PICTURES at an EXHIBITION 2.
ELISSA CRISTALL GALLERY is pleased to present “Pictures at an Exhibition 2”, a group show featuring four painters Megan Hepburn (Vancouver), Brennan Stalford (Chicago/Guelph), Mara Korkola (Toronto), Suzanne Nacha (Toronto).
Mara Korkola’s practice over the last two decades as a self-professed landscape painter has encompassed cities, forests and airports. The complexity and density of these places is captured in her paintings that compress a world of information into small panels. These are often presented in diptychs or triptychs, showing slight variations in perspective or vantage point. Late evening is Korkola’s signature time of day. This is when she prefers to paint as it allows for uninterrupted sessions and working wet on wet, a technique that gives her paintings their lush and fluid surfaces. It is also her favourite time to photograph cities, when streets are devoid of human traffic and the lights emanating from buildings, headlights and street lamps appear jewel-like against the black sky. The interplay between trees and artificial light is perhaps what excites Korkola most, prompting concentric, impasto brushstrokes in electric colour.
Suzanne Nacha’s oval paintings from her ‘minera-logic’ series set the stage for narratives that unfold through humour and pathos. Equally absurd and solemn, the paintings reflect on our place in the world by enacting formal relationships between space and object, light and shadow, and in situations gleaned as much through what is seen as what is not. Her work is imbued with a unique visual language enriched by her experiences mapping the far-reaches of Canada, creating geologic maps that span the earth’s continents and the study of structural geology. For the past fifteen years, Nacha has worked in the mining industry mapping geographies of fortune and need.
Megan Hepburn and Brennan Stalford both work in abstraction. There is a strong reference to Matisse in Megan Hepburn’s work. Using rich, muted hues that are mysteriously vibrant, Hepburn’s paintings are visceral and luminescent as if they are illuminated within. Hepburn received her MFA from Concordia University in 2010 and BFA from Emily Carr University in 2005. She was shortlisted for the RBC Painting Competition in 2015 and 2010 and won the Joseph Plaskett Award in Painting in 2010. She is currently based in Vancouver, Canada.
Ontario born Brennan Stalford won a full scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently finishing his final year in the BFA program. Stalford creates large scale canvases working in acrylic paint, ink and pastel. He layers colourful, imaginary shapes and forms over top of one another on raw canvas projecting movement, energy and vitality.
PICTURES at an EXHIBITION 1
to January 6, 2018
ELISSA CRISTALL GALLERY is pleased to present PICTURES at an EXHIBITION (part one) a showcase of work by gallery and guest artists including Mara Korkola, Suzanne Nacha, Christopher Friesen, Lesley Finlayson, Jessica Korderas, Eric Louie, Amanda Reeves.
The paintings, drawings and small sculptures are new, each chosen to reveal the innovative and complex qualities of art making in its various forms. The exhibition will rotate with new artists and new work presented in ‘part two’ in January.
The title of the show is taken from “Pictures at an Exhibition” a suite of 10 movements, originally for piano, by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. Mussorgsky composed his famous Pictures at an Exhibition (1874), based on ten drawings and watercolours produced by his recently deceased friend, artist and architect Viktor Hartmann. Not long after Mussorgsky’s death at 42, the music was orchestrated by a number of composers, mostly notably Maurice Ravel of “Bolero” fame.
New to the gallery, but not to Vancouver, MARA KORKOLA‘s night based paintings are documented on foot and focus on the intersection of nature and cities. The interplay between trees and artificial light is what excites her most, prompting concentric, impasto brushstrokes in electric colour. Korkola graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Toronto (AOCA); Wichita State University, Kansas (BFA) and the University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio (MFA). She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Canada, the US and Germany, including Painting as Paradox at Artists Space in New York, Synthetic Psychosis at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Sequence and Passage: Mara Korkola and Monica Tap at Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario, and Commuter, a comprehensive solo exhibition of her No Place series of paintings at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie, Ontario.
SUZANNE NACHA’s oval paintings from her ‘minera-logic’ series set the stage for existential narratives that unfold through humour and pathos. Equally absurd and solemn, the paintings reflect on our place in the world by enacting formal relationships between space and object, light and shadow, and in situations gleaned as much through what is seen as what is not. Suzanne Nacha works in painting, sculpture, installation and video. Her work is imbued with a unique visual language enriched by her experiences mapping the far-reaches of Canada, creating geologic maps that span the earth’s continents and the study of structural geology. She has exhibited her artwork in Canada, the United States and Europe and is represented in public and private collections, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the National Bank of Canada, The Donovan Collection and the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Born in Hamilton Ontario, Canada, she holds degrees in both Fine Art and Geology. She has taught in the Fine Art departments of OCAD, Sheridan/UTM and York University, and for the past fifteen years has worked in the mining industry mapping geographies of fortune and need.