After meeting the folks from Galerie D'Este at the Toronto International Art Fair, I was invited to exhibit with them for a curated group show entitled "Carnaval". Opens February 7!
“What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more. … In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.”
-Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation”, 1964
To inaugurate its 2013 exhibition season, Galerie D’Este and exhibition curators Samara Leibner & Daisy Lilly Best are proud to present CARNAVAL featuring works by Betino Assa, Geneviève Lapierre, Nathan Brown and Meghan Hildebrand.
Present in all religious traditions, the transformative aspect of the carnival imbues reality with the magic of imagination. Masks, disguises and primal imagery transcend the personal to resonate with everyone, and allow us to order our world through metaphor. The dream-logic of the circus, the story and the all-night party offers an escape from banality, as temporary as it may be. Carnival is about excess and a more visceral awareness of the body and sensory stimulation, creating an openness to new experiences that allows us to ascend to a higher level of understanding. The four young artists featured in this show provoke a similar sense of joyful, chaotic release by using elements of the carnival to privilege a spontaneous dialogue between viewer and work.
Recipient of an Honourable Mention in the RBC Painting Competition’s 2012 edition, Montreal artist Betino Assa’s practice is rooted in folktales and mythology. Assa seamlessly blends playful narrative and a sense of the sacred in a series of monographs depicting masks, subtly revealing each subject’s distinct characteristics through evocative titles. The mask makes reference to caricature, but also to anonymity, of general attributes as well as personal traits.
Geneviève Lapierre of Quebec City creates hybrid works where costume, performance, photography, digital manipulation and painting come together. Rock stars, princesses and circus freaks populate Lapierre’s dreamlike images, where performance, costume and Klimt-like abstraction blur the lines of perception. The performative aspect of her work borders on personal transgression, allowing Lapierre to explore the physical and psychological realities of isolation.
Following his recent solo show at New York’s Rivington Design House Gallery last April, Montreal-based Nathan Brown draws on the rich symbols of tattoo flash and California biker imagery to create finely-rendered drawings, paintings and installations. Excess characterizes Brown’s work both in the visceral abundance of the iconography and in the painstaking execution, suggestive of an almost trance-like state.
Powell River, BC-based Meghan Hildebrand’s works resist simple interpretation and vibrate with an atmosphere of formal excess, breaking down iconography like neon cave paintings. Hildebrand’s works emphasize the sense of aesthetic, imaginary and emotional wonder art should evoke in the viewer.
With this in mind, we invite you to join the carnival!