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Written by T-ART

Betty White: "Poesis"

April 29 to May 27

Opening Reception: Saturday April 29  3-6PM

Betty White: Floating

Betty White: Floating

Appreciating Betty White’s work is both a rewarding journey and an extraordinary destination.

Her masterful pencil discovers faces with minimalist economy while imbuing them with a Renaissance quality. Her materials, the handmade paper, the pigments, the occasional collage elements such as bark, resonate as elements of nature from which true art has always been formed. White’s subjects, faces, trees and branches, spaces filled with glowing light, and more faces, regard us gravely. They seem to know what we often forget, the unity or mysterious conjunction of space and time, and our innate connection to it.

Through her works, we rediscover the continuity of generations linking the distant past with an inevitable future, ancestors and descendants reflected simultaneously. More than this, the human essence we encounter unveils the elemental bond between the earth and sky, between the corporeal and the spiritual.  The human is not so frail after all. In the faces we study, absorbing their personalities, we begin to see what makes us each both unique and connected. White’s work unveils the soul.

Both consciously and by their relationship to the earth and sky, these faces express far more than the immediately poignant joy and sadness, the powerful echoes of personal history and surviving hope for the future.  They weave us each into the intricate fabric of humanity in all its range and nuance of experience. Their essence connects us to the transcendent core of our very nature, aligning birth, life, death, and re-birth into an eternal continuum. Our human spirit lives here, in all its complexity and simplicity. White delivers both our essence and its conjugation of timelessness with subtle artistry, and ultimately, with love.

This is work to live with, to engage and develop a long term relationship with. It grants insight, and recognition of human nature in intimate and spectacular scope.

Vera Ignatowitsch 2017

Betty White-Ode to Louis Barrault_ copy

 

Pica: From the insubordinate Gardens

October 14 to 28

Opening:   Saturday  October 17,  3-5PM

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The paradoxical nature of gardens - that they are both wild and cultivated,  or in the artist’s words, “insubordinate” and “subordinate” - is the central concept behind Teodora Pica’s new series of acrylic and mixed-media paintings. Not only does she focus on this contrast though, she also evokes the mysterious mood of what inspired her paintings: the exotic Jibou Botanical Garden in Transylvania.

Amidst the rolling green hills and fields of Transylvania, dotted with terra cotta-coloured roofs and the sun-bleached white brick houses they top, stands a former castle now serving as the artist-in-residency where Pica completed a two-week stay. Surrounding the castle is the Jibou Botanical Garden – an exotic oasis of flora ranging from a bed of cacti, to a herbarium, to a Japanese garden. Imported as well as local plant species growing freely outside and in greenhouses juxtapose the wild and the manicured.

This natural versus cultivated contrast, which Pica deems “insubordinate” versus “subordinate,” serves as the conceptual anchor for a new series of acrylic and mixed-media paintings she created back in her Toronto studio. The artworks depict mysterious flora and seeds bursting with “insubordinate” painterly energy. Displayed like herbaria (preserved plant specimens), that is, as central images on white paper, her fantastical collection of plants and seeds stands equally as a testament of the flora’s “subordination” to orderly display and of the artist’s memory of the gardens. In other words Pica interprets her theme both literally and abstractedly; while she directly illustrates contrast, she grants equal focus to evoking the essential mood of the Jibou gardens.

Take for one instance a series of four small paintings in which bold, jagged outlines render seeds that sprout wings. The wings symbolize nascent unbridled growth, as stressed by the loose painting and scratched over delineations that render them. Simultaneously, their clean, spare compositions reflect the conscious, careful organization of a garden. As Pica wryly observes, plants “become subordinate when put in artworks.”

Here the artist implies that gardener and garden work together as a metaphor for the artist and the dilemma she faces in attaining that elusive ideal image: whether she should carefully, consciously control it, or whether she should let it take its own spontaneous course. The image, confined by the shape of the paper, the limitations of the media, and the standard rules of composition, struggles for its freedom. Ultimately, “insubordination” allows the image to bloom to its highest potential of beauty, as these splendidly uninhibited paintings perfectly demonstrate.

- Earl Miller - independent curator

Eugen-Florin Zamfirescu: Lanes of Quantum Memories

October 30 to November 15

OPENING:   SATURDAY OCTOBER 31,  2-6PM

www.eugenflorinzamfirescu.com

With his new photographic series - a clear departure from the realism of his previous works - the artist explores the visual landscape of our thoughts, memories and emotions taking the viewer on an imaginary journey into the realm of the human mind. What is unraveled is that the very process of thinking might be, in some ways, altered by the interaction between neurons and the forces of quantum mechanics. Our brains are subjected to a myriad of waves: electrical, magnetic, gravitational and ones currently unknown; whether these forces originate in the vastness of space or the invisible realm of the sub-atomic, together their whispers transform our thoughts, memories and ideas in ways unimagined- until now.

 

April group exhibition

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March Exhibition: sculptures and paintings by PICA

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We are excited to launch the new Pica Sculptures 2006-2014 catalogue by the end of March!

