JEN AITKEN | KALOUNE
SATURDAY 25 MARCH SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY 24 MARCH, 6:00-8:00PM
ARTIST TALK: FRIDAY 31 MARCH, 6:00pm
For her exhibition Kaloune, Jen Aitken presents a new series of wall-mounted sculptures. Over the last several years, Aitken has developed a restricted geometric vocabulary that draws from her everyday built environment but resists any definitive references. Her sculptures are independent idiosyncratic objects, yet they accumulate meaning together through their shared visual lexicon. In a continuous search for new possibilities within her limited set of shapes, Aitken now shifts her focus from solid volume to negative space. She has imagined cutting up and unfolding the forms of her recent cast concrete work to create a number of open planar structures.
Kaloune shows Aitkens attempt to unfasten the surface of concrete from its inherent mass. Adding paper pulp and other ingredients to her cement mixture, she has pressed thin layers of material into molds made of wood, plastic, foam, and cardboard. The resulting forms are not standard positive casts, but muted translations of her ad hoc molds. They are partial fragmented containers made inside and around other containersnegative forms for which there are no corresponding positives. Kaloune evokes a sense of sustained ambiguity, and invites our focus to drift continuously between space and material, two and three dimensions, object and installation, and between stillness and motion.
JEN AITKEN received her MFA in 2014 from the University of Guelph, and her BFA in 2010 from Emily Carr University. In May 2016, she presented her first solo show at Battat Contemporary in Montreal, which was accompanied by a publication of her studio drawings. She created a site-specific solo exhibition at Centre Clark in September 2016 and has recently participated in group shows at Forest City Gallery in London, Ontario, Diaz Contemporary in Toronto, and Kamloops Art Gallery in British Columbia. Aitken is a Toronto-based artist and is represented by Battat Contemporary.
Jen Aitken gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.