FORECAST II, just like its predecessor, serves as a glimpse into the new talent emanating from Toronto’s emerging artists and Project Gallery’s future exhibitions. Whereas the first show focused on representational, surrealistic, and naturalistic styles, here the art embodies abstraction, emphasizing the technique, process, and medium over subject matter and imagery.
Callen Schaub employs a self-constructed painting method to generate dynamic eruptions of color across the canvas. As the canvas rotates, he layers different colors over top one another, gravitating the paint into circular and radial patterns that blend to create luminous and formless arrays. Through experimentation, Schaub’s works construct distinctly subjective experiences particular to each viewer as well as the artist.
Drawing from her knowledge of digital imaging as well as her prior work with animation and light installations, Lauren Pelc-McArthur’s paintings mimic the technical process of normal mapping: software designed to simulate textures overlaying 3D models, showing the edges that catch the light in order to represent the true geometry. Using thick swatches of combined acrylic and oil paint, the canvas is layered with ridges and indentations. Brighter colors are then airbrushed axially against the ridges so as to further embolden the 3-dimensionality in a traditionally 2-dimensional art form, alluding to the effect of the software.
The works of Sang-Jin Lee focus on the illusion of depth and radiance through the meticulous handling of dichromatic paint and gel-medium, which combined produces a viscous yet malleable material. Instead of long or divided brushstrokes, the painting is composed of individually sculpted dots that appear to levitate off of the canvas. With this pointillist technique, he fashions circular and linear patterns that reverberate with auras of energy. Moreover, the fastidious compositional planning, precision, and geometric patterning that elicit a satisfying sense of completionism and harmony.
Sara Pearson, who crosses the stylistic divide between the depictive and the abstract, alludes to the gleaming, crystalline appearance found in earthbound geodes. Through the clever contrasting of diverging colors and tonal range, she expertly captures the unique reflective qualities that are representationally accurate yet visually elusive and brilliant. She also pairs her painted work with metal-crafted sculptures and silverpoint and gold-leaf drawings to accentuate the overarching geological aesthetic.
Following the motif of abstraction in the realistic, Georgina Walker depicts ordinary objects and natural features observed and distorted through interesting perspectives. By emphasizing the juxtapositions between foreground and background, palettes of dark and light colors, and depth by employing light, she creates mesmerizing reinterpretations of familiar subject matter. They stop the viewer and draw them into the intricacies of the piece, metaphorizing visual and personal barriers through the portrayal of literal barriers: wire mesh fences, construction fences, brick and tiled walls, and lines of foliage.
The final artist of the FORECAST II exhibition is James Olley, whose collages of paint, ink, and paper draw in stylistic and ideological influences from surrealist writings such as Andre Breton and Robert Motherwell. He puts forth the “task of finding a ‘creative principal’” through experimental dichotomies of positive and negative space as well as painterly and structured forms for the audience to pursue.
FORECAST II proves to be just as enjoyable and telling as its antecedent, serving as an excellent showcase of the promising artist entering the contemporary art scene.
Text and photo: Simon Termine
*Exhibition information: February 12 -28, 2016, Project Gallery Studios, 184 Munro Street, unit 6 (accessible through the back entrance). Gallery hours: by appointment only – contact Callen Schaub email@example.com 0r 647.377.1677.