Betty White: February 5-28

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 The YELLOW SKIRT,  mixed media work on paper, 2014

Using a complex repertoire of materials and style, with each work Betty White remains faithful to her oeuvre, in which the dimensions of the figurative multiply with appreciation, extending far beyond story image into the past and future, from fact into idea, and from the subconscious into the spiritual.

Betty White’s art works are almost always figurative, yet the faces they portray are as much stories as they are doors, open to co-existing dimensions. Rarely do they smile, yet these visages promise intimate knowledge of the entire panorama of human emotion. Rarely do they look back, but their bones map the journey of their ancestors, marching remorselessly into the future. At the same time they float, melding as effortlessly with the eternal and our oneness as they do with the physical reality of life’s day to day struggles and triumphs. They inhabit this world and are of it, with roots reaching deep into the earth for water and nourishment, and spirits that embody life’s experiences, while their auras link us all to the eternal, to hopes and dreams, to joys and sorrows, and ultimately to the soul of all human existence.

To visit White’s faces is to reside in their lovingly crafted habitat, one that acknowledges our lives on every level, from the deeply personal to the cosmological, all nested naturally within the continuum of history and time.

 

Betty White

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PICA: OUT OF SIGHT SOLITUDES

NOVEMBER  to December 6,  2014

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“The majestic forms and wild energies of Nature that surrounded her from her infancy, impressed their character on her mind, communicating to it all their own wildness, and more than their own beauty. Far removed from the pageantry of courts and cities, her … attention was awakened to spectacles more interesting and more impressive: the misty mountain-top, the ash-fringed precipice, the gleaming cataract, the deep and shadowy glen, and the fantastic magnificence of the mountain clouds. The murmur of the woods, the rush of the winds, and the tumultuous dashings of the torrents, were the first music of her childhood. A fearless wanderer among these romantic solitudes, the spirit of mountain liberty diffused itself through the whole tenor of her feelings”…                      Peacock, Melincourt (1817)

Eugen Florin Zamfirescu - Creative Process

Eugen-Florin Zamfirescu Creative Process

I am fascinated by time, old instruments, intricate machinery, the laws of physics and humankind’s connection to past, present and future. Common to all is my quest to unravel the stories within, to reveal the inner beauty of my subjects and capture their elusiveness.

COLLECTING

For many years now I’ve been collecting the different objects captured in my photos. Each object is a trip to an antique shop, a curiosity store, lengthy rummage through piles of stuff and conversations with shop owners. At times an object might come with a story. But more often, that story is unknown, lost somewhere under the dust of time. In some way, those are my favourite objects as they allow me to create and tell their story, to imagine their path through time and take the viewer on a trip along it.

PROCESS

With every object collected, ideas begin to form, to develop. And as time goes by I engage in a process of selection, of eliminating all concepts except one.

But is the remaining idea worth communicating? Has it been told before? How do I say it differently? How do I express it best? Is the story one that would resonate with the viewer? What medium should I use? What kind of light? Do I go for equilibrium or chaos? How much depth of focus should I have, what type of lenses? Should I print on paper or metal, small or larger scale?

For a long time, it all feels like a question and answer period. I go back and forth between one answer and another until I finally decide. The final equation needs to perfectly balance so the process requires lots of fine tuning.

LIGHT

I love light. It is always an important, central presence in all my work. Light is pure energy – photons at work – and I play with it the way I play with clay. I am thrilled at its flexibility, the fact that it can reveal a story, dilute or concentrate a message, make suggestions of things that are not really there. By slightly moving the angle, all magical proportions of light and shadow can change dramatically. Light can partially, or fully transform a subject. It can induce emotions, distract from the main message, create compositional relationships. The possibilities are endless.

In the Excerpts from the Book of Entropy series, one thing I decided was to allow for large areas of darkness in each photo, to mirror the fact that while we have some knowledge, most of it is still in shadows, waiting to be brought to light.

PHYSICS – THE LAW OF ENTROPY

I am deeply interested in philosophy as well as in physics and how the universe works. I study a lot and I feel more and more that philosophy on its own can no longer answer the deeper questions we have about the meaning of life, of our existence. So I bring science into my art. By under- standing the laws of physics and how the universe works we might, one day, while never fully reach it, come closer to an answer.

By far the most perplexing characteristic in the universe is Entropy. At the very foundations of the universe, time can go both forward and backward. Energy can become matter and matter can turn back into energy. Mind boggling! This is certainly not the way we perceive the world on a daily basis. Larger entities seem to be getting older, to develop “time afflictions”. Time is forbidden to flow in reverse. The law of entropy is forcing everything into one direction only, towards what we perceive as the future.

The exhibition Excerpts from the Book of Entropy is an esthetic reminder of this law.

Most of this process takes place in my head way before I press the shutter button and I hear it click.

 

Excerpts from the Book of Entropy

Search for the Perpetual Motion Machine of the Second Kind

Search for the Perpetual Motion Machine of the Second Kind   22"x34", archival ink on acid free paper edition of 8

EUGEN- FLORIN ZAMFIRESCU  - photography

September 6 -  October 4, 2014

Opening Reception:   September 13,   2-6 pm