Archives

Exhibitions

TURIA - Alchemies of the Mind - May 25 to June 9, 2013

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 George Turia

Exhibition: Impeccable   white   volumes   stand   for   the   human   self   in  a  suspended  state  of  self-­‐evaluation.  Personal  history  and  inner   journeys   are   inscribed   on   the   pure   surface   to   give   it   individuality.   Forgotten   details   resurface,   old   relationships   are   seen   in   a   new   light,   facts   and   faces   get   new   meanings.   A   nostalgic   feeling   underlies   the   process   of   remembering.   It   determines   a   certain   idealization   that   eventually   becomes   part   of   an   ensemble   that   helps   one   defy   time,   transform   the   transitory   into   permanence.   Each   piece   is   a   collage   of   memories,   voices,   musical   sounds,   answers,  pieces  of  life,  hope.

 

 

 

APRIL BLOOMS April 06 to 21, 2013

 

 

 

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Canadian Orchards - an exhibition by artist Emilio Pica

Opening:  Saturday April 6,  2013  3-6PM

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T. Pica - "Collectives" - February 16 -March 03 2013

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New Paintings by T. Pica

February 16 - March 03, 2013

Opening: Saturday,  February 16  2-5 pm

 

While T. Pica was learning about the cultural ecosystems and diversities of Ward 30, the Riverdale – Leslieville – Gerard neighborhoods in Toronto, she began to sketch those communities as collectives and as abstract entities defined by shapes and folk like markings. The drawings evolved into paintings and later into a body of works called “Bridging Communities”. Some of those works are part of the “Collectives” exhibition that opens this Saturday at T-ART. The selected paintings are imaginary descriptions of the shared relationships between such collectives. They each are set apart by detailed patterns, which inspire differences as much as communal bits, by large shapes that collapse into newer and smaller structures, and, by flat colored fields, isolating some groups and attracting others, linking graphic ecosystems that spawn thoughts of cultural mix.

 

Teodora Pica - "CORE ESTATE" - OKIAN Gallery July 03-27 2012 Brasov, Transylvania

 

Ian PL - Beings 2010-2012 an exhibition of paintings and drawings

 

June 02 -16

 OPENING  June 02    3-6pm

 

Ian PL - Beings 2010-2012 10"x8" ink on clay board

TeodoraART Gallery (T-ART) welcomes a solo exhibition by emerging teenage artist Ian P.L.. The show is comprised of artworks completed in 2010 through 2012. Mediums range from paper to clay boards and include brushwork with India ink, pen work, and acrylics. The goal of the exhibition is to illustrate imaginary beings as well as the abstract environments in which they interweave. The works capture still moments of excitement and exuberance as they include expressive figures to illustrate emotions. The exhibition can succinctly be described as an exploration or a curiosity-inducing experiment.


Ian’s P.L. Statement:            The predominant theme throughout my work is the feeling of the life's energy. The artworks portray creatures and environments that are in a state of exultance. They are embodied through an iris that reveals a flash point in which there is neither growth nor deterioration. My choice of depicting mostly animalistic beings is formulated through the use of various graphic motives and patterns. The depiction of animalistic forms is a gateway through which I can directly portray emotion and mood. By manipulating the shape of a creature’s feature, I look to subtly convey a revealing feeling to the viewer and subsequently reinforce it with color or just render it in black and white. I also find it to be effective to illustrate emotions and moods in images of nonhuman figures as it avoids the subconscious harsh judgment that occurs when humans encounter or observe feelings expressed by those that resemble their own species. Animal like beings provide potential for expressions of emotion, however, they also retain a suitable distance from the viewer’s kind that generates mystery and ambiguity.
My work has no overall message that might provoke thoughts of painful straggles or teenage revolt; rather, allows for discovery and a sense of the interaction between my personal life observations and my imagination.

