YYZ 40 Exhibition, “Bending Towards the Sun” features the work of Frances Adair, Grayson Alabiso-Cahill, JD Banke, Liam Crockard, Patrick Cruz, Stan Douglas, Alex Fisher, Hanna Hur, Aaron Jones, Laurie Kang, Garrett Lockhart, Trevor Mahovsky & Rhonda Weppler, Jenine Marsh, Darby Milbrath, Susy Oliveira, Walter Scott, Shannon Garden Smith, Jana Sterbak, and Sean Stewart
Curated by Veronika Ivanova, “Bending Towards the Sun” is a fundraising exhibition in support of YYZ. On view from Saturday 30 March — Saturday 4 May, 2019. “Bending Towards the Sun” celebrates YYZ Artists’ Outlet—their growth and transformation over the past 40 years, and their resilience and ability to thrive in a climate increasingly hostile to cultural work.
“With the mild wind, with the first rain showers
the alder bark swells, and pale green
colors the bushes.
And by the brooks, by the sudden sprung black ditches running with foaming cold snow water,
in the pits, in wet underbrush,
in pools of water –
the pussy willows begin to bleach and yellow.
In the air a cool dampness, the smell of frost and wind,
but soon the water in the ditches will drain, the pastures will dry, and by the rivers, in the ditches, in wet bogs
will spring up clusters of yellow marsh marigolds.
The whole yard smells: of new buds,
boards stacked in the sun,
light frost – and gutted potato pits,
the smell of fresh new grass.
And the faintest breeze brings from the bushes
the smell of alder and juniper,
and smell of fresh buds, catkins and leaves;
and from the fields – the smell of fresh water,
of drying meadows, foamy crusts,
the first coltsfoot, swallowwort, dandelion,
the smell of flooded ponds, the sun’s warmth, and the last
of the dirty snow lying in the loamy ditches.
And when from the bushes yellow with golden catkins
drifts the first whistling on alder bark fifes,
– gentle tapping with a knife-handle –
ah, now really the winter won’t come back – now it is spring!”
JONAS MEKAS, HOW SWEET THE SMELL OF SPRING
Courtesy of the estate of Jonas Mekas (1922–2019)
“Again today I watched you leave and tried to follow. Found nothing but darkness in your wake. Granulated by your absence like a lover newly acquainted, now I only hope you’ll stop by again tomorrow. Fruitless is to chase you, somehow you always wind up at my back, Dawn’s fingers waltzing over my shoulders onto my breast. Neck of a crane, these swollen eyes are pried open. Why do you demand my pivot? that I remain dancing circles for you? Why mock the path straight and narrow, it’s been many times I’ve practiced this dance so, why, over? again I dream that I follow you, beyond the edge into the unknown. On a pathway where the light never escapes me, not over the horizon’s selfish ambit, out of view. We could see this as progress, no? I do like to keep moving, I do have trouble staying any one way for too long. I’ve always fought reliance on habituation, cycles are suspects in the transgression of living just once. Oh yes I’m being dramatic as always but it’s a recipe of your making. Could we not just learn to talk like adults about this? Then you’d say to me, “in the endless pursuit of this imagined, faultless life, you may waste so much time running, breathlessly, trying to catch me, that you’ll never sit long enough to know the pleasure of a butterfly picking you as its place to land.” It is a lesson of circuits: energy produced in a self-reliant loop that seldom tires of itself. I remember now that restlessness is exactly what destines Orpheus to a heart full of darkness both by night and day. That is, it is not you who spites me, but myself. You watch from behind, the choreography of how I dance thru darkness to find light. With a face to the moon, I bend towards you, sun.”
KATE KOLBERG, A SUN CARD REVERSED IS STILL A SUN CARD
Frances Adair McKenzie is an interdisciplinary artist based in Montreal, whose practice includes video installation, sculpture and animation. She holds a diploma in New Media from B.C.I.T. and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University. Recent exhibitions include Parisian Laundry and Centre Clark in Montreal, the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides and the Satosphere of the Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT). Several of her animations and stop-motion VR projects have been commissioned by the National Film Board of Canada.
