ART BUILDS is a Group exhibition of art works inspired or influenced by architecture. Exhibiting artists involve Evan Steenson, Andre Kan, Pat Rice, Max Meyer, Ben Stansfield, Stefan A. Rose, Elizabeth Kennedy, Susan Kordalewski, Amelia Stea–MacLaurin, Chinmoyee Debrath, Alex Contini, Diana McNally, Robert Caspary, Mariane Bourcheix- Laporte (Vancouver), Heather Ahn, Liliana Monteiro among others. Curated by Phil Anderson.
The cold didn’t stop people from checking out Art Builds at Gallery 1313. The exhibition with 16 artists displays works that have been influenced or inspired by architecture. The artists took many different approaches and used a variety of media in creating the works. Some art works such as Pat Rice’s Portrait of Commerce Building might be more familiar to viewers. Others like Marianne Bourcheix – Laporte (based in Vancouver) used interventions with urban landscapes in her hour and a half video. Hamilton artist Susan Kordalewski’s four C photos of houses mounted on MDF board titled My Four Relationships had an impressive presence leaning against the gallery wall. Andre Kan’s colourful work with its city theme also demanded attention. Stefan Rose used words from poems creating context for his photographs of fortresses. Max Meyer’s panoramic photos were deceiving creating a new cityscape by morphing images.
Parkdale local artist, Alex Contini s painting of the Toronto skyline with its construction cranes reminded us of the amount of building actually going on in this city. Diana McNally used digital prints to display her work such as the CGA Print of Toronto. She studied architecture and art history at McGill and the University of Toronto.
OCADU student Chinmoyee Debnath’s paintings were of interiors of buildings and she was interested in the light and shadows created in empty spaces. Artists Evan Steenson and Ben Stansfield took a more abstract approach in their work. Steenson in black and white digital prints and Stansfield in vibrabt colours.
Elizabeth Kennedy’s montage of images were drawings that were interwoven creating an impressive urban collage. Heather Ahn painting of University Avenue seemed to depict an endless urban vision while artist Amelia Stea MacLaurin’s intimate work on wood called Abbey was unique and attractive. Liliana Monteiro s colourful painting had colours that seemed to melt together. Robert Caspary’s photo looking out of a window onto the street was wonderfully simple in giving us yet another perspective.
All the artists clearly had been drawn to local architecture in creating art works that showed their fascination with the buildings around them. Many artists at the opening shared their stories and their mutual love of architecture while visitors took in the exhibition and mingled with the artists in the comfort of the gallery buildings interior, immune to the cold winds outside.
Text and photo: Phil Anderson
*Exhibition dates: January 22 – February 2, 2014, Gallery 1313 at 1313 Queen Street West. Gallery hours: Wed – Sun 1 – 6 p.m.