Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shary Boyle + Ilavska Exhibitions

The following are shows on now in Toronto that I'm really excited about seeing...

Shary Boyle- Wonderlust
Jessica Bradley Art + Projects
1450 Dundas Street West
February 3rd-March 3rd, 2007

This exhibtion brings together several groups of drawings and paintings, including works on paper from Boyle's Porcelain Fantasy series, large watercolours and new portrait paintings with colourful abstract patterning. The exhibtion also includes three extraordinary small sculptures conceived as part of the artist's drawing practice.

Over the past decade Shary Boyle has developed a multi-faceted practice that includes her renowned drawings, paintings, sculpture and unique performances. In 2006 she created multiple “live drawing projections” for events at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and for international tours with musicians Will Oldham, Doug Paisley and Christine Fellows. In 2006 Shary Boyle's lace-draped porcelain figures were featured in a solo exhibition at the Power Plant, written about in Art Papers and were the focus of a cover article in Canadian Art magazine. Beginning in March 2007, Shary Boyle will be on a six-month residency in London, England, awarded by the Canada Council's International Studio Program.

Ilavska: The Arts and Crafts of Grandmother
Sonja Ahlers, Lydia Klenck, Stephen Appleby-Barr, Kozue Kitchens, Tania Sanhueza, Melinda Josie, Noel Middleton and Trudie Cheng
Magic Pony
694 Queen Street West
February 23rd-March 18th

Magic Pony is pleased to present Ilavska, a celebration of the lost arts and crafts of Grandmother. Featuring installation, textile design, painting, collage and soft-sculpture, this exhibition showcases a diverse group of contemporary multi-disciplinary artists and designers who will take viewers on a captivating visit to Grandma’s.

Ilavksa was inspired by a pilgrimage into Eastern Europe to visit Grandma. In times of subsistence living under communist rule, women created beautiful objects and environments out of limited resources. Crochet, knitting, embroidery and textiles were executed with painstaking and time-consuming care, and became treasured objects in the home. As both feminine and feminist practice, these subversive gestures represented women’s skills, pleasures and desires; as each stitch became a record of richly-lived experiences and histories.

Ilavska explores a new generation of artists who integrate a deep appreciation for the craft tradition and aesthetic into modern techniques and styles; an approach which reveals scepticism toward today’s instantly-gratifying, disposable culture. As a re-valuing and re-imagining of historically feminine pursuits, the artwork of Ilavksa evokes a weighty sense of time, memory and nostalgia. Seamlessly juxtaposing artwork with found antique furniture, objects and decoration, the exhibit blurs past and present tense, and collapses the distinctions between “art,” “craft” and “design.”

Including Sonja Ahlers, Lydia Klenck, Stephen Appleby-Barr, Kozue Kitchens, Tania Sanhueza, Melinda Josie, Noel Middleton and Trudie Cheng, Ilavska will premiere at the Come Up To My Room designer showcase held at the Gladstone Hotel from February 23-25. The exhibition will then continue in expanded form at Magic Pony from February 26-March 18, 2007.

Pictured: Shary Boyle- Spring (2005)

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