Saturday September 10th, 2-4pm
Join us for opening receptions at Bau-Xi Toronto and Bau-Xi Photo (324 & 340 Dundas St West, Toronto.
Saturday September 10th, 2-4pm
Join us for opening receptions at Bau-Xi Toronto and Bau-Xi Photo (324 & 340 Dundas St West, Toronto.
'Show 88' is for Hugh Mackenzie a proclamation—of age, of loss, and of love. This September, Bau-Xi Gallery will be presenting new paintings by Mackenzie, whose powerful work has stirred the collective consciousness of audiences from the 1950s to the present day. Oil paintings draw on genres familiar to the artist—abstracted cityscapes and portraits that glimpse both the sublimity of the urban landscape and the dark intimacy of the human body in paint. Show 88 will also include works by the late Dorothy Mackenzie, to whom the entire exhibition is dedicated. Dorothy’s still life paintings will showcase her skilled hand in watercolour and oils while also serving as living memories in conversation with her husband's work.
Hugh Mackenzie has exhibited extensively across the country, is the subject of numerous catalogues and publications and is represented in such major collections as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Carleton University Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. The artist also has a large and avid following of private collectors.
Today's featured pair showcases two incredible works by Bau-Xi artists. 'Lavender' by Sheri Bakes--just installed following its arrival from Vancouver--makes for an exciting companion to Chris Temple's 'Park' in our main floor gallery.
Temple's refined, architectural studies are just as much compositions of light and space as they are of a familiar, urban landscape. 'Park' offers us an experiment in looking, characteristic of the artist's work: multiple, simultaneous perspectives combine as our view rushes in on a clarifying piece of sky.
Like Temple, Bakes uses light to soften the world and play with its focus. The large scale of 'Lavender' lends an energizing effect of this painting in its study of growth, movement, breath and light.
Together and alone, Temple and Bakes show us how to create seemingly expansive worlds on a canvas surface.
Sheri Bakes, 'Lavender,' 66 X 72 inches, oil on canvas, $9700 | VIEW COLLECTION
Chris Temple, 'Park,' 40 X 58 inches, oil on canvas, $13,500 | VIEW COLLECTION
A celebration of the close relationship and constant inspiration her mother is to her creative development, Sheri Bakes upcoming exhibition imbues the spirit of her mother with her perennial interest in the effects of light and movement on natural subjects.
"My mother has given me, among other things, the gift of appreciating awe-inspiring beauty in nature. I have spent hours with her in her garden. Whether she works quietly on her own or expresses wonderment and joy in the blossoming of a Dahlia, she shares with me the incredible beauty of both her own physical garden, and her own personal, internal garden."
During the early stage of planning 'Stars in Flowers, for my Mom, Bakes' mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The physical implications of the disorder left Bakes to wonder how her mother's garden might change. The echo of her mother's constant refrain at the time of diagnosis comforted and encouraged the artist to paint with new fearlessness: "We have to live for today, not worry about tomorrow."
Andre Petterson's mixed media on panel works combine elements of photography, painting and drawing. Taking inspiration from his frequent travels abroad, current contemporary art practices, and art history, the artist offers insight into his studio practice and the different techniques involved in developing Transition from concept to fine art:
"How I develop a concept for a new series varies from year to year and show to show. My exhibitions are always conceived as a series where a development of each work happens, keeping in mind how it will contribute to the bigger themes the show is tackling. At times I get inspired by the smallest thing: the image of a typewriter, which recalls thoughts of the past and how I relate to the technology today. There is potential to find a new subject anywhere: it could be the way piece of cloth dances on a clothes line in the wind or a horse standing on its hind legs, seemingly frozen in time.
I’ve been fascinated throughout my career by images and their relationships with other images. It’s not always easy to determine how an image will inspire a body of work or how to approach a new subject that fascinates me. Transition, the title of my latest exhibition, is emblematic of the latter. The title appropriately expresses what I see as a shift or change happening in Buenos Aires and other cities I've visited recently where a large population of people live with economic, environmental, and political uncertainty. There is an overwhelming feeling that young people need to find a voice and a way to make ends meet as they begin their adult lives. The suit jacket is a symbol of authority, prowess and professionalism that is indicative of the challenges facing youth. It stands in stark contrast to the radical graffiti effacing so many buildings in these cities. By merging the two subjects and the inherent symbolism associated with each in a way that is meaningful, I came upon a new direction.
I began development on the series by acquiring a variety of suit jacket from second hand stores and photographing each in their pure, unaltered state. I then paint directly onto the jacket and photographed it again. This process is repeated many times until I feel that I now have an image to work with. I hang things from the jacket: ribbons, string, bits of cloth, wire, etc. These things represent a kind of stash of possessions that someone who may hold dear for various reasons. The items represent memories of the past and their original function now changed and celebrated by the new owner.
Once the photos have been applied to the panel surface, I paint over it using a variety of tools and techniques to unify all elements into a complete, finished composition."
Left: The Right Honourable Lester Bowles Pearson, Prime Minister 1963-1968, painted 1968 by Hugh Mackenzie, Tempera on masonite, 96.7 x 76.7 cm. The House of Commons Heritage Collection
Right: Hugh Mackenzie painting in studio
Text from TIME, April 26, 1968
“Painting the portrait of a political leader is at best a hazardous business. When Toronto artist Hugh Mackenzie was asked by Ottawa to suggest a list of portraitists who could best tackle Lester Pearson, he had a variety of reasons not to covet the assignment himself. ‘I’m not really a portrait painter, anyway,’ he says, ‘but somebody who sticks figures in landscapes.’ Besides, Mackenzie’s sister happens to be married to Pearson’s son, Geoffrey, and, said he, ‘you can’t have a hint of nepotism in something like this.’
