Vicki Smith | Flora and Fauna

Vicki Smith | Flora and Fauna 
May 9-30, 2024
Bau-Xi Gallery | Dufferin
1384 Dufferin Street, Toronto
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11, 3-5 PM | ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE

Bau-Xi Gallery presents Flora and Fauna, the highly anticipated solo exhibition by Toronto-based painter, Vicki Smith. In this new collection, Smith creates a conversation between her signature figures and stunning new landscape paintings. The artist explores the before or after the figure comes and goes, gently breaking the reflections in the water, then stillness returns and reflects nature in an indirect way.

Artist Statement:

"Flora and Fauna is a series of paintings about the female form and the temporal interplay of light and energy within reflections of the natural environment.

As a sequel to my previous work, this collection elaborates on and extends the experience of peace by pairing swimmers with images of quiet reflected landscapes. Throughout this body of work, the swimmers gently break the surface of the water, scattering the reflections which in turn distort and dissolve the body. Boundaries merge and mingle in a momentary exchange. Much like the practice of meditation, the swimmers revel in an experience that circumvents conscious thought and the complimentary images of reflective landscape nudge us back to a place of stillness and quiet focus. As always, my paintings are in pursuit of a calm and peaceful space."

Vicki Smith's artwork is included in countless private and public collections across North America and Europe. Smith studied fine art at the Ontario College of Art. She lives and works in Toronto.

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Group Exhibition | A Light Exists In Spring


Group Exhibition | A Light Exists In Spring

May 11-25, 2024
Main Level
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver
Opening Reception: Saturday May 11, 2-4pm

Taking inspiration from the famed poet Emily Dickinson, Bau-Xi Vancouver proudly presents A Light Exists in Spring, a group exhibition featuring new thematic compositions replete with the vibrance and optimism of the season. Dickinson's poem by the same title sings the praises of springtime's light and colour in words; artists Erin Armstrong, David Alexander, Vicky Christou, Cori Creed, Katrin Korfmann and Isabelle Menin each offer their unique perspectives and relationships with colour and form which evoke spring's characteristic energy of new life. 

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Kathryn Macnaughton | Impulsive Impressions

Kathryn Macnaughton | Impulsive Impressions 
May 9-30, 2024
Bau-Xi Gallery | Dufferin
1384 Dufferin Street, Toronto
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 11, 3-5 PM | ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE 

Bau-Xi Gallery is thrilled to present Impulsive Impressions, the captivating new solo exhibition by Toronto-born, Lisbon-based painter, Kathryn Macnaughton. 

Artist Statement:

"Impulsive Impressions, an exploration where colour, movement, and form collide. Each painting is a journey into spontaneity, blending organic shapes into rhythmic patterns while embracing gesturalism and improvisation. 

The process is a delicate balance, requiring unwavering trust in intuition and a willingness to embrace failure. With each pour of paint, I navigate a terrain of uncertainty, knowing precisely when to halt or push the boundaries further, teetering on the edge of no return. I am constantly acting and thinking, with no predefined image in mind, only open-ended possibilities. 

The scale of the canvas mirrors the embrace of the body, yet animates it with an intensity that demands physical interaction. Painting allows me to turn thoughts into action, expressing emotions in a direct and powerful way. Each piece is a reflection of my unique perspective, a blend of chaos and calm, capturing the essence of existence."

Macnaughton has exhibited in both Canada and abroad since 2010. Recent collaborations include Kit and Ace, Collective Arts Brewery, and The Gardiner Museum, Toronto.

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Andre Petterson | Halcyon

Andre Petterson artwork 'Reach 2' available at Bau-Xi Gallery Vancouver

Andre Petterson | Halcyon

April 20-May 4, 2024
Main Level
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver
Opening Reception: Saturday April 20, 2-4pm
Artist In Attendance

Andre Petterson turns his lens onto floral motifs for his new solo exhibition, Halcyon, proudly presented by Bau-Xi Vancouver. This series contrasts riotous, layered superblooms of flowers with the calm and focused refinement of singular blooms in architectural settings. Adding a further sense of calm, the collection includes several coastal landscapes with long pieces of driftwood to emphasize the linearity of the horizon meeting the water’s edge.

In these new works, Petterson embraces chance occurrence, letting paint organically land in unexpected places on the panel and intermingle with the photographed floral elements. The effect both disrupts and harmonizes with these elements, giving Petterson’s signature mixed media style a new sense of looseness as he creates varied and novel ways to experience florals.

