to fit the square and things are made in this shorter, edited, more condensed way and we’re just used to absorbing information that way.

I think it’s interesting to make things that way, too. I’m excited about pointing to some of the ways that photography has changed for the capitalist platform of Instagram, and how it makes us want more attention and recognition, but also creates great anxiety—what that means and thinking about that in a history of art. I think it’s also interesting getting art out of the kind of privileged space of the museum and how Instagram can be this much more democratic place to see things, but you also can’t really see anything because it’s so small.

RFS: Has your process taught you anything about MoMA that you weren’t expecting? There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on; so much activity and so many different kinds of people who are involved.

SC: Yeah, it’s amazing how much needs to happen just to show pieces of art and to talk about them and preserve them. What draws you to portraiture specifically?

RFS: I have done a lot of other things, but I’m interested in the psychology of people. I use my intuition to try to understand something about what their lives may be. I’m interested in the reality of other people’s lives.

SC: Do you think the camera is a helpful thing for meeting people and going places?

RFS: Absolutely. You can move out of your comfort zone. Even though I was photographing people in remote places, so much was connected to my personal life. That connection is an ongoing thread.

SC: Oh yeah. I try to avoid that, too, though you know, of course it is.

RFS: But in recent years, my books have become extremely personal, especially Got to Go. I chose pictures from all parts of my work to make the book and I included my own texts and poems.

SC: I would love to see that. How do you know when you’re done with something?

RFS: I know that I’m finished when there is rhythm and meaning in the text and images.

SC: I don’t know if I’m ever really done with anything. Things come back. For example, thinking about photographing here, I’ve made maybe five or six things that I didn’t want dissolved. When I make an individual thing, I just decide it’s finished when there’s no part of it that bothers me, which takes a long time. I would like to think my work has gotten more complex, but I may not be the best judge of that. I’m making a lot of videos for this project, and video has been really exciting in terms of learning a new technology and finding new ways to feel excited about making. So much of making art is just figuring things out. I continue to try to find new things that I haven’t figured out yet, and video is really exciting on those terms.

RFS: What is your studio like?

SC: Mine is crazy…massive amounts of objects and things and tools.

RFS: Like you would imagine an artist’s studio. Mine is pretty organized.

SC: I’m so jealous of you.

RFS: You know, I started early organizing my negatives so that I have access to them. In the last few years, I put up a lot of my work, so my studio is much more alive now than it used to be. Everything used to be more or less in boxes. I have a lot of pictures on the wall, and I have my digital center, and my printer. My darkroom turned into a storage space once I closed the door.

SC: The way of all darkrooms. I’m sure you must have so many negatives.

RFS: I do have many negatives, and I am creating more!

 

To view the full article please visit MoMA. 

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Tau Lewis Featured in The Art Newspaper

June 26, 2019
Tags: News, Tau Lewis

Critic’s Pick of Yorkshire Sculpture International: Tau Lewis.

Could the new Yorkshire Sculpture International initiative turn the northern England region into a new hotspot in Europe for sculpture, providing a viable alternative to the acclaimed German festival Sculpture Projects Münster? The UK artist Phyllida Barlow has provided a curatorial thesis for the festival: “Sculpture is the most anthropological of the art forms” (or, as the YSI website states, there is a basic human impulse to make and connect with objects).

The ambitious new festival takes place across four partner venues: the Leeds-based Henry Moore Institute, the Leeds Art Gallery, the Hepworth Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park until 29 September 2019. The event encompasses a wealth of new commissions, more than ten exhibitions and an associate artist scheme. We picked out some highlights.

One of the most impressive aspects of the festival is the inclusion of artists showing woks for the first time in the UK. Toronto-born Tau Lewis presents a series of works made from discarded or donated textiles, including a large-scale quilt entitled The Coral Reef Preservation (2019). This absorbing, unsettling patchwork, awash with aquatic life forms, harks back to her childhood home.

One of the most impressive aspects of the festival is the inclusion of artists showing works for the first time in the UK. Toronto-born Tau Lewis presents a series of works made from discarded or donated textiles, including a large-scale quilt entitled The Coral Reef Preservation Society (2019). This absorbing, unsettling patchwork, awash with aquatic life forms, harks back to her childhood home.

To view the full article please visit The Art Newspaper. 

For more information about Tau Lewis please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

 

Tau Lewis Featured in Wallpaper

June 26, 2019
Tags: News, Tau Lewis

The inaugural edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International takes place across four major institutions in Leeds and Wakefield, featuring Tau Lewis.

It is no coincidence that modern British sculpture was raised on strong tea and Yorkshire pudding. From Henry Moore to Barbara Hepworth, Anthony Caro to Phyllida Barlow, the 20th-century sculptural force of this region issued from the pounding heart of the art schools, welded by lineages of materiality and mentorship. Now well into the 21st century, the county’s major art institutions are to be rabble-roused by a new festival of sculpture, Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI), presenting one hundred days of sculptural song and dance.

