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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | November 2014 – January 2015

By Robin Laurence

AN TE LIU: IN ABSENTIA Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Sep 27-Nov 23 Produced with the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, this multi-venue exhibition uses sculpture to explore a range of cultural issues and historical perspectives. Born in Taiwan, based in Toronto and exhibited internationally, An Te Liu creates objects that draw inspiration from things as diverse as ethnographic art, packing materials, minerals, fossils and meteorites. The individual works resemble Modernist sculptures and, viewed together, they ask us to consider “how seeing and knowing shape our relationship to objects, across cultures and time.”

JOSCELYN GARDNER: BRINGING DOWN THE FLOWERS Alberta Printmakers, Calgary, Oct 22-Nov 29 Born in Barbados and based in London, Ontario, Joscelyn Gardner uses printmaking and mixed-media installation to examine the lives of Creole women from a post-colonial and feminist viewpoint. Her intricate, mysterious and sometimes ominous images draw on historical sources such as botanical prints, portrait paintings and decorative objects now housed in museums. With this show’s 10 hand-coloured stone lithographs on frosted Mylar, Gardner’s intention is to reassert the presence of women who have previously been omitted from the telling of Caribbean history.

21 KONSTRUCTiONS/BRENDA RAYNARD Alberta Craft Council Gallery, Edmonton, Oct 25-Nov 29 Subtitled “A Language of Thought in Cross-Stitch,” this exhibition by Edmonton artist Brenda Raynard proposes the existence of a universal form of written language that is innate to human beings and exists apart from spoken language. The alphabet she has invented to prove her thesis is revealed in the form of exquisitely cross-stitched characters derived from digitized photographs of her own bas-relief “konstructions.” Each small image, rendered in thousands of tiny cross-stitches, represents over 125 hours of work.

CURTIS CUTSHAW: LEVELS AND CONSTRUCTS Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary Nov 22-Jan 3 For Calgary artist Curtis Cutshaw, creating these abstract paintings is as much about process as about their ultimate resolution as visual objects. Each work is composed of a grid of separate birch tiles that have been “rubbed, scratched, marked, erased and distressed.” Reassembled, the tiles create a harmonious whole while the eye is still drawn to their particularities, the dynamic lines and the contrasting blocks of black-on-white.

SEAN WILLIAM RANDALL Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary Dec 4-Jan 24 Photo-Realism meets Surrealism in this artist’s astounding prairie landscapes, featuring amazing detail, brilliant colour and a sense of absurdity. Randall’s clear-eyed depictions of the landscape have been compared with the work of Ivan Eyre. Yet, in Randall’s imagined scenarios, one can also see pick-up trucks rocket across the sky, trailing tails of flame behind them. Canadian landscape tropes and traditions vie for our attention against the 21st-century’s relentless stream of digital images and information overload.

An Te Liu
An Te Liu

Joscelyn Gardner
Joscelyn Gardner

Curtis Cutshaw
Brenda Raynard

Curtis Cutshaw
Curtis Cutshaw

Sean William Randall
Sean William Randall

 Sun, Nov 9, 2014