This month at Canada, the gallery presents a group show titled SUMMER Nights, featuring work by Addoley Dzegede, Julia Haft-Candell, Gi (Ginny) Huo, Abigail Lucien, Carly Mandel, Mary Manning, Lee Relvas, Beverly Semmes, Fin Simonetti, Hanae Utamura, Sam Vernon, Rachel Eulena Williams, and Kristine Woods. Exploring a range of works that oscillate between various fragments of architecture, the show draws on artists using memory and experience to create works meditating on world building, family, and the abstractions of daily life.
The show draws in particular on notions of abstraction in architecture, using a range of approaches that include sculpture, photography and painting to create dense and intricate reflections on the world. Lucien and Huo, for instance, recall fictional world building but also point to the loss and destruction of contemporary landscapes, from colonial structures and exploitation in the Caribbean to explore the body and psyche and moored within these systems of domination. By contrast, Huo builds worlds and topographies that appear to fold into themselves. Drawing upon their conservative Mormon upbringing, Huo explores the intentions of what people believe and the legacies of religious systems by recreating sculptural landscapes to navigate questions of belief by creating alternative portals to peculiar spaces.
Works by Beverly Semmes, Carly Mandel, and Kristine Woods, using another frame of reference, explore variations in scale, form, and detail in the human body and comment on ways in which technologies are employed to adorn us and how we see ourselves and our bodies reflected. In a large-scale wall sculpture, Semmes uses large bolts of green fabric to make unwearable garments that are ghosts of consumerism and expectations. By contrast, Mandel presents two glass, ceramic, and steel works, differing in scale but similar in execution and materiality, that probe the artist’s interests in how late-stage Capitalism enacts violence on the body and memory. Mandel contrasts material that she can handle and form with those she cannot: hypercommercial machine made objects.
Addoley Dzegede uses home, familial references, and cultural iconography to create dialogue between material, meaning and metaphor, inquiring into who we are and how we got here. Fin Simonetti’s stained glass bear trap could trap a person but could be seen also as a non-functional, ornate tool of terror and a surprise hiding in plain sight. Lee Relvas presents new, plywood flower sculptures that appear as a singular line of defined form. Sam Vernon’s three monochromatic works on paper, part of a larger series, utilize several gestures in one piece. Similarly, Julia Haft-Candell’s sculptures utilize gesture as a way to capture form within ceramic, a material that was once soft and malleable but is now fired into a frozen state, brimming with energy.
Throughout, explorations and framings of the world ultimately serve to equally reflect the artists’ world experiences and attempts to reframe them within new systems and structures. It closes August 12th.
– D. Creahan
SUMMER Nights [Exhibition Site]