Sunday, July 14, 2013

I have been one busy Nish Kwe these days. Today I am writing various artist statements for the MFA Thesis exhibition publication coming out sometime in August. So far I am at this stage, 4 large canvases, 10 smaller ones, and a series of works on paper. Please come out and see the final installation! I am showing at the Audain Gallery at SFU Woodwards with Hamidreza Jadid and Sydney Koke. Dates September 11-21st. (softer opening on the 10th to go with The School for Contemporary Arts Anniversary) Official opening on Wednesday September 11 2013.
"The project is a series of abstract paintings of vertical stripes in oil, acrylic and gouache in various dimensions on paper and stretched canvas. Process is the driving force of these works with emphasis on how paint is physically applied to the painting’s surface. Using brushes, plexiglass and scraps of wood, the series holds vital connections to the artist’s hand and gravity. At first consideration of the large vivid works on canvas, the vertical stripes address hard-edge minimalism, each line masked out in precise measure. But further investment with the work reveals the initial mark making as free floating, with soft edges- imperfect, as attached to the hand and gesture of the artist. The process and making of these works is emphasized not as a reply or rebuttal of formalist expression or hard-edged methods, but to insert the presence of the subjectivity of the First Nations maker into its layers. Not using visibly recognizable signs of “traditional”, “cultural” or even “political,” the paintings engage the viewer in different methods of “seeing” and “feeling” the work. Through three installations of the series, the viewer has three options to approaching the paintings. There are works on paper that are stacked on a table for the viewer to leaf through and a smaller scale series enclosed within a cedar house for the viewer to “peruse and handle.” In addition and in large scale, a series of five 5 x 6 feet oil paintings are hung in a more conventional manor on the gallery walls for a more direct affective reading. Within each intervention the viewer must actively engage their bodies, to physically move paper or pull small canvases out of a compartment in order to “see” the work. Or, when experiencing the large works, they may have to adjust their eye sight to sort through the high saturation of colour within the conflicting vertical lines, “pops” or “riffs.”

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