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Celebrating 10 years in business!

RETURN TO FIGURATIVE | July 6 - August 19 2017

RETURN TO FIGURATIVE | July 6 - August 19 2017


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After years of the seemingly neverending popularity of abstraction, artwork depicting the human form is seeing a resurgence in the art world. Julia Campisi, Kristina Corre, Ariane Fairlie and Amanda Gorman illustrate this revival through their contrasting work. 

In the series Famous Photographs and Working from the Desire Aesthetic, Toronto-based artist Julia Campisi reworks objectified images of women by cutting, dismantling and reforming them into distorted but recognizable figures. Campisi’s photo collages not only confront how images of women are depicted and dispersed, but also forces the viewer to readjust their gaze and understanding. Campisi’s large and smaller scale works are juxtaposed with her innovative sculptures, handmade vases with floral petals formed from further dismantled strips of images.

Kristina Corre shares work from her latest series Arrivants, informed by her Filipinx heritage, borrowing the term coined by Jin-me Yoon. Exploring her own diasporic identity in her work for the first time, the collages are inspired by the journey of immigrants from the Philippines (as in Balikbayans and Oceans Between Us), the ideals projected onto women in the country (Maria Carla is Nasty) and the colonialist history of the island (Mindoro). Corre plays with the proportions of both the figures and other found images in her work, leading to innovative perspectives.

Montréal-based Ariane Fairlie creates work self-described as “clothing portraiture”, exploring concepts of observation and hyperrealism. Fairlie’s work is unique as its subject matter, women’s intimate garments, are separated from its wearer, and yet depicted almost as if worn. This results in an intriguing middle area - “in the process of transforming the clothing from object to subject, Ariane's practice becomes one in empathy, a chance to explore and understand human characteristics and emotion through an inhuman form. The subject both there, and not there.” The exposed wood under her work mirrors the artist’s unmasking of the cultural identities declared by our clothing.

Amanda Gorman’s work targets her pain and fear in regards to her family’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. The artist’s exploration of time and memory, as well as her own personal worries about her own future, results in oil paintings employing a strong grasp of light and colour. The artist’s own consistent visualization of her brain separate from her body is depicted in Day Dreamer, while Slow Motion depicts superimposed hands as if stuck in slow motion, “as if being intoxicated by the disease that would destroy visual coordination.”  

While harnessing the subtlety of abstraction, the artists in Return to Figurative explore themes of the visual representation of the body (of their own or others), both internally and externally - marking the popular move back to representational artwork.

Text by Rose Ekins, Curator

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