Painting: Thick & Thin
June 25th to June 28th: Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary
July 25th to October 6th: Glenbow Museum, Calgary
Featuring Works by:
-Miriam Bankey (Calgary,AB)
-Kyle Beal (Montreal, QC)
-Dave & Jenn (Calgary, AB)
-Chris Millar (Calgary, AB)
-Patrick Lundeen (Brooklyn, NY)
-Kim Neudorf (Calgary, AB)
-Ryan Sluggett (Austin, TX)
In a city experiencing a time of such abundance, we commonly lament a cultural void, as if it came along naturally with prosperity. In conversations with the city’s exiles and in newspaper clippings, I’ve found a belief that a wealthy city is hostile to artists, and does not foster or influence them in any interesting way.
While use of this invented cultural vacancy as a discursive space was valuable, it is now confining.
All of these artists are, in some way, from Calgary. I was born here. We have made a new dialogue around painting in Calgary essential by reordering ideas of abundance and lack. Our work is not a direct critique of the general economic or political forces that created it, but is grown from the city's specific complexity of excesses and voids. We have escaped cynical mimicry and trite activism to make personal and purposeful objects out of painting's history.
We've digested both painting's history and each other’s practices from afar to work it up as influence in our own studios to be at once as dripping, excessive and ridiculous as the city itself, and as clean, slick and manufactured as a postcard from it.
Without easy access to the physical artifacts of art history or each others’ work, a shared imagination was built between us that sustained very inward practices in a city that looks perpetually outward.
Miriam Bankey, Kyle Beal, Kim Neudorf, Patrick Lundeen, Chris Millar, Ryan Sluggett, and Dave & Jenn could play a very long game of biographical connect-the-dots with curator Wil Murray. Some of them left Calgary, some of them stayed, but they all came out of ACAD in the last ten years to build networks of cross-pollination between their practices through photographs, writing, internet lurking, music and shared beverages.
Employing all kinds of strategies to eek a little life out of painting's perpetually expiring body, they build meticulous and excessive paintings that don't shy from deadly serious jokes or from taking an occasional dip in sculpture's pool.
Look to this blog for essays, interviews and a ton of artifacts and remnants during the month in between the two shows.
Facebook event for June 25th opening here.
Opening The Same Night at the IKG:
-GRREEDEN by Justin Evans & Wil Murray