Grayson Alabiso-Cahill (born 1996, Philadelphia) lives and works in Toronto. Recent exhibitions include “Through A Wavering Line” (2018) at IMA322, “The Bomb Party or What Goes Up” (2018) at Bunker 2, and “First a Radical, and Second, an Optimist” (2019) at Crutch CAC. Alabiso-Cahill is also the editor of Successful Press.
JD Banke (based in Portland, Oregon) reveals an American ethos by addressing constructs of value in popular culture, the art market and consumerism. Taking cues from contemporary painting, art cliches and outsider practices, Banke presents dark and humorous social commentaries that reflect a critical voice on cultural institutions.
Liam Crockard (born 1986, Kitchener) lives and works in Toronto. He holds a BFA from OCAD University. Crockard’s sculptural, collage and photography works examine the nature of work itself, with a particular emphasis on “jerry-rigging” and improvisation as both a symptom and a strategy for art-making and survival alike. Recent exhibitions include Cooper Cole, Toronto; Clint Roenisch, Toronto; MKG127, Toronto; Roberta Pelan, Toronto; Gestalten Space, Berlin; West Cork Arts, Ireland; and Scott Projects, Chicago. Crockard was recently a featured artist at the 2017 Material Art Fair in Mexico City. His work has been reviewed and published in Artforum, Canadian Art, Border Crossings, C Magazine, and Elephant Magazine. He is currently co- director of The Loon in Toronto, as well as Paper Local, a freely distributed newspaper project.
Patrick Cruz is a Filipino-Canadian artist living and working between Toronto, Canada and Manila, Philippines. Cruz studied Painting at the University of the Philippines Diliman and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and holds a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Guelph. In 2015, Cruz won the national title for the 17th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition and has presented work across North America, Europe and South East Asia. Cruz is the founder of Kamias Special Projects, an artist- run space in Quezon City, Philippines that hosts the Kamias Triennial.
Cruz has produced numerous projects, curatorial initiatives, and collaborative performances including 29 solo exhibitions and 44 group exhibitions. Cruz’s recent solo and group exhibitions include Franz Kaka (Toronto, CA), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, CA), Mo_space (Manila, PH), Plug In ICA (Winnipeg, CA), Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, CA), Nanaimo Art Gallery (Nanaimo, CA), The Art Center of Chulangkorn (Bangkok, TH), Or Gallery Berlin (Berlin, DE), Vargas Museum (Manila, PH), Nada NY (New York, USA) and Material Art Fair (Mexico City, MX).
Stan Douglas is a visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver. Since 1990 his films, videos and photographs have been seen in exhibitions internationally, including Documentas IX, X and XI (1992, 1997, 2002) and three Venice Biennales (1990, 2001, 2005). A comprehensive survey exhibition, “Past Imperfect: Works 1986–2007,” was mounted by the Württembergischer Kunstverein and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in the fall of 2007. In 1986 he organized a touring exhibition of Samuel Beckett’s media works for the Vancouver Art Gallery, “Samuel Beckett: Teleplays,” and in 2006 co-curated “Beyond Cinema: Art of Projection” for the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. An exhibition of work since 2008 opened at the Carré d’art- Musée d’art contemporain in Nîmes, October 2013 and toured Europe until February 2016. In 2014, Douglas created “Helen Lawrence,” a multimedia theatre work which innovatively merges theatre, visual art, live-action filming, and computer-generated imagery. Since the inaugural presentation at the Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver in March 2014, “Helen Lawrence” has been hosted by the Münchner Kammerspiele, Munich; Edinburgh International Festival; Canadian Stage, Toronto; Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; and deSingel, Antwerp. Most recently, he received the 2016 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. Other notable awards include the third annual Scotiabank Photography Award (2013) and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York (2012). Between 2004 and 2006 he was a professor at the Universität der Künste Berlin and is currently Core Faculty in the Graduate Department of the Art Center College of Design in California.