Artist statement:

My new work is largely floral, still life and landscape, and is much more painterly than anything I've done in the recent past. It is an exploration and contrast of real and abstract, hard edges and softness, natural and man-made. I have been dabbling with floral and nature works throughout the decades; If I were to make floral works again, I felt I had to bring something new to the subject that I hadn't yet explored. Incorporating architectural elements added a sense of play and, to some degree, a sense of revisiting some of the early collages that I made years ago. I get to build things again.   - Andre Petterson 2024

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Tom Burrows | Into That Good Night

 

Tom Burrows | Into That Good Night
April 4 -25, 2024
Bau-Xi Gallery | Dufferin
1384 Dufferin Street, Toronto
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 5-7 PM | ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE

Bau-Xi Gallery is thrilled to present Vancouver-based artist Tom Burrows' new solo exhibition Into That Good Night, his first show for Bau-Xi Toronto since 2019. The latest chapter in The Curve of Time series, this collection is comprised of exceptional polymer resin sculptures on which he writes:

"The electricity has just returned after a vicious Christmas day southeaster wreaked havoc on this side of Hornby. A heavy panel of tempered glass that sheltered the entrance to the house was sent cartwheeling thirty feet, shattering on the paving stones by the gate. When we returned by the light of a cell phone from Christmas dinner with friends at a home -- luckily, on the island's northwest shore -- we were greeted with what seemed like myriads of diamonds on the path.

It's been reported that the Salish Sea is warming faster than the greater North Pacific.

After the flu pandemic and an era of factional politics and market manipulation, M. Wylie Blanchet’s decade-long family travelogue commenced its nautical passages in 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression. Simultaneously, fascism gained a stranglehold throughout Europe and Northern Asia, in the lead-up to another world-shattering conflict.

In 2024, we find ourselves emerging from a pandemic, but now the curve of time and space is compressed. In the ever-tightening vortex of mega-corporate media, we teeter on the lip of recession and fascism flourishes with the proliferation of populist demigods.

Hopefully, a voice will transmit a true journal of their family’s voyage; that anyone receives.

“Do not go gentle into that good night, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

I have appropriated Dylan Thomas's lines, hoping to transfer rage from the death of the self to the demise of a global ecosphere that supports human existence.

“Hope is the highest form of art.” Gerhard Richter.

“The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.” Francisco Goya.”"

Tom Burrows' work is held in private, corporate, and public collections across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The artist's polymer resin works were acquired for the permanent collection of Canada House in Trafalgar Square, London, and the HBC Global Art Collection in New York. Tom Burrows lives and works between Hornby Island and Vancouver.

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Kyle Scheurmann | Split My Full Moon Heart

Kyle Scheurmann | Split My Full Moon Heart
April 4 -25, 2024
Bau-Xi Gallery | Dufferin
1384 Dufferin Street, Toronto
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 5-7 PM | ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE

Bau-Xi Toronto is proud to present Split My Full Moon Heart, the newest solo exhibition by accomplished painter and climate-activist Kyle Scheurmann. The artist has created seventeen captivating pieces that stem from his experiences spent in nature and under the light of the Full Moon.

The artist states:

"I paint in my head the fastest when walking at night under a Full Moon.
When I think of the forest, it is most often at night while lit up with a Full Moon.

After several years of staying at communal camps, I’ve learned that the most magic nights are when we all turn off our flashlights and let the Full Moon drape the forest with colour. The light is made for us.

Even when walking trails I know well, I’m more prepared to find new paintings when under a Full Moon.

This has become a very useful visual tool in my actual paintings. I’m sure you've noticed this in several paintings - not just when painting people under a Full Moon, but by treating other things in the painting as a Full Moon too - such as a flashlight, or fire. 
The final days of large paintings are most often an effort to ‘paint the light’. Or to 'be the light.’ Or to ‘make the light.'

Or to ’be the Moon.’

Anything can happen under a Full Moon.

----

From Brisbane to Belfast, I’ve watched infinitely-large bodies of water transform under the Full Moon. Millions of litres sloshed around by a glowing orb in the sky.

So if the moon can have that kind of effect on the water in the oceans, what’s it doing to the water in my body?

When writing about my paintings from camp, Chickweed noted: “I think about drinking from one stream for 6 months until realizing that if my body is mostly water, then now my body is mostly Axe Creek."

60% of me (at that moment) was Axe Creek too.

The idea that “we are our surroundings” or “we are the forest” or “we are the water” has been in my work for a while. Figures in transitional spaces, about to plunge into a river or wade into the brush. Figures collecting or harvesting offerings from the forest in order to eat, drink or heal. These are painted metaphors for the split between where we end and where nature begins. 

