Prévost and Dembo in Propeller Art Gallery

There are two shows currently at Propeller Gallery: Circles by Dominique Prévost, and In Motion by Sharon Dembo. I am very happy to be in a warm, welcoming gallery on a cold winter’s day.

Installation view of Sharon Dembo, In Motion at Propeller Art Gallery

The first show we see is Sharon Dembo’s In Motion. It is a series of work using printmaking techniques that seems to be ‘simple’ but in reality rely on a complicated process.

Sharon Dembo, Graceful, (left) and Feathery Form (right) both 2022, encaustic monotype on ink print, 11” x 8.5”

Dembo was inspired by a metal mannequin she prepared for her previous exhibition – on display again in this show. She began to think about how she could convey movement with it. So, she made sketches on paper of the mannequin in various positions and then added colours. Dembo told me that she loves playing with colours. Indeed, her colours are amazing. She generally uses one colour for the background and its variations for the composition. For example, some pieces are red-based while others are blue-based. Usually, her colours are not very loud, giving the feeling of calmness and peace; capturing you on the spot, so you want to stay longer and see more.

Sharon Dembo, Let’s Dance I, 2022, monoprint and ink, 15” x 22” (left) and Let’s Dance II, 2022, monoprint and encaustic printing, 15” x 30”

Usually when people say ‘dance’ we associate it with human bodies, but Dembo turns it around. Her choice of using a dressed-up mannequin to represent dance and motion is very interesting and unique.

Installation view of Circles by Dominique Prévost at Propeller Art Gallery

Entering the second room, we see works by Dominique Prévost. She loves paper, colour, and the idea of both ‘travelling’ freely beyond the frame. In her show Circles, there are many mesmerizing lines, showing that everything is moving; whether it is landscape, water, or music. To me the different circles show the surface of the Earth, moon, and other planets.

Dominique Prévost, Circle XVIII zebra (left) and Circle XXI (right) both 2022, washi and stock paper, ink and crayons, 30” x 40”

This perfect blend of different colours shows fluidity and movement. Prévost uses an ancient Japanese technique called Suminagashi, which means floating ink, to create these pieces. Some are big, depicting many circles with various patterns on one pure white surface, so you can focus on the circles without the interruptions of a background. Amazingly, you can see the texture of the paper and ink in each image. When you look very closely, you notice numerous amazing differences between the circles.

Dominique Prévost, (L-R) Burnt Sienna, 2022, heritage washi, graphite and ink, 5 x 5″, Yellow Orange, 2022, washi paper and ink, 5 x 5″ and Salmon Turquoise, 2022, Kitakata washi and ink, 12” x 12″

Both Prévost’ and Dembo’s work have a relationship with movement. Dembo shows the swinging of clothes in dance, while Prévost depicts the movement of ink in water.

Lina Weng

Images are courtesy of Propeller Art Gallery

*Exhibition information: Sharon Dembo, In Motion, Monoprints and Encaustic Monotypes and Dominique Prévost, Circles, February 16 – March 6, 2022, Propeller Art Gallery, 30 Abell Street, Toronto. Gallery hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 1 – 5:30 pm. Online until May.

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