SHOW EXTENDED UNTIL JUNE 26TH
Guest Curator Atticus Gordon
Marble Strikes Moon; A New Show of Paintings brings together a selection of fresh paintings vibrating with energy at Wallack Galleries. Marble Strikes Moon features work from six emerging and established painters working across Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto. The exhibition is centred around new questions in contemporary painting. The artists examine, reimagine, and reinterpret how representational paintings work; that is, the artists explore how and why artists paint things: people, places, and experiences. In this rich territory, the artists pull a variety of interests and processes together in the act of weaving meaning into paint. Running parallel throughout the exhibition is the importance of the painting medium. The artists build on technical proficiency, search for new ways of painting, and open up unexpected moments in the estuary where paint and subject matter meet. The artists are driven by the excitement of the painting act and a search for freshness in an age-old medium.
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Read below for a peek into what the show will offer and to read more about the artists
David Kaarsemaker's paintings have an unmistakably digital feeling bearing traces of his digital and analog process. In his paintings, light seems to shine into his work, casting shadows, while simultaneously, light appears to be illuminating his paintings from within. Kaarsemaker is interested in representing and communicating experience through the mechanics of painting; he plays with the separation between the flat surface quality and painterly space, referencing digital and physical spaces.
David Kaarsemaker is a Toronto based painter who holds and MFA from the University of Ottawa. Kaarsemaker’s practice engages with the separation between experience and representation. His paintings, based on digitally edited photographs and 3D models, maintain a digital yet painterly feel, reenacting processes of memory and perception. Kaarsemaker has exhibited extensively across Canada and been awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, and the Conceil des arts Quebec. In 2017 he was a finalist in the RBC painting competition.
Erik Nieminen's paintings share a sensibility with Kaarsemaker's. In Nieminen's paintings, architecture merges with flora and fauna. Our understandable reality dissolves around the edges. In Nieminen's works, our universe is remodelled according to the logic of the painterly process. Using light, shape, and colour, Nieminen builds up recognizable forms while simultaneously dissolving them into abstraction. Nieminen's and Kaarsemaker's works are challenging to classify. They sit between genres but are keyed into an exploration of how paint can represent and explore reality.
Erik Nieminen is Finnish-Canadian artist born in 1985. He achieved a BFA from the University of Ottawa in 2007 and an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 2010. His works present an independent reality, a liminal, unreal world that is dependent on our real world yet is separate from it. He has exhibited in both Europe and North America, including recent solo shows in London, Montreal, New York City, and currently in Berlin. Present in both private and corporate collections, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including three Elizabeth Greenshields Grants, the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Council for the Arts, and in 2018 became the Grand Prize Winner for the final edition of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. He lives and works in Montreal, Quebec.
Laurena Finéus's paintings feature a bold and distinct colour palette. Bursting with a sense of action and rich with symbolism, her paintings fluidly combine personal memories with Haitian history. Finéus's practice is concerned with representations of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora in Canada and beyond. Throughout her paintings, figures from her family and life are presented as a vehicle to portray the socio-political climate in Haiti.
Laurena Finéus is a Haitian-Canadian visual artist specialized in painting. In her practice, Finéus is concerned with representations of Haiti and its Canadian dyaspora. Through an array of colourful and large painted landscapes, she presents a frank portrayal of the socio-political climate in Haiti. Finéus is a graduate from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a minor in Communication. Her work has been exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery (2021), Art mûr (2019), The Annexe Gallery (2019-2020), Galerie 115 (2019-2020) and Paradigme (2020), among others. Recently, The City of Ottawa Art Collection acquired a selection of her works and she is part of a range of private collections nationally and internationally.
Alexia McKindsey's practice also pulls from and examines familial history. McKindsey's paintings explore the homes in which she has lived as a way to examine collective identity and mythology. Using archives, heirlooms, and the facades from these spaces as reference, she builds up painted collaged scenes that explore the passage of time. McKindsey also incorporates craft-based processes, allowing her to strengthen her ties with her familial past. Both Finéus and McKindsey are interested in familial and broader social histories. Both painters pull from the past as a way of understanding the self and looking towards the future.
Alexia McKindsey is a Montreal-based artist born in 1996 whose work explores the potential of domestic life and its artifacts. Graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University (Montreal, QC) in 2020, she works with oil painting, egg tempera and textiles. She participated in the Art Souterrain Festival (Montreal, QC) in 2017, ARTCH (Montreal, QC) in 2019 and presented her first solo exhibition And the Mourning Dove Keeps Cooing at AVE (Montreal, QC) in 2020.
Andrew Beck's paintings are moments of frozen action. Mid-century architecture and figures populate spaces at once peaceful that lean into uncertainty. His paintings are like stories started at a midpoint in which the past and future are uncertain. Beck is keenly interested in paint handling, how the usage of paint can be experimented with to shift the atmosphere and possibilities of storytelling.
Born in England, Andrew Beck is an Ottawa based oil painter. Firmly committed to representation and figuration. Beck mines history, often pulling from the aesthetics of the 1950’s, his paintings are fragments of stories, frozen moments of action, that never fully resolve, always leaving a hint of mystery. Beck’s practice is rooted in the medium of paint, combining high technical proficiency with an experimental focus on how paint and marks can be made. Beck has exhibited throughout the United Kingdom, and Germany, and his works are held in various public collections.
Atticus Gordon shares an interest in storytelling through painting. Atticus's works explore imaginary worlds in which scale, characters, and reality are altered. His paintings grow from an eclectic combination of source materials: he sketches, takes photographs, and collects images, often editing these sources in digital software before moving into painting. Atticus is interested in how painting can communicate through imagery, emotion, and atmosphere. Atticus's practice examines the formulation of meaning-making in painting. Beck and Atticus share a love of the material of paint and the possibilities for storytelling and imagination that it contains.
Atticus Gordon is an emerging Ottawa born and working painter and installation artist. He flexibly moves between mediums to explore the limits of logic and imaginary worlds. Atticus has exhibited in Ottawa, Montreal, and Berlin, and has been the recipient of various awards, notably the SAW prize for new work and the Ottawa Art Gallery Award of Excellence. Atticus’ paintings are held in public collections of the City of Ottawa and the Colart Collection in Montreal. Atticus completed a BFA at the University of Ottawa in 2019.
Experience a virtual walk-through of the gallery space, guided by Atticus Gordon and Morgan Wallack
LIVE STUDIO VISIT WITH DAVID & ERIK
Atticus will virtually speak with David and Erik live from their studios.
LIVE STUDIO VISIT WITH ALEXIA & LAURENA
Atticus will virtually speak with Alexia and Laurena live from their studios.