Chickweed’s realization about Axe Creek has helped clarify a lot of this transitional imagery for me. It’s plain language to a complex feeling.

As much as we are water, we are the ocean too. 
The moon pulls on us too. Even if just a little. It’s enough to feel a difference.

My heart is bigger when under a Full Moon. 

For better or worse, I become more empathetic, more at the mercy of my surroundings. I feel more, and I have more energy to give to those feelings. 
I become a swelling ocean.

----

By the time I came home later that summer, we had visited several unbelievable “water in transition” places; 
Waterfalls that flowed into other waterfalls.
Rivers that flowed into lakes.
Rain that turned into dew as we hiked into the clouds.
A river flowing through a cave (and then out of the cave and into a waterfall!).

I collected so many drawings and photos from those places. My new paintings grow out of those experiences.

But the clarity with which I am finishing this exhibition comes from witnessing a different kind of transition happening in the forest. 

…And it split my heart in two.

----

June 5, 2023:

This past weekend, for the first time, I stood in an active cutblock that used to be an ancient forest I had protected with my own body. Just last summer while I was at Sassin Camp, it was lush with old-growth cedar taller than you could ever imagine…

----

With hindsight, I know for certain that standing in that clearcut didn’t ‘break’ my heart like I thought it did in the moment. Because ‘break' implies lots of little pieces. It suggests some kind of end or finality.

Instead, that moment Split my heart. 

Doused in the smell of gasoline and sawdust, a transition was happening in how I think about my responsibilities to my work and the environment. As my heart split wider with each minute in the clearcut, I thought about the dualities I had already been occupying in life and painting; Intentionally riding several lines between journalist and advocate, commercial artist and protest painter, Forest Protector and fundraiser. 

I was in two pieces:

I was full of rage and coursing with anger. 
I was focused and calm.

I was an activist, thinking about driving straight to the last active blockade and getting back to work with direct action. 
I was a conservationist, measuring stumps and taking careful documentation, thinking about legislation and who I needed to call first when I got back to cell service.

I was living in my truck on the side of a Vancouver Island logging road, taking notes like a journalist. 
I was living on the walls of fancy homes in Toronto, showing my research in cobalt and cadmium.

I was worried about myself, thinking about my own comfort and future. 
I was worried about humanity, terrified for us as a whole…

In that hot and decomposing clearcut, I was the water in transition. 
Dozens of litres sloshed around by a glowing orb in the sky.

The moon wasn’t at its fullest until later that night - but by 5pm, it was already giving me a good pull.

It split my heart.

Split My Full Moon Heart."

Since 2019, Scheurmann has kept studios in remote, wooded locations to document the incremental approach of climate change while simultaneously working on conservation and activism efforts.

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Casey McGlynn | Ballet of the Pickup Trucks



Casey McGlynn | Ballet of the Pickup Trucks
April 6-18, 2024
Main Level
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver
Opening Reception: Saturday April 6, 2-4pm


Bau-Xi Vancouver proudly presents Ballet of the Pickup Trucks, the new solo exhibition by Ontario-based artist Casey McGlynn. As he approaches thirty years of exhibiting in galleries and museums, McGlynn returns to the horse, one of his earliest metaphors of the self. Grazing and at rest, the horses appear in herds and as individual silhouettes, their interiors filled with a cacophony of symbols and colour that bristle with a fervent, raw energy.

Artist statement:

Ballet of the pickup trucks is about becoming a northerner and searching for beauty and meaning in the north. it’s become about finding that beauty and meaning in the most unlikely of places up here

-Casey McGlynn, 2024

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Chris Shepherd | After Poetry

Chris Shepherd | After Poetry
March 2-23, 2024
Bau-Xi Gallery | Dufferin
1384 Dufferin Street, Toronto
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 2, 1-3 pm | Artist in Attendance

This March Bau-Xi Toronto is thrilled to present After Poetry, an all-new exhibition by accomplished Toronto-based artist Chris Shepherd. 

ARTIST STATEMENT:

In an After Poem, the author declares a relationship between their writing and another artist’s work.

After Poetry acknowledges that reading poetry influences how I make things. It’s not a direct relationship. I don’t read a poem, get a vision, then make photographs. It’s more like the spirit or ethos of poetry has pervaded my way of thinking and seeing.

A poem, its subject, or the lines, are not directly tied to a specific image. They were decided after the photographs were selected for the exhibition. I selected passages that felt engaging and worked well to enhance the opaque nature of the photographs themselves.

