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  • Julia Dault Blame It On the Rain May 1 to June 28, 2015 BC Binning and Alvin Balkind Galleries The Contemporary Art Gallery presents a major solo exhibition by Toronto-born, New York–based artist Julia Dault. Through a selection of new and recent works, the exhibition reveals the importance to Dault of balancing spontaneous gesture with responsiveness to rules, logic and the constraints of materials. Physical negotiations are central to Dault’s textured paintings and improvised sculptures; both are exhibited in Blame It On the Rain. Dault is interested in ‘embodied knowledge’ — how making is thinking — and reinserts the artist’s hand into a minimal aesthetic primarily interpreted as distanced and industrial. The artist’s rule-based painting involves responding to mass-produced elements — patterned silks, pleather, unmixed paint straight from the tube — with unconventional tools, such as squeegees, rubber combs and sea sponges. The limitations of these objects create quasi-standardized gestures that allow Dault to skirt the line between expressive abstraction and cool, machine-like facture. Erasure of her paintings’ topmost layers, which allows viewers to ‘see into’ the painting process, is as important to Dault as paint application. Exploration of artistic labor recurs in Dault’s sculptures. Always improvising on site and working alone, the artist manipulates and coerces Plexiglas, Formica and other industrially produced materials into imposing curved forms, then affixes them to the gallery wall using straps and cords. Dault’s efforts can be understood as ‘private performances’ in which her physical capabilities are juxtaposed with the properties of the materials she employs. Each sculpture is titled with a time stamp that reflects the duration it took to complete the piece. In this gesture, as with her paintings, she hopes to underline the durational nature of the art-making process. Dault’s work fuses the emphasis on process found in both Abstract Expressionist painting and post-Minimal sculpture. One unifying element is the artist’s fascination with patterns, and with the slippages and imperfections that reveal the human origins of what appears mechanical. Another is the search for variety within strict limitations. By devising expressive gestures through rules and reasoning indicative of post-Minimal and Conceptual art, Dault is part of a generation of artists acknowledging histories and legacies of art making while revitalizing abstraction today. The exhibition complements Color Me Badd, presented at The Power Plant, Toronto in 2014-2015. The two institutions are working together on the first major monograph of Dault’s work, to be published by Black Dog Publishing later in 2015. The publication is made with generous support from the RBC Emerging Artist Project. BIO Julia Dault lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has held solo exhibitions at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2015); The Power Plant, Toronto and China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles (2014); Galerie Bob van Orsouw, Zurich and Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto (2013); and White Cube Bermondsey, London (2012). She has also participated in group shows which include: Elevated, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2014-2015), Americana: Selections from the Collection, Pérez Art Museum, Miami (2013–2014); Outside the Lines, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2013–2014); In the Heart of the Country, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Inner Journeys, Maison Particulière, Brussels (2013); The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York; Roundtable, the Ninth Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); and Making Is Thinking, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011). Her work is in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Saatchi Gallery, London; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Dault is represented by Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto; and China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles. MORE
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    01 May, 2015 – 28 Jun, 2015
    Julia Dault, Drama Queen, 2014. Detail. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Photo: Jason Wyche. © Julia Dault; courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.
  • Shannon Bool Michelangelo’s Place May 1 to June 28, 2015 The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the second part of a new commission in 2015 with Canadian artist Shannon Bool. Bool typically references a wide variety of art historical objects in her work, commenting on the role of decorative arts within art history, as well as on the change in meaning that occurs through the replication and alteration of significant cultural forms. Central to her practice is the paradoxical examination of the depth and psychological weight that surfaces carry, which she underlines in unorthodox material processes. Located near to the gallery entrance is Michelangelo’s Place, the final version in a series of carrara marble benches Bool has recently produced.  The sculpture references the benches found circling the elevated Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, built in 1869 to showcase copies of Michelangelo’s most famous works and to provide a panoramic view of the city. At the Contemporary Art Gallery, Bool’s sculpture references the benches’ scale and appropriates the graffiti that covers them.  The graffiti, some of which is over 100 years old and ranges from tourist scribbles, love declarations and Italy’s first Labour Party, is mirrored to emphasize its materialization and the artist’s handwork. These energetic gestures of incision, gouging and defacing subvert the benches’ functionality by drawing attention to the individual experiences of the Piazzale’s visitors who chose to leave their own marks instead of consuming the magnificent views of the renaissance.  The carrara marble, signifying wealth and high renaissance material values is subjected instead to the every day banality of Florentine life and tourism, where the public turns away from its master narrative and carves its own signature. Shannon Bool lives and works in Berlin. Solo exhibitions include: The Fourth Wall Through the Third Eye, Galerie Kadel Willborn, Düsseldorf; Walk Like an Etruscan, Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto (2013); The Inverted Harem II, Bonner Kunstverein (2011);  CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France; The Inverted Harem, GAK-Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen (2010); RMIT Project Space, Melbourne, Australia (2008). Group exhibitions include MMK2 Boom She Boom, Works from the MMK Collection, Frankfurt (2015); The Klöntal Triennale, Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland (2014); Soft Pictures, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaugengo, Turin (2013); Painting Forever!, KW, Berlin (2013); Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto (2013); the Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2012); 7×14, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Rock Opera, CACP Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux (2009); Drawing on Sculpture: Graphic Interventions on the Photographic Surface, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2007); Make Your Move, Projects Arts Centre, Dublin; Spiralen der Erinnerung, Kunstverein in Hamburg; Carbonic Anhydride, Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin (2006). Work is held in the collections of The National Gallery of Canada, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Fondazione Sandretto, Turin, MMK Museum fur Modern Kunst, Frankfurt am Main; Lenbachhaus, Munich, and the Saatchi Collection, London. She is represented by Kadel Willborn Gallery in Düsseldorf and Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto. MORE
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    01 May, 2015 – 28 Jun, 2015
    Shannon Bool, ‘Michelangelo’s Place’, 2014. Courtesy Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto. Photograph Jennifer Sciarrino.
  • Maddie Leach June to July Taking up residency in June, Maddie Leach will begin research towards a Vancouver-based project. Leach’s practice is one that seeks ways of making artworks as a means to interpret and respond to specific context, through a lengthy process of enquiry and social interaction establishing relationships between form, materials, locations, histories, events, individuals and communities. Leach was nominated for the Walters Prize 2014 for If you find the good oil let us know (2012–›2014), created during a two year residency at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, a town known for its oil and gas exploration on New Zealand’s North Island. The project centered on 70 ‚litres of supposed ‘whale oil’. With layered and complex associations to whaling from indigenous sustenance to colonial/capitalist industry, whale oil speaks to New Zealand’s past and evokes its new economic boom in crude oil exploration. Leach sought to return this mythic substance to the sea, beginning a tangential journey that ended with a cube of cement made from the firing of 70 litres of mineral oil relocated to the seabed several kilometres off the coast. Through such ephemeral aesthetic actions and an unfolding public dialogue, this search for the authenticity of the ‘whale oil’ connected fragmented industrial and cultural narratives central to the context of New Zealand. Sharing her unfolding research, Leach then invited fourteen individuals to offer written letters as responses to the work, the only stipulation being to begin the letter with ‘Dear.’ The texts became a series of ‘Letters to the Editor’ in the Taranaki Daily News developing a curious narrative composed by multiple authors, from scientists to sailors, cement workers to oil-industry executives. MORE
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    01 Jun, 2015 – 31 Jul, 2015
    Maddie Leach, If you find the good oil let us know (2012 - 2014) New Plymouth, New Zealand. Photograph by Shaun Waugh.
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Current Events

