CURATED ARTISTS EDITIONS
STRAIGHT FROM THE STUDIO
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HAND PAINTED BRONZE
Michael Staniak’s exhibition is a continuation of his investigation into the impacts social and digital media have on painting and image making. Specifically the works on show respond to research he undertook on residency at Fogo Island Arts, Fogo Island, Newfoundland, in 2018.
In this exhibition, Staniak reflects on his painting studies created while on residency at the Long Studio in Joe Batt’s Arm. There he experimented with new materials bound by the limits of isolation and also employed elements of the natural environment into his textures. As a result, the completely new series of IMG Fibre Paintings employ similar strategies of experimentation. The paintings could be considered not “works on paper” but his first “works with paper”, where paper fibres are the core element of his undulating and complex substrates. The digital, tromp l’oeil aesthetic of his well-known “casting compound paintings” are ever present in this series, all-the-while utilising materials found in nature to create his materials. This incorporation of nature in his studio developments has been a key component of his recent work after the Fogo Island residency.
This series of IMG Fibre Paintings evokes the essence of the Newfoundland landscape, as observed from drone footage Staniak has taken on Fogo Island. This view of the landscape can be observed in his terrain-like painted textures. Though seen through a lens unlike that of the natural eye, these highly mediated representations resemble the rock, ice and flora that characterises the almost “other-worldly” contours of the island and Newfoundland in general. These similar rock forms are also present in the series of OBJ_ bronze sculptures on display amongst the IMG Fibre Paintings. The forms present in these sculptures originate from online databases of 3D digital scans of cave walls. This not only eludes to the origins of painting and the social or shared cultural image, a subject core to Staniak’s research, but also continue his fascination with our natural environment through his uniquely “digital” aesthetic.
About the artist: Michael Staniak lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. Recent exhibitions include: FEBRUARY 2019 / KITZBUHEL, Galerie Clemens Gunzer, Kitzbuhel, Austria; TRUE NATURE, Achenbach Hagemeier, Dusseldorf, GE; Double Vision, Steve Turner, Los Angeles, US; Fictions #2, Eduardo Secci Contemporary, Florence, IT; Vis-à-vis, Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, HK; Looking For U, Unit London, London, UK; GUIDANCE, STATION, Melbourne; _IMG, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, US; Blue Times, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; and Permanent Display, Annarumma Gallery, Naples, IT.
Michael Pybus is a British artist born in 1982 and living in London. Since 2011 Michael has had solo exhibitions in London, UK; Sydney, Australia; Singapore; New York, USA; Frankfurt, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Ghent, Belgium; LA and Mexico. He studied in London, UK, graduating with a Masters (MA) in Sculpture from Royal College of Art, following an Honors Degree (BA) in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, 2004.Michael's work is featured in major public collections including the Zabludowicz Collection and the Popov Collection and individual collections including those of Bill Arning, the Director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, collectors Nick Hyoun and Andrew Lee in Hong Kong and theprivate collection of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, as well as other private collections in Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA..LIKE - the stenciled black letters on white canvases are a clear reference to Christopher Wool. Wool’s stencil works challenged an established sense of what art or painting is, Pybus is interested in the market success of these works and investigates this through his formal application, while Wool never painted the word ‘LIKE’ Mark Flood used it in a viral 2012 edition used to promote an exhibition at NADA Miami where it spoke to the spreading use of Facebook and the reductive communication therein.
By producing an edition of the original painting, the artwork connects the dots between Wool, Flood, and Pybus with his signature: Pikachu.Pikachu, in this work as throughout the exhibition, acts like a ‘sticker’ and viral agent addressing the divisive marketing behind Pokemon, the yellow star character which has an inherent associative nature with sun, happiness, energy and encouragement, driving an emotive consumer-character relationship, enhanced through the TV series, games and collectables and aimed at the malleable minds of youth, aiding a long-term investment between consumers and the brand.Pybus's practice scrutinises the ‘artist as brand’ comparing notions of accessibility to art and brand products on both conceptual and practical levels. By utilising recognisable brands, Pybus taps into the collective consciousness.
“Kindred Spirits” is an edition of flags based on a series of abstract drawings created in response to the architecture of various relational sites of queer social exchange that make up the urban environment. Skyscrapers and skylines, towers and buildings, zones, paths, parks, highways and roadways, are recast in a series of overlapping, repeating, reformulated geometries, systems of exchange articulated through the reverberation of form. These works were produced in conversation with cities that bear a diverse history of both queerness and the built form including Berlin, Toronto, New York, Beijing, Pyongyang, Halifax, Kyoto, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Havana, and Taipei, in their articulation of the representational politics of space. 1
As an edition of flags Monteith uses abstract traditions to reference cultural and non-binary gender diversity present within the urban environment. In their assembly as a group, these flags work together in a symbolic union refuting the essentializing and exclusionary politics, and reified iconography represented by a singular banner. In utilizing abstraction, these flags resist the visual taxonomy through which people are recognized and regulated, while referring to a non-binary communal spirit, signifying an open space of meeting, tolerance, participation, and community building in an un-foreclosed, open manner.