Toronto-based Alex Fischer (b. 1986, Canada) creates prints and paintings with theassistance of artificial intelligence. Inspiredby process-based image makers and new realist philosophies Fischer considers the image as a bridge between ideas, peoples, and cultures. His chosen approach of assisted collage serves as media melting pot for the practice of Artography: a hybrid form of action research creating its rigour through continuous reflexivity (taking account of itself), discourse analysis, and hermeneutic inquiry (concerning interpretation). Essentially, Fischer makes images that encourage the viewer to consider false dichotomies and spectrums of possibility. Fischer graduated from York University in 2010 with a BFA Honours in Visual Art. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at VOLTA NY, O’Born Contemporary, and Galerie BAC. In 2016 his painting ‘Pet, Casper, and Hesperie’ was shortlisted in the national RBC Painting Competition and many works are featured in noted private and corporate collections.
Hanna Hur (b. 1985, Toronto) has exhibited at L’INCONNUE, Montreal; LACA, Los Angeles; Motel Gallery, Brooklyn; 67 Steps, Los Angeles; The Sunroom, Richmond; Audain Gallery at SFU, Vancouver; Roberta Pelan, Toronto; Tomorrow, New York; and Shanaynay, Paris. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Aaron Jones is an artist based in Toronto. Recent exhibitions include “Propped,” at Oakville Galleries, Oakville; “An unassailable and monumental dignity,” at Contact Gallery, Toronto; “You’ve done taken my blues and gone” at Ignite Gallery, Toronto; Ragga NYC, Mercer Union, Toronto; “Burnt Umber” at the MOEG, Toronto; “Critical Mass” at the Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph; and “From The Ground Up,” at Our Gallery, Toronto.
Laurie Kang is an artist living in Toronto. Kang has exhibited internationally at Interstate Projects, Topless, New York; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Cooper Cole, 8-11, The Loon, Gallery TPW, and Franz Kaka, Toronto; L’inconnue, Montreal; Carl Louie, London; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Wroclaw; Raster Gallery, Warsaw; Camera Austria, Graz; and Tag Team, Bergen. She was recently artist in residence at Rupert, Vilnius; Tag Team, Bergen; The Banff Centre, Alberta; and Interstate Projects, Brooklyn. She holds an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College.
Garrett Lockhart (born 1994, Nanaimo) is an artist and curator based in Tiohtiá:ke (Montréal). He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Computation Arts at Concordia University in 2018. His practice explores quiet activism and sustainability using salvaged and found materials. He is also co-director of Calaboose, an independent project space housed in a converted horse stable. Recent exhibitions include “Envoi” at Sibling, Toronto.
Rhonda Weppler (born in Winnipeg) and Trevor Mahovsky (born in Calgary) are San Francisco- and Vancouver-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2004. Both artists have MFA degrees from the University of British Columbia, where they met in 1996. Their work is represented in public collections including the Musee d’art Contemporain de Montreal, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada Council Art Bank, and
the National Gallery of Canada. Recent solo exhibitions include “The Guest’s Shadow,” Susan Hobbs, Toronto; Project Space, Root Division, San Francisco; Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto; “Walks,” Maclaren Art Centre, Barrie; Orange Coast College Photography Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA; and Acme Project Space, London, UK. Recent public works are “The Commuters,” TTC commission for St Clair West Station, Toronto; and “Northern Lites Minimart,” commission for Nuit Blanche, Edmonton.
Jenine Marsh (b. 1984, Calgary) is an artist based in Toronto CA. Recent solo and two- person exhibitions include “Every Empire has an End,” Franz Kaka, Toronto CA; “a room at the center of the world surrounded by the noise of men,” Interface, Oakland USA; “feminine marvelous and tough,” Lulu, Mexico City MX; “always with,” Stride Gallery, Calgary; “GUTTERSNIPES,” Vie d’ange, Montreal; “Dear Stranger,” Entrée, Bergen NO; “In a world of weeds, all roses are wild,” Beautiful, Chicago USA; “The Extrovert,” Cooper Cole, Toronto CA; and “The cut flower still blooms,” 8-11, Toronto CA. Recent group exhibitions include “UTTRAN II,” Uttran Lake SE; “The Future Stands Still but We Move in Infinite Space,” OSL contemporary, Oslo NO; “Flower Petal Tongues,” Griffin Art Projects, Vancouver CA; “Entangled Tales,” Rupert, Vilnius LT; “Orientering,” invited by Entrée, Bergen NO; “Occupations of Uninhabited Space,” Gianni Manhattan, Vienna AT; “How deep is your love?,” Cooper Cole, Toronto CA; “TRUE LIES,” Night Gallery, Los Angeles USA; and “A Change of Heart,” Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles USA; and The Lulennial: A Slight Gestuary, Lulu, Mexico City MX. She has participated in residencies at USF Verftet (NO), La Datcha (DE), Rupert (LT), the Banff Centre (CA), and Vermont Studio Center (USA). Her work is represented by Cooper Cole in Toronto.