NURSE
Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, 12-6pm

The Contemporary Art Gallery presents a weekend of epic sound working with Vancouver based NURSE.

Performing two six-hour presentations, this group of tonal alchemists intend to create free improvisational music or Free-Continuum Music. They comprise two basses, one full of riffs, the other a distorted drone, a haunting slide guitar and one constant ‘phase-drone’ guitar, providing the continuum. A wash of space synths make this spare drone-scape lush. The performances will be ongoing throughout the day, the sound reacting to and in response to the environment as it unfolds over time, a constantly evolving texture ebbing and flowing throughout the building.

NURSE prescribe heady medication. Releases to date include Heads Remain (C20 on Soldierpumps); Camping Jam and X-Ray (both cd-r on Get Medicated).

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NURSE | Performance


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Learning Resources

On Friday, April 10, 2015 and in conjunction with the Canadian Art Foundation Vancouver Gallery Hop, the CAG hosted a talk by Canadian Art associate editor David Balzer based on his latest book ‘Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else’.

David Balzer is a Toronto-based critic, editor and teacher. He has written for The Globe and Mail, Modern Painters, Camera Austria, artforum.com, The Believer and others, and is the author of two books, the short-fiction collection Contrivances (Joyland/ECW Press) and the non-fiction study ‘Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else’ (Coach House Press/Pluto Press).

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David Balzer | Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else


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Recent Posts

This is the third and final installment of a series of interview questions between UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill and Jeremy Shaw, around Jeremy Shaw’s 2015 exhibition here at CAG, Medium-based Time (February 26-April 19).
Patrick O’Neill: In an interview with 032c Magazine you said that you had a “[...] real fondness for the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience.” If we look at how Variation FQ relates to Quickeners, this idea about the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience is especially present in both works. Various cinematic elements are utilized in each film and in the way each room is crafted as an immersive installation. Is the idea of cinema as manipulative experience something you wish the viewer to pick up on?

Jeremy Shaw: I think the way that I am amplifying these manipulative possibilities is quite pronounced in the work – my use of devices and clichés is very apparent.  This isn’t to say that that makes them obvious to the viewer, as they’re proven manipulative by design, so may be working in a way that people don’t recognize immediately.   If I was truly creating work that’s in keeping with this potential, they may never be picked up on, but I don’t mind either way. I have always loved walking away from an art work or film with the feeling that I’ve been had a little bit – like I’ve been tricked or lead some way or other unknowingly and possibly even against my own usual judgement.

In what way do you think this understanding, or awareness, might affect the reading of the themes within each film?

This use of techniques are an amplification of the things I love about cinema, music video, documentary, etc – so I see them as a way to push the themes even harder, but to do it in a way that’s moving, alluring, entertaining, repelling, whatever – it’s amplified.  I tend to celebrate things in my works – even things I may not fully agree with, but that I find a beauty in the core of.  I often ride a line between this celebration and critique via this use cinematic device, but essentially, I leave things nebulous.  I don’t attempt to force a certain reading – only possibilities.

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UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill in conversation with Jeremy Shaw | Part 3 of 3


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