I hope to have created a curiosity in the viewer - that the new relationships between poetic line and photograph might help viewers find a personal relationship with the word and image. Ideally these pairings serve as springboards for the viewer to create new personal narratives or meaning.

The unpredictable possibility in this process fascinates me. I’ve spent my life reading, watching, listening, viewing, and engaging with art. Through this, I’ve discovered the most relatable and engaging works for me are always those that remain a bit impenetrable. I’m happiest when never fully grasping something in its entirety. I like the unexplained and mysterious questions of life.

Hopefully this love of the opaque and imagination is echoed in After Poetry.

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Sheila Kernan | The Quiet Joy

Shelia Kernan | The Quiet Joy 
March 2-23, 2024
Bau-Xi Gallery | Dufferin
1384 Dufferin Street, Toronto
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 2, 1-3 pm | Artist in Attendance

Bau-Xi Gallery is proud to present The Quiet Joythe anticipated solo exhibition by Calgary-based artist, Sheila Kernan. 

ARTIST STATEMENT: 

My series of paintings, The Quiet Joy, are love letters to the landscapes of Eastern Canada that hold deep personal significance to me.

My family's roots in the east stretch back generations, and each time I visit, I feel a profound connection to the land. It has left an indelible mark on my artistic imagination. This series is a repurposing and recombination of over 70 individual sketches and drawings. I hope to create something both familiar and new, evoking a sense of wonder and imagination, allowing for the essence of a place to flow through my work.

While my paintings are inspired by actual places, they are not just replications of reality. Rather, they are a synthesis of memory, imagination, and the natural beauty of the landscapes I've experienced, offering familiarity while also creating something, giving them the freedom to be new and unique.

Through my use of refined colours, layered washes, airbrush, stencilling, and textured techniques, I aim to capture subtle gradations and nuances of color, light, shadow, line, atmosphere, and form. I balance realism with abstraction, using negative and positive space to evoke a sense of place. Gestalt theory guides my decisions, emphasizing the interplay between individual elements and the whole, as well as the different ways viewers might perceive the paintings based on their own biases and preferences.

These landscapes, found in places like 1000 Islands, Lake Ontario, Muskoka Region, Killarney Provincial Park, and the Georgina Bay area, are beautifully dramatic and profound in their natural responses to prevailing weather conditions.

My goal is to transport viewers to a peaceful place where they can be reminded of the simple joys found in these areas.

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Anne Griffiths | The Nature Cure


Anne Griffiths | The Nature Cure

March 9 - 23, 2024
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver
Opening Reception: Saturday March 9, 2-4pm
Artist in Attendance


Bau-Xi Vancouver is proud to present The Nature Cure, the anticipated solo exhibition by BC-based artist Anne Griffiths. Griffiths' emotive abstracted landscapes, rendered in a jewel-like palette, reflect the artist's intentional focus on the act of connecting and communing with natural surroundings. The Nature Cure is a timely reminder of our inherent connection to nature and its potential role in maintaining our mental well-being in turbulent times.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

As the world becomes an ever-more confusing web of artificial entities and falsehoods, we each struggle to find objective truths and authentic experiences. To me there is nothing more real than the simple act of immersing oneself in nature. It is something consistent that we can hang onto for sanity in this world consumed by ‘alternate facts’ and seemingly endless confrontation.

In this new body of work, I have explored my own reactions to this ‘nature time’. It seems to heal me of stress while time stands still; and there is more beauty to take in than time to absorb it. This grounding in the natural world collides with my angst for the state of our human-centric world. These paintings are the physical and artistic manifestation of that collision.      -Anne Griffiths, 2024

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Michelle Nguyen | Before I Depart

Michelle Nguyen | Before I Depart
March 9-23, 2024
Upper Gallery
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver
Opening Reception: Saturday March 9, 2-4pm

Bau-Xi Vancouver proudly presents Before I Depart, the new solo exhibition by Toronto-born artist Michelle Nguyen. Known for her unflinching examination of death, transmutation, and the bridge between earthly existence and the afterlife, Nguyen delivers a new series of riveting and intricate compositions replete with detail, symbolism and allegory.

Nguyen has exhibited in Canada, New York City, and London, UK. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia in 2016 and is now based in Montreal.

 

Artist statement:

“Our lives are full of griefs, full of losses big and small, and every loss is a spiritual death.”
— Breeshia Wade, Grieving While Black

Despite making heavily death-centric work, I have always been terrible at goodbyes. I have often opted for the exit of a ghost. I’ve been trying to become more intentional and sentimental, so when I made the move to Montreal, I tried very hard not to downplay the grief that comes with every departure.