 

Ian PL Being 2010-2012 10"x8" ink and acrylic on clay board

Pulsating and Feral: Plowed Fields by ALI BASIEDJI

APRIL 28  to  MAY 26, 2012

Teodora Art Gallery is pleased to showcase an exhibition of landscapes by gallery artist Ali Basiedji.  A fascinating collection of oil paintings created in plein air depicting the fields of Northern Ontario will be displayed  at the gallery until May 26. The artist presents large scale vistas of plowed fields as well as  spontaneous oil sketches of details of nature. Small paintings will be displayed  in a friendly Salon des Artistes type setting.

You are cordially invited to meet the artist and participate at the following events:

Opening reception - Saturday April  28 from 4 to 7 pm

Exhibition and opening pictures 

Art Talk and Coffee - Thursday May 17, 6 to 9 pm

 

Exhibition and Catalog Essay:

As Ali Basiedji’s exhibition title indicates, "Pulsating and Feral: Plowed Fields" comprises expressionistic oil paintings of fields, which are paradoxically cultivated yet untamed, potentially bountiful yet empty.

Come springtime Ali Basiedji eagerly anticipates painting because he only works en plein air. First-hand observation is paramount; nothing is reworked or copied in the studio, meaning he will return for as many as four to five daylong sessions. His paintings bespeak the immediacy of experiencing subjects he is passionate about, and they assert that painting, as Jackson Pollock demonstrated, should reflect the actions of the moment. Similarly, Basiedji likens painting to “thinking aloud, with the process continuing until I hit something.”

Driving around in the Ontario countryside to locate a painting site, Basiedji stops when he witnesses “the right feel, energy and mystery.”  Interestingly, his portraits, which aren’t included in this exhibition, involve a comparable quest for subject:  he chooses his sitters, none who are professional models, by confidently approaching strangers he wishes to pose for him.

Portraits or landscapes, Basiedji paints with a consistent muscular physicality, either solely with a palette knife or with brush and knife combined. Canvas would succumb to the palette knife’s slashes. Accordingly, he paints on board covered with nine sanded layers of gesso and other primers, exposed at points in his paintings, thus adding a certain visceral grittiness and defining his paintings by what he leaves out as well as by what he includes. In fact, he will scratch into the board. At times, he will paint with implements found where he paints landscapes: twigs, leaves, grass, wood, or stones. Though most importantly, he paints with proudly conspicuous, dance-animated brush and knife strokes.

Basiedji’s painting maintains insightful sensitivity to the particular energy a site emanates; in some works, 49-0896 pf. (Cat. 34), for example, a wind-like motion traverses it via the magnetic pull of well-placed strokes. Here and elsewhere, Basiedji paints in skewed perspectives - angular, wonky compositions showing the right amount of action to capture the fields’ “feral” essence.  After all, Basiedji stresses that painting to him is about “instability;” that is to say, life is about constant movement, and painting embodies that state of flux.

To dramatically stress expanses of “feral” fields, Basiedji often paints from a worm’s eye view, as in 8-0855 pf. Brown, Pink (Cat. 32), which depicts a sweeping, left-tilted field. Such a view makes the fields appear sublimely vast. Forceful curved and then linear strokes draw viewers to the centre of the treeline in the far background.

Depending on his response to a site, Basiedji may abstract imagery, applying thicker colour and looser strokes, as he does in 53-0900 pf. E.B. (Cat. 6), in which he loosely weaves a field of rapidfire brown, green, and lavender marks into an abstract quilt of a composition that he backs with a just vaguely discernible structure – a house or some other kind of building. Wittily summing up what this abstraction and his more representational paintings hold in common, he remarks, “While I don’t aspire to paint highly realistically, I do want a realistic indication of how it felt to me.”

Some paintings are comparatively pastoral, for instance, 46-0892 pf. rah. (Cat. 21) with a horse proudly staring front and centre as if posing. Yet these calmer works do involve some bold artistic chance taking with colour and texture. Basiedji risks committing the so-called faux pas of clashing purple with green; he succeeds to great effect, both here and elsewhere. Equally risky is his quick switch from the animated paint handling in the foreground and middle ground to quieter patches of lightly clouded sky.