As it was, the $2,500 commission stayed in the family. The retiring Prime Minister’s wife, Maryon, scouted the field, too, and her emphatic choice—nepotism or no—was Mackenzie. His portrait will hang outside the House of Commons Chamber. When it is unveiled, probably early next month, the public will see a Pearson far different from the cherubic figure so often portrayed by Canada’s cartoonists. Painted in egg tempera, with a subtle ochre background, the portrait shows Pearson characteristically half-slouched in a chair, in a mood at once relaxed and restrained. Explained Mackenzie: ‘The longer I was with him, the more aware I was that he was more powerful that we had been led to suspect, and that there was a certain air of reserve about him.’
Mackenzie had three sessions with the P.M., and spent most of his time taking photographs or making tempera sketches of Pearson’s hands, mouth and nose. He started painting in January and worked on the portrait seven hours a day for two months. When he was finished, he felt so elated that, ‘I went out and got absolutely loaded.’
Mackenzie, who studied under New Brunswick’s Alex Colville and acknowledges his debt to ‘Magic Realist’ Andrew Wyeth, entered the project with ‘visions of another Peter Hurd incident.’ He particularly fretted over Maryon’s critical response: ‘Can you imagine her saying anything looked great?’ He need not have worried. Maryon was delighted with her husband’s head and hands, although she would have preferred to have him sitting upright. Pearson’s verdict: ‘It’s orthodox enough to be acceptable, and yet different enough to be interesting.’”
Andre Petterson, Seven Up, 36.5 x 84.5 inches, mixed media on panel. Click for more information.
The widespread, politically-charged graffiti decorating stately Neoclassical buildings in Buenos Aires is impossible to ignore. It is a visual contradiction which exposes the rift between the conservative elite and radical working class. Aesthetically, the bold colours of spray paint and the gestural, script-like application reshape its planar architectural forms into a highly personal expression. For the artist, the vandalized buildings of the Argentine capital reflect, "a need for a generation of people to be heard by way of a visual vocabulary which speaks out against the values of the establishment."
In 'Transition', Petterson utilizes the suit jacket - a Western symbol of masculine authority, formality, and professional prowess - as a vehicle to capture this notion. Physical suit jackets, painted in bold colour with a gestural, Sumi-e technique indicative of the artist's earlier work, become politicized sites revealing contradictory ideas of success and oppression in contemporary society. If the suit is a metaphor for the establishment, then the artist uses the garment as a canvas to liberate its socio-political identification.
Applying paint to the jacket prior to photographing it adds a new layer of dimension to Petterson's work, blurring the boundary between photography and painting that has come to be synonymous with his practice.
Artwork details: Robert Marchessault, 'Pini di Sardenga,' oil on panel, 44 X 44 in., $11,000.
On display now at Bau-Xi Toronto: this tranquil painting by Marchessault, who has dedicated his practice to exploring the endless variations of the tree form for decades. But these trees are not simply painted versions of real spaces. Indeed, the most striking and poetic aspect of Marchessault’s work is in the fact that his trees are imagined, hybrid species, painted from the artist’s memory.
Marchessault's tree figures begin as swift, gestural lines of paint, with branches and foliage growing out of this initial abstraction as organically as nature itself, what the artist describes as “the way energy flows up and through a tree.” Together, these explorations lend a distinct, contemporary freshness to Marchessault’s recent work, and demonstrate the artist’s willingness to investigate the limits of his subject matter while maintaining what he describes as the ability of the tree to evoke “universal yet intensely personal” responses in the viewer.
'Pini di Sardenga' is certainly a romantic example of this vision. One cannot help but envision these two trees as a pair, each full of life and supporting the other with grace and stoicism.
Sept 10 - 22, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY SEPT 10, 2-4PM
ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE
The industrial history of coastal British Columbia is the focus of Anthony Redpath's latest photographic series. Framing worn-down or vacant industrial buildings with the intention of capturing only a section of the landscape, Redpath positions his lens at an unnerving distance to disorient the viewer by distilling the subject into a series of different planes. Cropping the image close in post production, RE·FINED verges towards abstraction by removing the directional horizon line in each composition. Enhanced by the complex textures of ribbing, vaulting and rustication in the sugar refinery, pulp mills, and oil refinery that comprise the series, Redpath's attention to detail reveals the effects of time on his subjects as complex, beautiful and indicative of a shift in emphasis within the industrial sectors of coastal British Columbia.
Following the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky and Candida Hofer, Redpath's lens entices the viewer to go beyond the documentary style and examine closely the surface sensuality and rich palette of a decaying landscape. As critic Sky Gooden has observed, "where the Bechers stood back from their industrial subjects, Redpath rushes in."
Take a look at Bau-Xi Toronto’s invitation for its very first exhibition, featuring work by painter Ken Wallace. With Bau-Xi Vancouver already established and thriving since 1965, Paul and Xisa Huang opened their second location in Toronto to serve a wider Canadian patronage. Show cards like these were meticulously hand-printed in the gallery basement—a sure indication of the gallery’s dedication to keeping patrons informed.
In 1976, Bau-Xi promised to exhibit artists and work with a view of the future. Today, Bau-Xi carries on this forward-thinking sentiment, while also making sure to honour the important cultural history of an institution that serves clients across the country.
Bau-Xi continues to represent the incredible work of Ken Wallace in both Toronto and Vancouver.
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