Monday, May 29, 2006

Upcoming shows

June 2006- White Wash (solo) at Bobby Five Gallery, Toronto
June 2006- The Wild (group) at TSA Gallery, Toronto School of Art, Toronto
August 2006- Square Foot 2006 (group) at AWOL Gallery, Toronto
October 2006- From Russia With Love (solo storefront installation) at Fly Gallery, Toronto

I'm keeping my fingers crossed on two other shows I've proposed/applied for this year. I'll keep everyone posted if anything else comes up..

Sunday, May 28, 2006

From Russia With Love

This drawing is from a series I started in March titled From Russia With Love. It will eventually involve approximately 75 ink portraits of Russian Mail Order Brides, all drawn from internet sites. I am also planning on making a corresponding "catalogue" bookwork multiple, which will include selections from the series. If all goes as planned, both the bookwork and the drawing series will be exhibited together as a storefront installation at Fly Gallery for the month of October. I've finished 16 portraits so far, and now that I'm finished all the prep work for the White Wash exhibit, I'm finally free to continue full steam ahead with the rest of them...

Some of my earliest work involved serial portraits (yearbook photos), so it's funny that I'm revisiting familiar territory with these drawings. As the work progresses, I'll post more sample drawings, and provide a bit more of an explanation about the concept...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

REVIEWS- Shary Boyle and AGO Wallworks

The following reviews were originally written by yours truely for Flack, an online art review zine. Both shows are about to close, so hurry over to see them before they're gone!

WALLWORKS: Sol Lewitt, C.A. Swintak, Lawrence Weiner, Denyse Thomasos, Raymond Pettibon and Chris Ballantyre @ the Art Gallery of Ontario. Until June 1st.
Currently on display are the first of 15 Swing Space installations by contemporary artists showing at the very much in-progress AGO over a two year period.
Hidden away in a remote little room were the contributions of Raymond Pettibon and Chris Ballantyre. Pettibon's piece- one of his large scale wave paintings- was lyrically (no pun intended) executed with his usual text inclusions: references ranging from literature to Gillette razor ads, professional surfers from the 1960's to the artist's own mother. The piece however suffers from the small space it is situated in. It would have been interesting to see the product of Pettibon's mad hand spread out in a larger space along side the exhibition's more "formal" wall works, rather than screaming out all over the baseboards, from a space no larger than a nursery room.
Speaking of which, a nursery room is exactly what Chris Ballantyre's minimal, pastel-hued depiction of partially-submerged houses surrounded by still floodwater evokes. This is not to say that his contribution was without it's merits; particularily a cool aura of mystery and subtle malevolence- like the calm AFTER the storm.
In the large room situated next to the gift shop, Lawrence Weiner's text piece is brutally upstaged by the work of C.A. Swintak and Denyse Thomasos (Pictured: Hybrid Nations- detail, 2005). Swintak's elaborate assemblage around an archway is a flamboyant, in-your-face pisstake on classical architecture, entirely constructed out of the residue of the artist's everyday life. Dirty laundry and plates, high heels, soiled napkins, belts, bedding, nightgowns, cans of Old Milwaukee, even the artist's own furniture are included in this clever installation, which lies somewhere between Robert Rauschenberg and Parkdale yardsale. Denyse Thomasos' staggering work, a huge wall painting combining computer-generated architectural renderings with loose, though very deliberate painted depictions of primitive architectural forms, stuns. Breathtaking in it's technicality and scale while appearing almost effortlessly executed, Thomasos' work walks, and questions, the often fine line between order and chaos.

LACE FIGURES: Shary Boyle @ the Power Plant. March 25-May 28, 2006.
Lace Figures is the result of Shary Boyle's larest project- two years of studying and learning the delicate art of porcelain lace draping. The process involves coating lace in a layer of liquid porcelain, which is then applied to an unfired porcelain base. When fired, the lace disintegrates and the coating remains intact, leaving a highly detailed, delicate impression of the lace's patterns.
In the vein of previous work, Boyle's figures are an all-star cast of her signature anti-heroines, who weave a dark fable as tangled and alluring as the details on their elaborate gowns. Gaping wounds take the form of lush red roses and pleated lace collars; debutantes don bruises, bulging veins and suicide scars; two-headed brides play tug-of-war; dress bustles and details blind, mute and entangle their dewy-eyed ceramic models. The figures articulate a range of emotions- from helplessness to defiance to pride- yet are all entirely unapologetic for their vulnerability.
Part of Boyle's gift is her ability to present us with a side of ourselves we'd rather not acknowledge. Her Lace Figures make a little part of us stars in our own fairy tale in a land far away from touched-up, sanitized womanhood; in a story that celebrates the inherent beauty in darkness. (Pictured: Lace Figures- detail, 2005)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Shary Boyle at Open Studio

Artist talk by Open Studio visiting artist Shary Boyle, Wednesday, May 24 @ 7pm at Open Studio.

Shary Boyle will present a free illustrated talk in conjunction with her current visiting artist exhibition at Open Studio, which continues to May 27. Boyle is a multimedia artist based in Toronto who works concurrently in drawing, painting, sculpture and performance. During her artist residency at Open Studio, she produced a series of etchings with aquatint that continue her ongoing investigations surrounding issues of identity, mythology, sexuality and dysfunction.

For more images of Shary's work, as well as information on upcoming performances, residencies and exhibitions, check out her website in my links section...

Open Studio
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 104
Toronto, Ontario


Tara Bursey

June 3rd-June 30th, 2006.
Reception: Saturday, June 3rd, 8-11pm.
Artist will be in attendance.

Bobby Five Gallery
1239 Queen Street West
Suite #202
(416) 538-6528

Gallery Hours:
Monday-Saturday: 12-8pm

WHITE WASH is an exhibition of sculptural work which employs garments, both found and fabricated, as a way of addressing the constructive/destructive nature of systems. Military issue undergarments, straightjackets, and lingerie are used to allude to ritual activity, and the ways in which systems and repetition are used to depersonalize and desensitize within both domestic and institutional realms.

Tara Bursey is a recent graduate of the Toronto School of Art’s diploma program, and a former student at Ontario College of Art and Design. An artist whose practice encompasses sculpture and installation as well as drawing and printmaking, Tara’s work is characterized by its ethereal quality, and an often obsessive use of repetition, pattern and delicate sculptural materials such as eggshells, garlic skin, found garments and paper. During her studies at the Toronto School of Art, Tara was the recipient of TSA’s Barbara Barrett Scholarship (2004) and Matthew David Stein Scholarship (2005). In the past two years, she has exhibited extensively throughout the city in such diverse venues as Open Studio, MOCCA, Eastern Front Gallery, Fly Gallery, Propeller Centre for the Arts, and most recently, conducted an artist’s talk entitled “Zines: A Short History of the Underground Publication” at TSA. In addition to her work as a fine artist, Tara also operates actively within Toronto’s independent music and small-press communities as a DJ, illustrator, designer and writer. She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.