The Path of Most Resistance from June 26 to September 13, 2009
By turns exquisite and repellent, this show connects four international artists whose art — especially painting — focuses on materials and techniques. The garish abstraction of Elizabeth McIntosh (Vancouver), which occasionally hovers at representation’s edge, explores painting’s pure form at a time when autonomous art, banished for a decade, has regained relevance. Approaching this issue from another direction, Nestor Kruger (Toronto) produces images so fully representational that they collapse into the schematic abstraction of diagrams. The paintings of Alexis Harding (London, United Kingdom) disintegrate before our eyes, the layers of paint refusing to cohere. And Daniel Raedeke (St. Louis, United States) presents objects that are clearly paintings, despite forms and colours that argue otherwise.
Looking back to the Professional Gallery’s inaugural show, when Rirkrit stymied viewers’ expectations by sealing the gallery shut, The Path of Most Resistance refuses easy engagement, while encouraging repeated viewings: two of the four artists, Kruger and Harding, will undertake on-site projects during the show’s first weeks, thus literalizing the oft-heard complaint that “it’s impossible to see the show properly at the opening.” Harding’s paintings, for example, will continue to change after he leaves.
“This exhibit unfolds over time, so that it reproduces the evolving experience of viewers who visit any exhibit more than once,” says Professional Gallery curator Charles Reeve.
The Path of Most Resistance
June 26 to September 13, 2009
Opening reception: Thursday, June 25, 6:30 p.m.
Panel discussion: Friday, June 26, 6:30 p.m. (Room 284, Level 2, 100 McCaul Street)
Local discussants offer personal perspectives on the exhibit. All evening Insights begin in the gallery at 6:30 p.m., and last approximately 40 minutes.
Charles Reeve is Curator of the OCAD Professional Gallery and Associate Professor in the Faculties of Liberal Studies and Art.
Robert Linsley is an accomplished artist, respected writer and popular lecturer. Linsley has a long-standing fascination with the possibilities of the painted surface. He shows at Felix Ringel in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Colette Laliberté is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD. She exhibits regularly at Toronto's Wynick/Tuck Gallery, and has shown her ambitious work throughout North America and Europe.
Backgrounder: Artists’ Biographies
London’s Alexis Harding has been exhibiting his unusual paintings and sculptures throughout Great Britain and Europe since the mid-1990s. His first solo show, at the Project Room, Galerij S65 in Aalst, Belgium in 1997, preceded solos at the Andrew Mummery Gallery in London and the Rubicon Gallery in Dublin. The Mummery and the Rubicon continue to represent Harding; in Toronto he shows with Georgia Scherman Projects. He also has shown extensively in solo and group exhibitions in Ireland, Great Britain and Europe. In 1995, he graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2007, he participated in Robert Linsley’s program for New Research in Abstraction. This is Harding’s first show in Canada.
For well over 15 years, Toronto’s Nestor Kruger has been exhibiting a wide range of work in diverse media across Canada and internationally. Since graduating from OCAD in 1989 with an Honours AOCA in Fine Art, he has had solo shows at institutions such as the Chinati Foundation in Texas and the National Gallery of Canada and participated in group exhibits in countries as far-flung as Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Like Elizabeth McIntosh, he participated during the mid-1990s in the Toronto collective Painting Disorders. He teaches at the University of Guelph and is represented by Goodwater Gallery in Toronto.
Educated at York University and at the Chelsea College of Art & Design in the United Kingdom, Elizabeth McIntosh has exhibited her uncompromising brand of abstract painting in solo and group shows throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. A decade ago, as a member of Painting Disorders, she participated in an intense interrogation of the possibility of painting’s continuing relevance, an investigation that continues to inform her painting. She lives in Vancouver, where she teaches at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design and is represented by Vancouver’s Blanket Contemporary Art and Diaz Contemporary in Toronto.
Working from the slogan “Painting a better future for you,” Daniel Raedeke explores the synergies and differences between art and commerce by painstakingly reproducing handmade objects from digital images. Educated at Southern Illinois University, Raedeke is based in St. Louis, where he is represented by Bruno David Gallery, and has exhibited widely throughout the United States. As with Alexis Harding, The Path of Most Resistance is his first exhibition in Canada.
About the OCAD Professional Gallery
Launched in April 2007 with solo exhibits by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Karim Rashid, OCAD’s 1200 square-foot Professional Gallery is devoted to facilitating connections between, and the contemplation of, contemporary art and design.
About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.