Along with juxtaposing the peaceful with the exuberant, Basiedji exhibits works implying celebration beside those evoking sadness. 46-0892 pf. rah. (Cat.21) is ultimately a joyous work: He renders the leaves and branches of three prominent trees in snappy zig zags of light greens, oranges and purples that float away from their arbor anchor like parade confetti. On the other hand, in 41-0888 Melancholic Fallow (Cat. 2), five dark, bare trees form a stark compositional focal point. They stand guard before a shadowy forest and the pathetic fallacy of a wintry grey Canadian sky.

Ali Basiedji’s definition of his subjects undoubtedly “changes with the day and setting.” However, what remains steady is his passion for them, which is conspicuous in every mark he makes. His “feral” farmer’s fields pulsate – they come alive. Looking at his paintings, one can smell the fresh cut hay and feel the gentle tickle of wild grass on the cheek.

 

Earl Miller, March 2012

ILLUSIONARY STILLS April 7 to 21

An exhibition of abstract works by Rick Mc Carthy, Emilio Pica, Radu Serban and George Turia.

"Sky Landscapes 2010-2012"

Artist:TEODORA PICADate :  February 1 to March 8, 2012Catalog link : click here

An enigmatic spirit pervades Teodora Pica’s landscape paintings. They intrigue and entice, as if drawing you to sit under one of her shady, shadowed trees and meditate over her colourful skys.
When accepting the invitation, you are in for both pleasure and challenge. Sheer pleasure in experiencing the vibrant, sensuous colours, colours that in the artists' words “sizzle” and “vibrate” over cooler, darker sections that serve as punctuations of calm.
The instant attraction to things pleasurable masks these paintings’ complex, underlying meanings. The paintings are not so much representations of existing landscapes (Pica takes photos but uses them as rough guides only), but of mysterious, psychic spaces belying memories and moods.  Pica creates a momentary, delicate balance between things tangible - typically clusters of shadowy trees anchored amidst more fluid expanses of earth and sky - and   imaginative. You ask yourself if  you  are contemplating mindscapes or landscapes.

"Hydroponics" - December 2011

Artist: TEODORA PICA
 
A solo exhibition by Teodora Pica opens at Teodora ART, a new gallery of Canadian and international contemporary art defined by its experimental approach, its collaborative projects, and ensuing artistic dialogue.

 
Exhibition: December 10, 2011 to January 28, 2012
 
Opening: Saturday  December 10 , 4:00pm to 8:00pm
 
TeodoraART’s opening in Toronto’s Yorkville gallery district, in a newly  renovated space with a cool minimalist interior designed for the optimum display of art, signals an innovative approach to gallery exhibition: a mix of solo and collaborative shows alongside an open studio where gallery visitors can see work in progress.

TeodoraART opens with Teodora Pica’s solo exhibition, Hydroponics, three related series of drawings and paintings created in the artist’s “hydroponics lab.”  In this artistic laboratory Pica uses a “hydroponics kit” to grow “mood flowers” through a combination of light, water and nutrients regulated by the artist’s creative moods. Pica symbolically represents this nurturing environment for moods and emotions in her brash, exuberant floral- and sun- inspired pieces.


The key symbolic motif is the sun.  Pica draws inspiration from the sun symbol’s primeval roots, from its universalism that bridges diverse cultures, and from its tradition as an architectural and artistic motif in her native Transylvania. The sun, consequently, acts as a conduit between its Old World heritage and its contemporary relevance - between past and present.  Pica depicts the sun symbols as standardized circles with six concentric rays. However, the integration of these symbols into her work is not so simple. The sun merges with floral shapes, and petals and rays become interchangeable.
 
