Opening Reception: October 10, 2013, 6 – 10 p.m.
1109 Queen Street East
Project Gallery in Toronto’s east side might just be one of the busiest art spaces in the city. In its five months of being open to the public, the gallery has already hosted twenty shows. I went to check out number 21′s opening reception last Thursday night titled, Architexture.
I was fashionably early in my arrival which gave me a chance to speak with gallery co-director Alex Buchanan. I learned that Architexture seeks to explore the relationship and personal reflection we can experience with space and architecture. The works produced for this group show aim to visually highlight this connection, as well as the sublime feeling of inspiration it can evoke within us. Rather than a showing of human presence in these works, they encourage viewers to connect with the exhibition by placing themselves into the pieces.
The expression of power and wealth of Toronto’s downtown urban jungle is captured by photographer Robert Greatirix. The towering form requires you to consider your position within this space both physically and mentally, while the white light emitting from the street draws you in. This push and pull juxtaposition makes for a striking image.
In the two pieces titled Taking Place 1, and 2, the bold thickness of the brush strokes and the resulting shadows cast onto itself makes for a striking image. Artist Doug Temple sees it as an abstracted birds eye view of the city. It is easy to see where he is coming from. The white strokes that seem to intensify at a point, reminiscent of Toronto’s grid style layout.
Marzena Kotapska of “Big Sky” explains how for her piece, she took numerous urban shots in Toronto and used elements from each to come up with her final piece. Working in a style that is new to her, its effectiveness is clear as the saturated vibrancy of her colour palette drew many guests immediately to her work.
One of the largest pieces in the show “Shanty Town” by Emerson Myers, breaks the idea of urban space down to its bones. It focuses on the materials we associate with our surrounding environment. Through articulate curation, this piece sits well in this exhibition as a threshold between the more abstracted works and those that rest in a realist state.
According to Alex Buchanan, the east side of Toronto is experiencing somewhat of a cultural uprising. In an area not traditionally known for its artistic community, Project Gallery is among several new spaces set to change this perception. With no plans to slow down, watch out for the addition of Gallery Crawl (Sunday October 20, 2013, 1 – 5 p.m.) and more exiting exhibitions like Architexture from Project Gallery.
Text: Rhys Male. Photo: Celeste Ringrose
*Exhibition dates: October 10 - 24, 2013, Project Gallery, 1109 Queen Street East. Gallery hours: Wed – Sun 12 – 6 p.m.