Art Toronto is Canada's international contemporary and modern art fair. For their 20th year, Equinox Gallery presented a selection of works by gallery artists within the context of an international program.
October 25 - 27, 2019
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
North Building 255 Front Street West, Toronto, ON
Crocheted acrylic on aluminum panel
26" x 20"
Oil on Canvas
27 1/2" x 37"
Red Running Shoes
12" L x 10" W x 5" H
Edition of 9
Falling Backwards #1
Acrylic on Canvas
66" x 66"
Torment: Issue #1, 2019
Acrylic ink, Spider Man comic book pages on Stonehenge paper
A selection of work by gallery artists featured at the fair.
Sonny Assu (Ligwilda’xw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations) has been recognized for his mashups of Indigenous iconography and popular culture. He addresses the ways in which traditions of the past have come to inform contemporary ideas and identities, particularly as related to the effects of colonization, and the loss of language and cultural resources in Indigenous culture. Through a variety of mediums, including museum interventions, large-scale installations, sculpture, and painting, Assu’s work maintains a profound connection to past traditions. His practice emphasizes the complex conversation relating to the intersections and boundaries of traditional Indigenous art within the larger realm of contemporary art practices.
Bobbie Burgers is interested in the process of decay, transformation, and metamorphosis in nature. With a distinct style that merges abstraction with representation in increasing degrees, her work brings together instinctive compositions while revealing her precise powers of observation. Remarkable for their compositional rhythms, bold coloration, and sweeping gestural brushstrokes, Burgers’ paintings bring alive the fundamental quest to express something personal, subjective and emotive, in a poetic, abstract way.
Kim Dorland’s practice reflects a fascination with the enigmatic Canadian landscape as it comes into contact with contemporary urban experience. The psychological atmosphere represented by Dorland is confrontational and hallucinatory, disrupting conventional ideas that the natural world is a place of solace and contemplation. Using a dense matrix of intense colours, delirious textures, and passionate painterly touch, Dorland brings a paradoxical sense of displacement in which the artist’s relationship with nature is simultaneously one of awe and fear. In parallel with this, fragments of contemporary urban life materialize themselves in the form of ghostly figures and graffiti remnants. It is through these dueling representations of the landscape that Kim Dorland has created a body of work endowed with an emotional charge whose potential far exceeds the formal confines of the canvas.
Devon Knowles investigates the histories, economies and social meanings of diverse materials – from denim fabric and aluminum to coloured glass and concrete. In moving such substances from their everyday context to a new environment, our appreciation of their properties and capacities becomes heightened. In working and reworking material, using traditional and contemporary fabrication methods, a rich language of the interplay of material and method emerges. As she engages with theories of perception, optical effects and tactility, alongside the direct act of making, Knowles encourages the viewer to access her work from a shared intimacy and sympathetic attentiveness.
Inspired by the practices of 1960’s photorealist painters, Erin McSavaney carefully examines over-looked abandoned warehouses, factories, loading docks and alleys within urban environments. McSavaney’s paintings utilize photographs as an opportunity for immediate intervention, allowing him to explore the spacial effects of light and colour with a clearer understanding of the primary principles of his subjects. Taking real and imaginary interactions between nature and architecture, McSavaney’s paintings begin with photographic studies upon which vividly rendered graphic elements have been imposed using ink and acrylic paint.
Ben Reeves is known for his sumptuous use of paint in compositions that deftly explore the relationship between abstraction and depiction. His work is actively engaged with the theory of painting, raising questions about the authenticity of imagery, while remaining deceptively traditional. At first glance, many of his works appear to borrow generously from 19th-century realism, yet they are often meticulously conceptual. Reeves’ work continually asserts that the painted image is a vocabulary of brushstrokes, a culturally understood visual language. Dominated by thick daubs of oil paint, Reeves’ paintings command a physical presence with their relief-like impasto surfaces.
Angela Teng’s work reconsiders what is traditionally required to make a painting, and then suggests otherwise by renegotiating how a picture can be made. Her painting practice utilizes a laboured dedication to the process of craft through abstraction and studio-based exploration of materials. Her crocheted acrylic ‘paint-paintings’ manipulate ways of paint handling, while her works on hand-made crocheted cotton/linen surfaces celebrate the application of thick oil paint with a brush. Her patterns generate an optical buzz created from the marbling of paint, wobbly form, and through experimenting and observing the optical interaction of colours one upon another.
Renée Van Halm has been a significant figure in Canadian art for over forty years, both as a practicing artist and as an arts educator. In the early part of her career, Van Halm was interested in creating forms that were hybrids of many media, not purely painting, sculpture, or architecture. The evolution of her subject and medium has led her to consider the many forms of visual presentation in our culture. Van Halm draws her images from a variety of sources: mainstream fashion, architecture and decor magazines, and more recently the work of 1920s Bauhaus artists and weavers, in considering the ways in which architectural space governs contemporary human experience.
Etienne Zack is one of today’s artists who are truly pushing the envelope in terms of painting concept; his process is entirely based on reading and taking notes – no visual source material is used. His process of making paintings relates to notions concerning the various ways history itself is manipulated and “worked out”. Zack’s work often focuses on the context in which artworks are produced and exhibited, and the physical and conceptual tools that go into creating them: the studio, art gallery, painter’s materials, and historical and theoretical reference works. Both poetic and playful, Zack’s painting prompts us to re-examine the everyday world around us.