Darby Milbrath is a painter currently based in Toronto. Recent exhibitions include, “The Flowering Songs” at Projet Pangée (Montreal), “A place in the Country” at Clint Roenisch Gallery (Toronto), “Blue Hyacinth” at Erin Stump Projects (Toronto), and “Domestic Tranquility” at 0-0 LA (Los Angeles). Milbrath has also been represented at Papier Art Fair (Montreal), Art Toronto, and internationally at Material Art Fair (Mexico City) where she was selected as one of the top ten artists at the fair by Artspace. Milbrath’s work has been featured in national and international publications including Canadian Art, Wall Street International, C Magazine and Vice. She has published artist editions with The Hart House Review, Sagan Editions and JMS press. Darby Milbrath holds a BA major in dance from The University of Winnipeg in affiliation with The School of Contemporary Dancers.
Susy Oliveira is a Toronto based artist working in photography, sculpture and collage. Selected exhibitions include shows at Erin Stump Projects, Toronto; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; SAW Gallery, Ottawa; Khyber, Halifax, and PLATFORM, Winnipeg. Susy Oliveira is represented by Erin Stump Projects, Toronto.
Walter Scott is an interdisciplinary artist working across comics, drawing, video, performance and sculpture. His comic series, Wendy, chronicles the continuing misadventures of a young artist in a satirical version of the contemporary art world. Wendy has been featured in Canadian Art, Art in America, and published online in the New Yorker. It was selected for the 2016 edition of Best American Comics, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York. Recent exhibitions include Who Isn’t She? A Wendy Retrospective, at Galerie UQO (Gatineau), Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preference, Franz Kaka (Toronto), and Betazoid in a Fog, Walter’s first museum solo presentation, in 2018, at the Remai Modern, in Saskatoon. In 2019, Walter will be a six- month artist-in-residence, at the ISCP, in Brooklyn, New York.
Shannon Garden-Smith lives and works in Toronto. She received her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph in 2017 and her BA from the University of Toronto in 2012. She has recently exhibited at Cambridge Art Galleries (Cambridge ON), Birch Contemporary (Toronto), Erin Stump Projects (Toronto), 8-11 Gallery (Toronto), Y+ Contemporary (Scarborough), and Kunstverein am-Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz (Berlin).
Jana Sterbak (born 1955, Prague) forges wearable, cage-like constructions that allude to technological and societal constraints and a quest for freedom beyond corporeality. Drawn to notions of doubling, physicality, and self-awareness, she favors juxtapositions between vanity and decomposition as a reminder of human vulnerability. Sterbak has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal. In recognition of Sterbak’s body of work, and its impact on Canadian art, she was awarded the 2012 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Recent exhibitions include “30 Years Barbara Gross Galerie Part 1” Barbara Gross, Munich; “VIVACE Renate Bertlmann, Gloria Friedmann, Natalia LL, Jana Sterbak” Galerie Steinek, Vienna; and “Animalia” Galerie Laroche/Joncas, Montréal.
Sean Stewart’s practice brings together the intersecting fields of contemporary art, environmental activism, and political ecology. His practice addresses ecological deterioration through poetry, painting, audio, and sculpture in the expanded field. Through his material choices, Stewart highlights the industries and chains of production complicit in environmental degradation. Recent exhibitions include “Mother’s Foundry” Birch Contemporary, Toronto; “Conservatory,” Bunker 2, Toronto; “Something you have already, never seen” Warner Gallery, Toronto; and “Two Secret Diptychs” Mini Gallerie, Amsterdam.