This edition was commissioned by and produced exclusively for Unique Multiples, one of the first contemporary online art platforms to utilise blockchain technology for the authentication and verification of editioned art works in traditional media. Kindred Spirits was conceived of by Monteith as being connected to an open and democratic debate and a new utopian vision for the future of these technologies, and as embracing one of the core fundamentals of blockchain technology, a challenge to the traditional authority of capital and the fundamental way that we structure society.
John Monteith (b. Canada) graduated with a Masters in Fine Art from Parsons, the New School for Design (2008) and his BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design (1997). He has exhibited internationally including exhibitions at the 7th Beijing Biennale, the Tate Modern, London, The Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin, X Initiative, New York, the DUMBO Art Center, New York, Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Monteith has held residencies at CAT Cologne, Germany (2011), Kunsthalle Roveredo, Switzerland (2014) and in fall 2018 he will be the resident artist at I Project Space, Beijing.
Reviews and essays dedicated to his work have been included in Art in America, (print and online), Charley, C Magazine, October 135, The Huffington Post, K-48, Petit Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public, The New Yorker, www.disorientations.com, and others.
Monteith has been awarded grants from The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, and The Toronto Arts Council. Represented by Division Gallery in Canada and Galerie Wenger in Switzerland he currently lives and works in Toronto where he is a faculty member of the University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.
Jayne Wilkinson, on John Monteith’s “Resonances,” exhibition text, Division Gallery, Toronto, April 2018
Christina Dimitriadis, Island Hoping #1, 2018, Inkjet print, 60 x 90 cm, Edition 1/5
Island Hoping – an optimistic wordplay on the notion of island hopping – explores images and myths of the Mediterranean, a geographical entity, but above all an imagined reality, in which the appreciation of beauty and a collective spirit are deeply ingrained. The Mediterranean is sometimes described as a cultural space, but in fact its historical and political reality has always been more complex. In these meticulously structured photographs, islands and rock formations emerge from the sea in an indeterminate landscape. Due to their morphology and ruggedness, the rocky shores of the Aegean islands evoke ambiguous emotions that lie between optimism, hope, and uncertainty. Christina Dimitriadis’s aesthetic approach transforms the landscape from hospitable to barren. The starting point for the series was a black-and-white photograph of Helgoland, an island in the North Sea with a distinctive political and geographical history. It is also the birthplace, on the maternal side, of Dimitriadis' family and the beginning of a continuous biography of migration. Past and future, individual and collective flow together, making Island Hoping a hybrid of North and South.Christina Dimitriadis notes, ‘Through these small, rocky islands, I sought to focus on a distinctive landscape, which mostly goes unnoticed. These photographs compose a different kind of ‘map’ of Greece, a second reading of the country, questioning commonplace, stereotypical imaging.’
Curator, Denys Zacharopoulos remarks "This project casts a penetrating gaze on limits as moving, variable focal points, as borders, or walls, both threatening and sheltering at the same time. In this photographic series featuring islets of the Aegean, devoid of human presence, the human element is suggested by the limit, whether visible or not, which pops up between us in the form of either a desert or inhabited space. Each rocky island in the series Island Hoping is a placeless place and, as such, it may be a stop on the journey; it may also be the final destination." Unique Multiples is very pleased to be offering nine editions from this series.
Horror Vacui (The Velvet Underground After Hours)
Sound Installation, Unique work in a series of three
Horror Vacui is an experimental sound installation created by Canadian conceptual artist Charles Stankievech. This is a unique series of works that counterpoints the transparency of sight with the density of sound. Using the American composer Alvin Lucier's compositional technique of reiterative recording, turn-of-the-century vacuum bell jars become the instruments to create micro-soundscapes.The sources for what could be called "sound experiments" lie in a variety of 1960's and 70's pop songs by The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground & David Bowie, played repeatedly inside the glass bell jars until the clarity of the music transpose into resonant harmonics expressing the particularity of each piece of laboratory glass. Slowly, the container shifts into the contained. In turn, each experiment is cut as a clear 12" vinyl record (there is no edition, each record is a unique object). A hand-sewn and embroidered felt dust jacket houses each disc, creating a series of paired artifacts: bell jars and records. Together they present: the object that sculpted the sound and the sound transcribed into an object.
Born 1978, Canada. Lives and Works in Berlin, Germany / Toronto, Canada. Charles Stankievech is an artist whose research has explored the notion of “fieldwork” in the embedded landscape, the military industrial complex and the history of technology. His diverse body of work has been shown internationally at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; MASS MoCA; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and the Venice Architecture and SITE Santa Fe Biennales. From 2010 to 2011 (and again from 2014 to 2015) he was hired as a private contractor for the Department of National Defence where he conducted independent research in intelligence operations under the rubric of the Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP). His lectures for dOCUMENTA (13) and the 8th Berlin Biennale were as much performance as pedagogy, while his writing has been published by Sternberg, Eflux Journal, MIT and Princeton Architectural Press. His idiosyncraticand obsessively researched curatorial projects include Magnetic Norths an CounterIntelligence—both critically acclaimed as the top Canadian exhibitions of 2010 and 2014 respectively. He is an Editor of Afterall Journal out of London and since 2011, he has been co-Director of the art and theory press K. in Berlin. He was a founding faculty member of the Yukon School of Visual Arts in Dawson City, Canada, and is currently Director of Visual Studies in the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.
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