The drawings and paintings hold symbolism beyond that of the sun though; additionally, they represent the hydroponics lab. Both the stark white background of some pieces and the luminous aura circling suns and flowers in others represent the austere yet paradoxically nurturing lab environment. Geometric texture and joyous, passionate colour is the food for growth, the nutrients and water that develop the roots, which Pica depicts as black, organic shapes that she refers to as “sources” for her mood flowers.
The first series are rapid sketches, or “lab experiments”, on paper that depict sun symbols in sharp contrast with shadowy black roots.  Energetic gestural marks delineate bold, graphic red flowers that morph with sun symbols, forming what one could appropriately call sunflowers. These sunflowers sway and dance against a flat white ground. At times the floral forms are cartoon-like hence comical; at other times, they are nearly figurative. In either case, they hold connotations well beyond them simply being flowers and suns. The second series consists of paintings on wooden board that show the “mood flowers” in different stages of growth.  Again, these are high contrast images, which juxtapose bleak, snowy sky-white backdrops against black stem and root shapes. Furthermore, radiant sunflowers rendered in passionate red line sprout from these roots. Then there is the third series, the “Rainbow Hydroponics”: smaller works on canvas abandoning the sun symbol strictly for florals. These rainbow bouquets, bursting out front and centre in the picture plane, are a dense configuration of twisted lines - thickly painted and joyously coloured. Glowing light exudes from the paintings’ top centres - halos above bouquets, which have grown from comparatively pessimistic black roots near the canvases’ bottom edge. A bouquet bathed in the light of optimism.
 
Hope - the flowers, the sun, the light, and beauty overcoming darkness - is the overriding tone of this exhibition. The lab is a place where promise arises from experimentation in a visual language that conveys moods and emotions without words.  And this sense of hope and the theme of experimentation make this the perfect opening exhibition for Teodora ART gallery.
 
Teodora Pica is a senior Canadian visual artist residing in Toronto who maintains a studio in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood and a summer atelier in the historic village of Brasov in Transylvania, Romania. She works in painting, sculpture, experimental printmaking and photography. The third generation of a family of artists, she first studied at the Ion Mincu University of Architecture in Bucharest. She obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto School of Architecture and after that, she studied painting and drawing at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Arts Administration at Goucher College in Baltimore.

 

Earl Miller  - an independent curator and art writer residing in Toronto.

"Unfolding Estate" - November 2011

In Unfolding Estate Pica paints some of the Transylvanian imagery and symbols appearing on the folk art and icons contained in her dowry chest. However, the ones she chooses - for example, sun and tree-of-life symbols - carry universal meaning that often represents the intrinsic hopefulness of a “hope chest.” Moreover, the heirlooms in a dowry chest represent the transience of life in contrast with the permanence of tradition because they effectively form a time capsule carried through life’s journeys.

In addition to the chest’s contents, Pica paints rectangular, almost architectural forms that hint at the shape of the dowry chest itself. Along with these, suggestions of landscapes can figure prominently in what are stream-of-consciousness picture planes that blend the actual – architecture and land – with the symbolic. These are environs where past traditions, contemporary graffiti, and symbols of a hopeful future all converge.

Conveying this conceptual layering is masterful painting that is equally layered. Sharp contrasting between black and white, as well as between nearly bare, scraped-over canvas and thick built-up paint, suggests the opposing poles of past and future. These stark forms are lightened by a spontaneous dance of almost shockingly colourful, graffiti art-influenced line. Indeed, Pica presents a cornucopia of powerful painting and evocative imagery.

Artist Statement

MY DOWRY CHEST: my personal Transylvanian estate, the reaches of my soul bequeathed to me by my ancestors.

ITS TREASURES: Colours, shapes and symbols become vessels for my experience and that of humanity.

In moments of soul-searching solitude, I look through my dowry chest. This has become a comforting ritual for me, this glimpsing and gentle handling of treasures touching the core of my soul. These dowry chest and its treasures may indeed be intimate, but they represent universal beliefs too. The dowry chest appears in numerous cultures. And its objects – scarves, tapestries and plates - along with the images in the paintings representing them – the sun and the spiral – vary from culture to culture but are of course universal. Still, these treasures speak of my heritage; an estate encapsulating thousands of years. This history transfixes me each time I search for them. They hold new meanings for me as time passes; yet their primordial form remains eternal. I hope to convey the eternal passion they represent - the passion of generations for their histories – through painting. In the moment of creation, I feel and try to release the ardour that is at the core of all these treasures.