With presentations from 18 international artists, outdoor commissions, talks and associated programmes, embarking on the festival programme is not unlike a lesson in the art of lost-wax casting, confounding with endless processes of filling and draining, melting and recasting. For starters, the designated ‘Sculpture Triangle’ spans a fiesty foursome of locations: Leeds Art Gallery, Henry Moore Institute, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The pinnacle is found at the Hepworth: in Jamaican-Canadian artist Tau Lewis’ unsettling aquatic textile collages – advocates for ancestors lost to threadbare black histories; Nairy Baghramian’s intellectually laboured Maintainers, yielding polished wax and aluminium in co-dependency; and Rosanne Robertson’s exposition of the fluidity of queer bodies through haiku-like 1-minute looped films, Stone (Butch) and Pissing (YSP Bothy Gallery). And tempering the political with the spiritual, Wolfgang Laib’s pulsating grid of hand-sized rice ‘mountains’, exalting a humble truth to materials.

Ignited by Barlow’s observation that sculpture is ‘the most anthropological of the art forms’, the inaugural edition of YSI reveals the human impulse to connect with objects is more sentient than ever. Rashid Johnson’s Shea Butter Three Ways (Henry Moore Institute) is a luxurious study of the material coaxed into a three-phase installation, as tactile as it is aromatic. Meanwhile, the question of architectural anthropology is raised by Kimsooja’s quixotic installation of light and mirrors in Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s historic chapel, as well as Ayşe Erkmen’s site-specific installation, three of four, a floor-to-ceiling extension of the recently rediscovered vaulted glass roof of Leed Art Gallery’s Central Court.

Fulfilling its calling card ‘to inspire audiences to rethink their understanding of sculpture’, YSI looks beyond the traditional trio of bronze, stone and wood towards a more interdisciplinary genealogy of making (albeit via a thoughtful foray of the latter in ‘Woodwork: A Family Tree of Sculpture’ at Leeds Art Gallery). Cauleen Smith’s hypnotic film Sojourner, is part political history, part golden-hour feminist utopia, languishing in the seductive desertscape of Noah Purifoy. Embracing community collaboration, composer Tarek Atoui has devised performances with instrument makers in a bid to better understand sound through deafness.

What YSI seems to enact is a retracing of artistic heritage through the material present. If Barlow’s contention is to be wholeheartedly embraced, it surely calls for positive cultural contributions towards our ongoing anthropology. And just as Yorkshire pudding is to roast beef, the story of British sculpture would be a meagre without Yorkshire. Yet the question remains, how meaningful a role YSI will play in the future of sculpture internationally. Will this local treasure find its footing in the non-placeness of the art world’s international event calendar? Only time will tell: the proof is in the pudding. §

 

To view the full article please visit Wallpaper.

For more information about Tau Lewis please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Tau Lewis Featured in Time Out London

June 26, 2019
Tags: News, Tau Lewis

Tau Lewis featured as a highlight in the sculpture festival in Yorkshire.

It’s hard to overstate just how lovely the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is. Set in 500 acres of quintessentially northern English countryside, visitors are able to combine a hearty country walk with seeing the expansive array of world-class sculptures dotted throughout the parkland.

This summer, there’s even more reason to visit. Yorkshire Sculpture International is a free festival of sculpture running until September 29 at the four venues of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle: the YSP, The Hepworth Wakefield, the Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery. Make a weekend of it and you can easily visit all four while also spotting public commissions in the centre of Leeds and Wakefield.

Damien Hirst is the most famous name on the bill (love or loathe him), but there are also new artworks from a brilliant collection of international contemporary artists. Don’t miss Nobuko Tsuchiya’s mind-expanding exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery made of found objects and sticky, slick resins. Likewise, check out Tau Lewis’s deftly constructed textile art, which re-writes memories of the transatlantic slave trade, at the Hepworth.

And finally, keep those energy levels high with strategic stops at the stunning Tiled Hall Café at Leeds Art Gallery and the YSP’s airy and spacious The Weston.

 

To view the full article please visit Time Out London.

For more information about Tau Lewis please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

ektor garcia featured in ArtNews

June 24, 2019

Group exhibition featuring ektor garcia at Luhring Augustine is featured in ArtNews.

 

Opening: “garcía, Raina, Shore, Tossin” at Luhring Augustine
This group outing brings together new and recent works by ektor garcía, Kaveri Raina, Rebecca Shore, and Clarissa Tossin. Some of the art addresses political themes—garcía and Tossin, for example, deal with the cross-pollination of artistic styles around the world in their sculptures. Their pieces will be shown alongside paintings by Raina and Shore.

To view the full article please visit ArtNews.

