An Exhibition by VISA 4090 Visual Arts (BFA) Majors
This time of the year is abundant with student exhibitions from various art schools. It is a good way to get a reading of what kind of artists and art works will shape the future of the city. This exhibit at Gallery 1313 from York University mixes up painting, sculpture and installation in a busy but fun exhibition.
Featuring the works of the students in the 4090 painting and installation classes, The Collective focuses on the exploration of contemporary concerns regarding the body, the environment, urbanity, and cross-cultural overlays. A space for experimentation and new discoveries, The Collective invites you to ask critical questions of the art and of yourself and open up to a collection of work that is both completely unique and yet wholly connected.
The 4090 painting and installation classes provide a focused practicum for senior students that examines contemporary practices in painting and sculpture. These courses are structured around self-initiated projects under the direction of the instructor. Through the coupling of theoretical and practical explorations, the course facilitates students’ ability to develop their individual projects within the contemporary context of representational and abstract art, popular culture and mass media.
One of the first installations you see upon entering the gallery is Leather and Hide, a rather innocent looking chair and rug until you realize that the chair is built from sewn together pieces of silicone and the rug is made of human hair.
Stephanie Romeo’s Trapped, a 12-foot sculpture of inflatables is hard to miss soaring downwards from the 14-foot ceiling.
Esther Kim had a heavy steel sculpture Severed Tongue that protruded into the gallery space, challenging the visitors’ sense of humour. Found objects made up the work titled Digest by Catherine Hois, picturing the rather bloody work of our digestive system, not very appetising but still remarkable in its chaotic way.
Another large work is Affliction by Heather Smith, a large acrylic work on unprimed wood, where part of the wood is charred from burning. Rock Surface Growth by Olivia Williams, a large graphite work on paper, is very appealing with its details.
Lesel Picou’s painting New Atlantis is an acrylic work on plywood, with the CN Tower is the center, as a vision of the future, under a mass of water surrounded by jellyfish. Like Picou Mollia Weidman takes us into unknown places, real or imagined, creating a dark and thoughtful atmosphere.
Another impressive painting was Little Reminders by Rebecca Levy, depicting a young woman’s face in a mysterious state, that might be a dream or an ecstasy.
Old Saddar, Karachi, Pakistan, a mostly figurative acrylic composition by Samina Shroff might be a treasured memory of past times from home. The horse is depicted in realistic details, like the most important participant, while the faces of the figures riding the coach become unrecognizable under white patches of paint.
Creation and Desire by Krystle Sukhu with its vibrant colours reminded us of beautiful depictions of goddesses from India, continuing a very rich tradition that seems to survive the passing centuries.
With some 36 artists in the exhibit it was hard to navigate at times, as the reception was busy with visitors exploring each new work and chatting with the artists. Faculty members Janet Jones and Michel Daigneault were there to congratulate the students.
The evening reception ended slowly as students headed off into the night with some guest to continue their celebration.
Ashley Rowe Flick
Images are courtesy of Gallery 1313 and the artists
*Exhibition information: February 28 – March 9, 2019, Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Tue – Sun, 1 – 6 pm.
**A group exhibition by artists: Afifa Bari, Adriana Monteleone, Amanda Coplen, Catherine Hois, Cassandra Jesik, Dani De Angelis, Daniela Miranda-Fernandez, Elizabeth Downes-Thom, Elisa Iacono, Erica Ed Cinatis, Esther Kim, Felicia Chinwe Anulude, Heather Smith, Hong Gu, Julia Morgan, Kristen Donoghue-Stanford, Krystle Sukhu, Lesel Picou, Maria Calautti, Maria Ness, Melanie Delamorandiere, Mollia Weidman, Nahren Youkhana, Olivia Williams, Rebecca Levy, Robyn Burns, Samina Shroff, Serena Kobayashi-Lebel, Stephanie Romeo, Vaiva Slapsys, Victoria Mihalis & Young Ji Ko.