I moved to Vancouver in September 2012 to study at the University of British Columbia, with the intentions of majoring in creative writing. I had never been to Vancouver before then and knew little about it. I was in need of a change and the campus photos looked nice. I never would have fathomed I would spend eleven years of my life here, or that my art would grow so drastically alongside me.

For the last six years, I spent the majority of my waking (and some sleeping) time in the same East Van studio. The packing and cleaning felt like a form of grieving as I reflected on my time in that space. The routines and habits I had formed would no longer be. The people I saw the most often would no longer be a bike ride away. I would have to re-familiarize myself with everything once again.

One of the perks of working in restaurants is that you get to try a lot of nice and varied wines. You learn to appreciate how a specific time and place can be captured within a bottle. Grapes are very impressionable things. In addition to varietal and age of the vines, there is climate, geography, and soil type that affects the quality of the fruit. Then you also have the human labour, wild yeasts, the aging process. You can taste salt from the coast, or the smoke from a wildfire. A liquid expression of a specific year and place.

I, like the grape, am a parched and noble sponge, absorbing everything around me. Though I never depict myself as subject, I view every single one of my paintings as an autobiographical work. My palate and subject matter often shift with the seasons, the fruits and colours an indication of what my surroundings were like during the making process, what I’m literally eating or craving at the time.

My current studio setup isn’t nearly as large as the last one. I am painting at home, tucked into a corner of my dining room. As a result, I have been making smaller paintings. I’m forced to be more intentional, but have been enjoying focusing on finer details. I can multi-task in a way I wasn’t able to before, with my kitchen just being a few steps away. I’ve been able to feed myself in a way I hadn’t been able to before. Where my easel is located, I can look outside onto my deck in case the neighbourhood cats decide to visit. I’m forced to take a break and play with them for a little while. I am forced to work differently, and I think it’s a good thing. I am trying to re-examine my relationship with my art practice. To do that also requires me to reconsider my life priorities. It’s important to be flexible in your thinking and process as a creative. I want to live a life worth making art about and put less pressure on myself to always be producing. Personal growth is just as important as artistic growth. Age can easily harden a person, but I want to continue to grow softer and more earnest.

This collection includes the last paintings I made in my Vancouver studio. 2023 was also the year I entered a new decade and turned thirty. I’m trying very hard not to resort to clichés, but I do feel as if it’s the end of an era for me. A series of little deaths. Death is irrevocably tied to notions of change. “The truth is that progress, or change in any form, requires some form of death or loss—death of our vision, loss of an imagined future, loss of power, and loss of self,” Breeshia Wade states in Grieving While Black.

These paintings depict many different changes (both big and small), and many different kinds of deaths (literal and metaphoric). There are many references to Greco-Roman mythology, and Vietnamese superstition and belief. There are women and beasts depicted in mid-transformation, allusions to climate change, insect extinction, food globalization, and ancient gods. Life is shown as dependent on death to exist. Death is necessary to create room for the person you are becoming.     -Michelle Nguyen, 2024


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Janna Watson | Poems



Janna Watson | Poems

February 10 - 24, 2024
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver
Opening Reception: Saturday February 10, 2-4pm
Artist in Attendance


Bau-Xi Vancouver proudly presents Poems, the highly anticipated new solo exhibition by Toronto based artist Janna Watson. For this dynamic body of work, the artist found inspiration in deeply contemplating the nature of art as language, and the distilled and expressive power of the abstract gesture. 

We are thrilled that the artist will be in attendance at her Vancouver opening reception for the first time since the onset of the Pandemic.

Artist statement:

“Language is not a tool we have, it is a shapeshifter, a being that lives with us, walks and talks with us and has its own business and intentions.” -Anne Carson

Part of the exhilaration I acquire from painting is being able to see shifts within myself manifested into physical reality. The most truthful form of expression I have found in my life thus far has been the abstract language of painting. Self growth is fluid and often goes unnoticed, but when I am painting I can see worlds within myself being constructed and deconstructed. These moments and movements are intuitive and represent my internal landscapes. The more I learn about painting, I learn about myself. The more I create, the more I realize that art is about art. Creation creates and it is an infinity of unfolding, effortless action. This series was created in the joy of autumn. I fell in love and didn’t have expectations for the first time in my life. I approached these works with the same unforced joy.

-Janna Watson 2024

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