For more information about ektor garcia please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Sara Cwynar Featured on ArtNews

June 21, 2019

Sara Cwynar’s solo exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut featured on ArtNews.

 

“Sara Cwynar: Gilded Age” is on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, through Sunday, November 10. The solo exhibition features color photographs by Cwynar, her first artist book, a film, and a site-specific wallpaper, which is being shown in the United States for the first time.

To view the full article please visit ArtNews.

For more information about Sara Cwynar please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Georgia Dickie featured in Vogue

June 20, 2019

Hedi Slimane’s New Vision for Celine Is on Full Display at the Brand’s New Paris Store

Just off the Rue Saint-Honoré is a new Celine treasure trove. Opened earlier this month, Hedi Slimane’s fourth Celine store in Paris might be the brand’s most impressive yet, bringing together Slimane’s own furniture design with the work of five international artists. Set against Roman basaltina stone floors, granite walls, and a combination of reclaimed oak, concrete, and brass fixtures, both the furniture and the artworks give the space a sense of warmth and welcome. According to the brand, it’s a 21st-century Brutalist concept—hard-edged but with the softness of Slimane’s body-hugging designs for men and women hanging on the store’s rails.

The five artists whose work lives within the space represent a post-modern approach to material. At the base of a spiral staircase at the store’s center is a sculpture by Katinka Bock, made of stacked cubes; elsewhere visitors can find a wall-mounted piece by Georgia Dickie and sculptures by Hu Xiaoyuan, Rochelle Goldberg, and Deyson Gilbert. Alongside these monumental works are vitrines and display tables holding Celine’s new Triomphe and Besace bags in bright, summery colors like aquamarine and marigold. Are these shoulder bags art? Depends who you ask. The photo of Lady Gaga debuting the Besace style on a vaporetto at the Venice Film Festival certainly belongs in a museum.

Celine is open at 4 Rue Duphot, Paris.

 

To view the full article please visit Vogue.

For more information about Georgia Dickie please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

A Complete Change of Form Into A More Beautiful Or Spiritual State featured on Contemporary Art Daily

June 15, 2019

Group show A Complete Change of Form Into A More Beautiful Or Spiritual State featured on Contemporary Art Daily. 

 

Artists: Timothy Yanick Hunter, Eileen Isagon Skyers, Eve Tagny, Qualeasha Wood
, Curtia Wright

Venue: Cooper Cole, Toronto

Exhibition Title: A Complete Change of Form Into A More Beautiful Or Spiritual State

Curated By: Timothy Yanick Hunter

Date: May 10 – June 8, 2019

 

To view the full article please visit Contemporary Art Daily.

For more information about Timothy Yanick Hunter, Eileen Isagon Skyers, Eve Tagny, Qualeasha Wood
, Curtia Wright please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

Georgia Dickie Featured in WWD

June 7, 2019

Georgia Dickie acquired by Celine and featured in Womens Wear Daily.

New Celine store spotlights women artists. The store on Rue Duphot, designed by Hedi Slimane, features works by four female contemporary artists from across the world.

Celine is putting the spotlight on women artists with its latest boutique in Paris, its fourth opening in the French capital in as many months.

The store on Rue Duphot, just off Rue Saint-Honoré, carries women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories. In line with creative director Hedi Slimane’s new retail concept, inaugurated in New York City in February, the 3,770-square-foot space features a mix of his furniture designs, vintage pieces and original art works.

They include a ceramic sculpture by German artist Katinka Bock; a sculpture by Chinese artist Hu Xiaoyuan incorporating materials such as rosewood, ink, raw silk and nails; a wall-mounted sculpture by Canadian artist Georgia Dickie, who often works with found objects, and a work by fellow Canadian Rochelle Goldberg. Rounding out the selection is a man, Brazilian artist Deyson Gilbert.

Walls are covered in stone including Grand Antique marble, a deep black stone with graphic white veining from the South of France, and travertine from Iran, in an overall design that blends elements of Brutalism, Modernism, Bauhaus and Dutch art movement De Stijl.

Among the store’s most striking features is a staircase linking the ground floor to the first floor, framed with slats of glass and wood, curving around Bock’s sculpture.

In addition to the locations opened since late February in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles, London, Milan, Madrid, Dubai, Macau and Bangkok to coincide with the delivery of Slimane’s debut ready-to-wear collections, Celine plans to open stores this year in Shanghai and Beijing.

The Rue Duphot boutique is located in one of the French capital’s hottest shopping districts, which in the last year has welcomed new or revamped flagships from Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Balmain, Marni and Serge Lutens, among others. Saint Laurent will debut its new retail format nearby on Saturday.

To view the full article please visit WWD.

For more information about Georgia Dickie please contact the gallery:

info@coopercolegallery.com
+1.416.531.8000

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